“Missing You” is Harlan Coben’s latest standalone thriller. However, he has authored many other best-selling thrillers, including the series with characters Myron Bolitar and nephew Mickey Bolitar, and several other standalone novels.
Eighteen years ago, NYPD detective Kat Donovan’s father, also a cop, was killed and Kat’s fiancé deserted her at the same time. Kat hasn’t had a serious relationship since Jeff Raynes, her fiancé, left her. Kat assumed at the time that Jeff was frustrated because she wouldn’t move on with her life after her father’s death.
Kat is positive that Monte Leburne, the contract killer convicted of her father’s murder, is not the killer, but just the fall guy. After all, pleading guilty to one more murder doesn’t make a lot of difference to a guy who is already sentenced to life in prison. Now Leburne is dying of cancer and Kat is determined to get to the bottom of her father’s unexplained murder, even going so far as to visit the dying man in prison in her effort to solve the mystery.
Kat’s best friend Stacy signs her up for an online dating site, YouAreJustMyType.com, in hopes that Kat will find “Mr. Right.” With some skepticism, Kat is looking at possible matches one evening when she is shocked by a photo of Jeff staring back at her from the computer screen. She impulsively sends him a message in the form of a John Waite song, “Missing You.” Since that song held personal significance for both of them during their relationship, his response puzzles and disappoints her when he doesn’t acknowledge their past at all.
The dating service becomes more significant when a teenager named Brandon contacts Kat and asks her to find his missing mother. A man on the YouAreJustMyType.com dating site captivated Brandon’s wealthy mother, and the two arranged a meeting from which she hasn’t returned.
Kat’s suspicions grow when she learns that other persons, both men and women, are missing as well. It seems too much of a coincidence that all of them are somewhat wealthy and had visited the online dating site.
Brandon hacks into the dating website to show Kat a picture of his mother’s boyfriend. Kat is horrified when she sees that it is Jeff. Is Jeff caught up in a scam of enticing women and men into false hopes of a relationship, while taking their money? Where are these persons now? None have returned to their families and friends. As Kat’s investigation continues, she faces a terrifying conspiracy.
Harlan Coben’s “Missing You” is a solid thriller with a complex plot. The intriguing storylines are filled with heart-pounding, unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing. The characters are believable and realistic—the bad guys are evil and some of the good characters, such as Kat, carry some baggage. Coben has delivered another suspenseful and exciting read that possibly leaves the door open for a sequel. At least I hope so.