Here's the basic outline of a Coben book: Something bad happens; someone goes into hiding; nothing is as it seems; no one can be trusted; the disappeared resurfaces; secrets are unwound. Coben did this brilliantly in "Tell No One" and "Gone for Good," and he's trying the formula again in "Six Years." The storyline is intriguing: Jake Fisher watches Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years later, Natalie's husband dies, but when Jake shows up at the funeral, the widow isn't his ex-girlfriend. He goes looking for her, but Natalie has gone off the grid. This book has shot up to the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list because Coben is a master at the page-turner. I read "Six Years" in two days because I desperately wanted to know what was going on here. But while the previously mentioned titles were really about the relationships of a husband and wife and two brothers, with the mystery almost secondary, "Six Years" is nothing more than a good whodunit and doesn't meet the standard Coben had set years ago.
- TIM COTTER