cover image Caught


Harlan Coben. Dutton, $27.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-525-95158-2

Bestseller Coben (Hold Tight ) has a knack for taking everyday nightmares and playing with life’s endless “what ifs,” as shown in this stand-alone thriller, a tightly choreographed dance of guilt and innocence, forgiveness and retribution. Frank Tremont, a world-weary, near-retirement investigator for New Jersey’s Essex County, has to face his failure to solve his last case—the disappearance of a teenage girl. Meanwhile, Dan Mercer stands accused of being a sexual predator thanks to the ambush journalism of Wendy Tynes, a tabloid TV reporter, who must cope with her husband’s death caused by a drunken driver as well as reckon with the possibility of Mercer’s innocence. When Tynes finds a link between a father of one of Mercer’s alleged victims and others felled by scandal, she could become a killer’s next victim. If the wealth of characters dilutes the suspense, Coben gives readers lots to think about when judging rights and wrongs. 500,000 first printing; 12-city author tour. (Mar.)