Sunday, January 30, 2011

GONE FOR GOOD by Harlan Coben (2002) Dell Publishing

Eleven years ago Will Klein's first love, Julie Miller, was murdered in the basement of her parents' home, in the New Jersey neighborhood where they grew up. The suspected killer: Will's beloved older brother Ken. Then 24, Ken disappeared, managing to evade an international search. Will has never believed that Ken was capable of such violence, plus he happened to see another figure lurking about the Millers' home the night of the murder and he's pretty sure he knows who it was.

Now Will's mother Sunny is dying of cancer and confides to him on her deathbed that she knows Ken is alive. Will is perplexed by his mother's insistence, but when he discovers a hidden photograph in her bedside table drawer, he begins to think that perhaps his brother is not gone for good.

Will works at Covenant House in Manhattan, a respite for homeless youth. There he met the second love of his life, Sheila Rogers. Sheila has alluded to a difficult past of her own, but refuses to offer up any details. Shortly after Will's mom dies, Sheila disappears from Will's life, leaving a note that says "I will always love you."

After a threatening visit by a ghost from his past, John Asselta, Will turns to his friend "Squares," a hardened criminal turned Yogic guru, for help. Squares and Will embark on a journey that leads them to explore the darkness in Sheila's past and her apparent ties to Will's missing brother Ken. The FBI gets involved as well as a coterie of threatening thugs from Will's past. With heart-pounding speed and adrenaline-stoked narrative twists and turns, Coben spirits you along the perplexing path to Will's complicated future.

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