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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


by Harlan Coben - available in hardcover

I'm a big fan of Harlan Coben's books, in part because he's a really good writer and in part because they're all set locally in NJ. I've read everything he's written and looked forward to this latest one.

I wish I could say CAUGHT was wonderful, but it wasn't.

His characterizations are still terrific, but there were so many twists and turns in this novel that it just seemed muddy. While Win (from Coben's Myron Bolitar series) plays a minor role, Coben introduces us to Wendy Tynes, a reporter for a tabloid news program, similar to the television show DATELINE. Based on an anonymous tip, Wendy has set up a fake persona in an online teen chat room to attract Dan Mercer, a suspected pedophile. But that's just the tip of the iceberg in this novel.

CAUGHT has an interesting theme that points out how easy it is to destroy someones reputation in the computer age. Unfortunately it was diluted by the inclusion of too many characters and too many plot lines, all leading up to an unsatisfying and unrealistic conclusion.

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