Caught by Harlan Coben | Book Review | Accidental Death
Caught by Harlan Coben is a fast pace and interesting book, with a strong female character.
But the question that stays with me is that Wendy Tynes seek forgiveness, but does not offer it.
Though both the cases are different, in both cases, the life of a good man is ruined—by the female running on adrenaline.
Then there is the question of how readily we accept the charges of paedophilia or abuse on men, with no proper inquiry. Most importantly, once the men are accused of such heinous crime, they become the culprit in the society, whether the accusations can be proved or not.
Even if somehow, court hearing comes in favour of men, they can’t live a respected life any more.
There is an episode in Rick and Morty, where they both see the memories Rick has deleted from Morty’s mind. One memory is Morty accidentally accusing a male teacher for abuse. The neighborhood shunned him, and principal fires him, without any investigation.
Later, it turns out Morty was wrong, and the man commits suicide.
We should, and must take kids seriously if they are saying someone is abusing them. But at some point, we should investigate ourselves, because kids get fooled too easy. They see X and call it Y.
Caught by Harlan Coven
The book is intensely fast. I finished it in only two-run. The trick writer use to create suspense is like “small spell but hard to break”.
What Harlan Coben does is to reveal what is going to happen in future chapters in a single line. It is like giving a spoiler, but then a person has to read to that part of the book to find how it happened, and what is the consequences of it.
It is similar to read the last line of the page/para when you are still on the first line. Then the anticipation of how the story is going to shape to provide that result make you continue reading the book.
As I said, small but nice trick. I read it in other books too, and this is nothing new, but it is good to see such excellent use.
Now, coming to the story of Caught by Harlan Coben, it is the story of Wendy Tynes and how she does a sting operation of a man. She is sure that the man is paedophile, but with time, new thing surfaced, and she realized that she might be wrong.
Also, there is a missing girl. Missing person novels are cliché in thrillers, but here the story is not focused on the missing person, but the story is around her.
To say much about the story is to put the spoiler, and one has to careful while reviewing the suspense novels.
Let’s look at another aspect of the book.
All the characters in the book are good. There is no evil person, no psychopath, or killer. They are trying to play best in the condition they are.
Wendy Tynes seems to be stubborn reporter, but as soon as she realises that there is more to the story, she starts chasing it. She is the type of reporter I want to be.
Chasing stories without caring about anything and revealing the truths to the World. But, one can only do a few things in life, and this is the tragedy. A person wants to do many things, but it is not possible. At some point, you choose a path and start walking on it, and then you realised that it is impossible to go back and restart. And to begin a new path is also hard at that point, as the path has become comfortable, and providing good.
Wendy Tynes is focused, passionate, and strong reporter, who will go to any extent to find the truth. And she does that, she finds the truth, despite all the reason not to.
Then there is her father-in-law, the dislike-able character of the story. Sometimes I feel like the author tries to put themselves in the story, and then they make those characters do things that they want to do.
Like George Martin makes a girl fuck a fat stranger man in Game of Thrones. This is some fantasy.
Similarly, in this book Tynes father in law is supposed to be this wise person who is living his life to fullest, and he is a bad-ass old man, with bike, and band. He proudly shows his arms and tells one-night-stand stories with random chicks.
But whatever, enough with the vitriol.
Then there is ex-soldier, who is supposed to serve justice if the court fails. That arc is good.
Forgiveness or Closure
What is forgiveness?
I guess forgiveness is all about giving closure to another person and telling him that you are letting him go. That’s what people seek.
Maybe people are ashamed of what they do, or perhaps they don’t. But they like to hear that the other person is ready to let them go for what they did. And not everyone does this.
People keep the hate in them, and then it poisons themselves. But that poison is necessary too, or else how will you remember what happened to you. If you let the person go, you are also letting the thing happened with you vanish.
But the consequences of that is still there, so it is difficult to forgive people.
People often say, forgive but never forget, but if you really forgive someone, there is nothing remember then. It is like, if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said, as the truth will never change.
In the book, Wendy Tynes does not forgive the killer of her husband, but she seeks forgiveness from the man she accused of paedophilia.
A person can choose to be hypocrite, is not it the best thing, then what is?
Do I recommend the book?
This is the first novel I read of Harlan Coben. I don’t how good as a writer he is, but I enjoyed this novel. Sure it is not at the level of Sidney Sheldon, and that fake attempt to give the 3-D perspective to the character by pulling the dead daughter bullshit story does not work.
And what kind of cosmic horror it is that humans can die accidentally. We can live our life so cautiously, and still some day we will drink one glass extra, & od ourselves. This fragility is terrorizing, yet so comforting.
But, it is a good read while traveling or when you are alone.