One summer, at an artist’s colony in rural Vermont, Jake Fisher and Natalie Avery fell in love. And then, inexplicably, she broke it off, abruptly married an older man named Todd Sanderson, and made Jake promise he would never come looking for her.
Todd ached for Natalie. Not a day went by that he didn’t think about her. But for six years, he kept his promise– until the afternoon that he scanned the news online and stumbled on Todd Sanderson’s obituary.
So Jake, now a political science professor at a small Massachusetts college, sets out to track her down and promptly makes several startling discoveries. Todd, a physician and the prime mover of a charity called Second Chance, had a widow who was not Natalie. And he didn’t die of natural causes. He’d been tortured and then murdered.
And there was not a trace of Natalie anywhere — no driver’s license, no tax records, no credit cards. Nothing. The day she had supposedly married Todd Sanderson, she had simply vanished from the face of the earth.
Todd’s best bud, a fellow professor named Benedict Edwards, urges him to forget Natalie and get on with his life. But Todd can’t let it go. As he keeps digging, others urge him to give up, and before long the urges turn to into warnings. And then threats.
This is the opening premise of Six Years, the most suspenseful, compelling, and intriguing of the 23 thrillers written by Harlan Coben. And believe me, that’s saying something.
The writing is first rate. The characters, a remarkable collection of saints and sinners, are so real that that you can hear their hearts beat. And the plot has so many stunning surprises, so many twists and turns, that it is impossible to put down.
I can’t say more without giving too much away, but trust me. If you enjoy first-rate thrillers, this is a novel you do not want to miss. It’s a cinch to make my list of the best crime novels of 2013.
Six Years will be published by Dutton on March 19, and you can pre-order it here.