Monday, May 21, 2018
Books

Review: 'Stay Close' by Harlan Coben a family thriller of reinvented lives and a past that won't stay past Review: 'Stay Close' by Harlan Coben a family thriller of reinvented lives and a past that won't stay past

A hallmark of Harlan Coben's bestsellers has been his precise look at ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations, forced to deal with violence and the seamy side of life. These family thrillers are hauntingly realistic, showing how characters who could be our neighbors — or ourselves — discover an inner resolve.

Coben's 22nd novel spins a new approach to his family thrillers. In the excellent Stay Close, Coben shows us three people who know too well the sleazy side of life and how they have either risen above their past, or fallen in its mire. Stay Close works well as a novel about past mistakes, fresh starts and regrets, showing the fragility of orderly lives.

Ray Levine, police detective Jack Broome and Megan Pierce are each bound, in some way, by the disappearance of Stewart Green 17 years ago in Atlantic City. Back then, Ray was a talented news photographer whose photos on the battlefield brought him acclaim and awards. Now he ekes out a living as a fake paparazzo "covering" events for the celebrity-fixated wealthy. Jack's investigation into Stewart's vanishing has become a mission for himself and for the man's family. Megan has reinvented herself as a suburban wife and mother of two, leaving behind the days when she was known as Cassie, an exotic dancer at an Atlantic City strip bar.

The disappearance of another man, 17 years to the day after Stewart vanished, pulls all three back together and kicks Broome's investigation into high gear.

Stay Close skillfully illustrates the effects of life-changing moments while delving deep into each character's psyche. Coben also weaves in the debilitating effects of physical and sexual abuse, showing how some people sadly accept this as part of their lives.

In Stay Close, Coben again shows his acumen for delving into our most intimate fears as he moves his story from quiet domesticity to sheer terror — all while keeping us highly entertained.

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Events: Tarbell.org founder Wendell Potter to discuss, sign book

Book TalkTarbell.org founder Wendell Potter (Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It) will discuss and sign his book at 4 p.m. May 23 at the St. Petersburg Main Library, 3745 Ninth Ave. N.Applications are ...
Published: 05/21/18
The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

The real stuff is how Tom Wolfe best used his write stuff

om Wolfe’s best writing lifted real people into legend: car designers and astronauts and disciples of LSD. With that writing, Wolfe lifted himself into legend as well.The author of 16 books, including such bestsellers as The Right Stuff and The Bonfi...
Published: 05/18/18
Review: In Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ evil can’t be true but must be true

Review: In Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ evil can’t be true but must be true

On a July day, Terry Maitland, one of the most popular men in Flint City, Okla. — high school English teacher, Little League coach, husband and father, recently named the town’s man of the year — attends a teachers convention in a city over an hour’s...
Published: 05/17/18

Events: Gilbert King to discuss ‘Beneath a Ruthless Sun’ at Inkwood in Tampa

Book TalkCutter Wood (Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime) will discuss and sign his nonfiction book about a murder on Anna Maria Island at 6 p.m. May 14 at Bookstore1, 12 S Palm Ave., Sarasota.The Gulfport Historical Society p...
Published: 05/11/18
Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

Notable: As Mother’s Day nears, these new books are timely

NotableMore about mothersFor Mother’s Day, three new books offer a range of takes on motherhood.Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience (Random House) by Allison Pataki is a memoir by a novelist whose 30-year-old husband ...
Published: 05/11/18
Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

Review: A criminal’s confession is just the beginning in Michael Koryta’s compelling ‘How It Happened’

It’s what every investigator hopes for: a tough case finally solved when one of the criminals confesses, providing solid details and even describing where the bodies are buried.Or, in Michael Koryta’s compelling new psychological thriller How It Happ...
Published: 05/10/18
Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

Anthony Award nominees include Tampa’s Michael Connelly, Down & Out Books

When the World Mystery Convention, a.k.a. Bouchercon, takes place in St. Petersburg in September and hands out its coveted Anthony Awards, the Tampa Bay Area will be well represented among the nominees.The award nominees, announced May 9, include Tam...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/10/18
Review: In Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon,’ the voice of slavery’s history speaks

Review: In Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon,’ the voice of slavery’s history speaks

It has taken Zora Neale Hurston’s book Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" 87 years to see print. But maybe it happened at just the right time.Just a week before the book’s May 8 publication date, rapper Kanye West opined in a TMZ intervie...
Published: 05/09/18
Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

When Rick Bragg told his mother that his new book about her would be titled The Best Cook in the World, Margaret Bragg protested: "I wasn’t even the best cook that lived on our road." Bragg writes, "I told her we couldn’t call it The Thi...
Published: 05/09/18
Review: Ace Atkins takes an artful turn with Spenser in ‘Old Black Magic’

Review: Ace Atkins takes an artful turn with Spenser in ‘Old Black Magic’

Art can bring us joy, enlarge our perspective, even enlighten us. Sometimes, though, it can make us behave badly.In Ace Atkins’ new novel, Old Black Magic, art makes people behave very badly indeed.Three works of art, to be specific. A Picasso sketch...
Updated one month ago