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No Second Chance

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I do not expect great literature from a best-selling thriller, but I expect something. I expect some finesse of dialogue or creative use of language, and I shouldn’t because it only leads to disappointment.

I must admit I was disappointed with Harlan Coben’s third bestseller – No Second Chance. The characters are underdeveloped and obvious – the evil rich step-father, the former girlfriend the hero can’t forget, the best friend who’s always there in a pinch. The ending is convoluted and forced, too neatly wrapped up. I found myself saying, “Oh come on!” out loud.

Now, having said that, No Second Chance is a thriller, which means it’s all about plot. The one winning point of the book is plot. You will want to know what happens. You may not like what ultimately happens, but while you’re reading you will want to know. No Second Chance is the story of Marc Seidman, a plastic surgeon who wakes up in a hospital to learn that he was shot, his wife was shot and killed, and his infant daughter is missing. Compelling plot. The novel takes you on Marc’s hunt for his daughter, through his old girlfriend and stereotypical father-in-law, on the way to an ending you may figure out 50 pages before you get there.

Alas. Not every book can be The Da Vinci Code. There are so many good books out this summer; I’m thinking you could skip Harlan Coben’s new bestseller – No Second Chance. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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