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HOME by Harlan Coben: Book Review

It’s been ten years since six-year-olds Patrick Moore and Rhys Baldwin were abducted from Patrick’s home in suburban New Jersey.  Their parents have never given up hope that the boys will return, but with each passing year it has gotten harder to keep the faith.  Now one of them appears to have been located, but what about the other?

Rhys is the son of Win Lockwood’s cousin Brooke; she is one of the very, very few people about whom he cares.  One other, of course, is Myron Bolitar.  The two men have been friends since they met the first day of their freshman year at Duke, and although they couldn’t be more different on the surface, something has kept them close all these years.  Win, however, disappeared from Myron’s life a year ago without explanation; now a long-distance call from England is the first confirmation that he is alive and well.

Win tells Myron that he believes he has seen Patrick.  He had received a cryptic email that gave a clue as to the boys’ location in a seedy part of London.  When he gets there, he sees a teenager who looks like Patrick might look ten years after his disappearance, but before Win can approach him three thugs head toward the boy.  When Win tells them to leave, they turn on him with knives but, Win being Win, all three are dead before they have a chance to attack him.  Then, when he turns to talk to the boy, the teen is gone.

Win’s phone call is to ask Myron to fly to England to help search for Patrick and Rhys.  What they find is deeper and even more disturbing than the kidnapping itself.

Home is partly narrated in the first person by Win, more formally known as Windsor Horne Lockwood III, and partly in the third person limited point of view of Myron.  Win is a man of incredible wealth and intelligence but also a man almost devoid of empathetic responses.  Even his anger is controlled, always contained.  As he says of himself in the opening chapter, after killing the three men who were threatening the boy Win believes may be Patrick, “I give myself a second, no more, to relish the high.  You would too, if you didn’t pretend otherwise.”  He knows what he is and makes no apologies for it.

In Home, Win’s softer side comes out for the first time.  This is obviously because of his feeling for his cousin Brooke; this familial relationship is the reason Win has disappeared for a year, attempting to find her son.  Now he has come closer than anyone else by finding Patrick, whom he hopes will lead him to Rhys.  But it’s not that easy.

Harlan Coben is a master storyteller.  In this novel the tragedies of two families are paramount.  Win and Myron are an outstanding team, but even they cannot heal all the heartbreak that the Moores and Baldwins have experienced.

You can read more about Harlan Coben at this web site.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at  her web site.