I Will Find You (2023) by Harlan Coben

David Burroughs’ life is basically over. Languishing in jail, five years into his life sentence for killing his son. In a fit of rage, he brutally beat his son, Matthew, to death. The evidence was overwhelming – David was covered in his son’s blood, he was seen burying the murder weapon. Only one person believes that David didn’t kill his own son – unfortunately that person is David himself. And even he’s not always one hundred per cent sure…

Until his first visitor at the prison in years arrives – his sister-in-law. She has a photograph to show David, a photograph taken at a theme park and in the background of the picture is an impossible boy – Matthew, or a very convincing lookalike. David is determined to find the truth – he just has the slight problem of being locked in a high-security prison with inmates and guards who seem especially determined that he doesn’t get out…

Look, it’s the latest Harlan Coben, of course it’s good.

Oh, you want more detail? OK, I suppose so…

It’s a thriller with some twists and turns, although I don’t think it’s got that killer twist that sets it apart, or a lead quite as mesmerising as Win, in, um, Win.. Nonetheless, as with all of Coben’s work, it is intensely readable. There is something about Coben’s plotting… I think I need to patent the phrase simplex, when it comes to book reviewing, at least. Decision Mathematics did get there first, but simplex, short for simple-but-complex – yes, I know complex-but-simple makes a little more sense, but “comple” is a rubbish world – is the word we’ll go with. A plot with many strands that nonetheless never loses the reader. There are so many books that try to juggle multiple plot points but end up just confusing the reader, that this is like a breath of fresh air.

At the end of the day, this is a good story, well told, with characters that you will want to spend time with – although the quirky FBI agents were a bit trying at times – and a satisfying story with a clear beginning, middle and end. A highly entertaining read – although, mystery fans, it’s a what-is-going-on rather than whodunnit. Regardless, this is well worth your time.

I Will Find You is out on March 16th from Penguin, in hardback and ebook. Many thanks for the review e-copy.

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