Hold Tight

Harlan Coben

At a time when most pop suspense authors seem more than satisfied to serve as content mills and churn out books every couple of months, it’s a nice change of pace to know that there are still some writers who put craft ahead of commerce. Harlan Coben’s latest is one such reassurance. In ways a suburban metaphor for post-9/11, the book kicks off with the unexpected suicide of a teenager in Glen Rock, N.J. Yet another tragedy in a sudden rash, the shocked community tries to come to grips with the contagious sense of fear. In one case, a teen’s parents go all out with surreptitious surveillance, installing spyware in their son’s computer and clocking his every keystroke. But, of course, nothing is ever that simple, as slowly a local serial killer’s widening gyre creeps closer to their home. Tautly written, with a nice balance of suspense and social commentary, Hold Tight is almost Hitchcockian in the way it assays ordinary people reacting to extraordinary circumstances.