I Will Find You by Harlan Coben starts by introducing readers to David, a man in prison for murdering his son Matthew. He tells us he didn’t do it but didn’t fight the conviction because he blames himself anyway. David’s a likeable lead and though the book unfolds in first person, it occasionally dips into a second person narrative, as if he’s talking to us… so we know HE also knows most people in prison claim to be innocent.
He’s accepted his fate however until his former sister-in-law arrives with a photograph of a boy she believes to be Matthew – supposedly murdered by David five years earlier.I Will Find You
by Harlan Coben
Published by Century
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
David and Cheryl Baskin are living the dream - married, a beautiful new house in the suburbs, a three-year-old son named Matthew - when tragedy strikes in the worst way possible.
David awakes to find himself covered in blood... but not his own, his son's. While David is sure he did not murder his son, the overwhelming evidence against him puts him behind bars indefinitely.
Then, five years following his imprisonment, his wife's sister brings David a photograph of Matthew looking very much alive, accompanied by an unknown figure.
Can David escape prison, find Matthew and bring him home?
The consequences are dire, but prospect of being reunited with his son is way too tempting to resist.
I struggled a little with the feasibility of some of the assertions here. Coben’s a little vague about the crime itself initially so I wondered why they’d think Matthew could be alive as there’s mention of David finding a bloodied body. Surely there would have been some DNA tests if they weren’t able to physically identify the body (and sorry for that visual!), given they would have autopsied the body as part of the investigation? And then we learn that a potential witness may have lied and I wondered why David wouldn’t have challenged their testimony more at the time given he tells us he didn’t do it. Even if he was accepting his fate, why wouldn’t he wonder why a neighbour blatantly lied?
I was also a smidge confused with some of the connections here and we learn that powerful people on the outside have been determined to make David’s life hell – a type of revenge if you like… though of course there’s more at play.
These players meant that this became a smidge convoluted. I’m conscious Coben’s work is increasingly being adapted for television and wonder if it’s changed his writing style to be a little more action-focussed with lots of baddies and multiple stories being played out.
Having said that, this is still a great thriller as David and his sister-in-law race against time (well David’s recapture and Rachel’s arrest for assisting him), all the while not knowing if Matthew is alive or if they’ve sacrificed their freedom for nothing.
I Will Find You by Harlan Coben will be published in Australia by Penguin Books (Century Print) and available from 14 March 2023.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.