Six Years is one of Harlan Coben's stand-alone novels and boasts an ingenious plot that readers will puzzle over until the very end. The protagonist is Jake Fisher, a college professor who attended a writing retreat six years ago. At this retreat, he met a woman named Natalie and fell instantly in love with her. However, Natalie ended up marrying another man and made Jake promise to stay away from the wedding. For six years, Jake has not been in touch with Natalie, but he's never forgotten her. However, when he sees Natalie's husband's obituary, he decides to find her again. He's in for a shock because the dead man's widow is not the same woman he knew six years ago. This woman was married to the dead man for over twenty years and doesn't know of any Natalie.
So who exactly was Natalie and why did she lie about her identity? Jake is determined to find out. However, when he tries to get in touch with Natalie's sister, she blows him off, and when he tries to go back to the place that he met Natalie, he is told that it doesn't exist. Did Jake invent Natalie? Did she even exist? Or is she the figment of a lonely man's imagination? If she isn't, then Jake must marshal all his resources to solve the mystery of her disappearance.
Harlan Coben has come up with an original and attention-grabbing concept for this book. He really gets into the mind of his protagonist, from whose viewpoint the book is written. Like all of Coben's other books, Six Years is cleverly written and well-paced with a likable protagonist that readers will sympathize with.
Harlan Coben was raised in Livingston, NJ and attended Amherst College, where he decided in his senior year that he wanted to be a writer. He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, along with Dan Brown. He began his career with a couple of stand-alone novels and then started working on a series featuring Myron Bolitar. He followed this with more stand-alone novels and two young adult novels featuring Mickey Bolitar, Myron's nephew. He has been the recipient of an Edgar award, a Shamus award, and an Anthony award. He lives in Ridgewood, NJ with his wife, Ann Armstrong-Coben, who is a pediatrician, and four children.
Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for . . . but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact, everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life — a time he has never gotten over — is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking novel that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide. Download and start listening now!