Harlan Coben, Author . Dutton $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-94874-2

Coben seems to delight in making bad things happen to good people (Tell No One ; Gone for Good ; etc.), and he does it again in this, his best book to date. A paralegal, devoted husband and soon-to-be father, Matt Hunter has a not-so-secret past: when he was 20, in an attempt to break up a fistfight, he killed a man and served four years in prison for it. He's been out five years, living in his New Jersey hometown, and life is pretty good. But when his beloved wife, Olivia, goes away on a business trip, he receives 15 seconds of digital video on his camera phone showing her in a hotel room with another man. Meanwhile, Loren Muse, Essex County homicide investigator, is working on an unusual case: an autopsy of a nun reveals breast implants, which hint at a previous, not so holy life. After the FBI is called in, evidence links Matt to the nun killing. Like all of Coben's stand-alone thrillers, this is a long, extremely complex tale with plenty of gunfire, betrayals, late-night chases and good people forced to go on the lam. All the characters have extensive, interesting histories, which makes their actions believable under the extreme circumstances that engulf them. Some readers have felt that Coben has been treading water with his last two outings, but this one should re-establish his credentials. Major ad/promo. (Apr. 26)

Reviewed on: 03/07/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305755-0
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Paperback - 352 pages - 978-986-235-404-9
Paperback - 421 pages - 978-0-451-23502-2
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Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305756-7
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