A letter to Mr. Coben

Dear Mr. Coben;

I would just like to inform you that I am cranky this morning and there are sizeable bags underneath my eyes. Oh yes, I knew it was a bad idea to start reading your newest book, Caught, late in the afternoon.  Bad idea, bad idea, yet I still couldn’t resist and I continued not resisting until sometime after midnight. And the first line? I knew opening that red door would destroy my life? Was there really any way I could not be sucked into the story? I would like to say, for the record, I figured out the mystery around page 150. Then again on page 250 and again forty pages after that and finally the light dawned on page 438, the last one. Is that really quite fair, Mr. Coben? To write a book so filled with twists, turns and loop de loops that the poor reader is never sure until the very last paragraph wherein lies the truth? And the characters, Mr. Coben. Perhaps you could throw in a few of the cardboard variety instead of these fully fleshed, fully flawed types hiding secrets that are delicately teased out over the course of this maddening novel? Really, Mr. Coben, is it strictly necessary to toy with the reader in this way? And the absolute crumb on the cake, Mr. Coben, was the cruel way you inserted the chapter of Live Wire, your next installment, at the back. That was just beyond the pale. Imagine how many hours of sleep I’m going to lose  over that one. Please, Mr. Coben, at least have the decency to put a warning on the cover. DO NOT START THIS BOOK LATE IN THE DAY. Tired readers all over America will thank you.


Dana Mentink

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