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Extended Audio Sample Stay Close Audiobook, by Harlan Coben Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.674 out of 53.674 out of 53.674 out of 53.674 out of 53.674 out of 5 3.67 (40 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Harlan Coben Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781441895400
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Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she’s got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at the age of forty he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as a paparazzo, pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Broome is a detective who can’t let go of a cold case—a local husband and father who disappeared seventeen years ago—and spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man’s family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up at any moment to step into them.

Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past never truly fades away. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American dream—the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest façades—they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.

Master of domestic suspense Harlan Coben delivers his trademark combination of page-turning thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities.

Praise for the narration of Stay Close by Harlan Coben, performed by Scott Brick:

“Scott Brick crafts characters not so much by shaping each individual voice with different accents but by expressions and tones that convey strong emotions. And the emotions are far ranging. Empathy, psychotic behavior, and frantic helplessness all figure into the narration as much as the plot. It’s a diverse group tied to the crimes: a crooked cop haunted by his conscience, two young psychopathic killers without remorse, old lovers who are trying to escape their past and confront their present. Brick’s narration is crucial as the solution is unearthed.” © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Coben’s new novel takes William Faulkner’s famous statement ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past’ as its starting point, with terrific results…Part crime procedural, part investigation of how and why people reinvent themselves, Stay Close is funnier and darker than many Coben thrillers and packs a lot of surprises. It’s the beach read of the pre-beach season.”

    People (four stars)

  • “The story is intense, the characters are interesting, and the writing is magnificent. Coben’s talent is in high gear as he takes his readers to the magical world of Atlantic City, a place where dreams either come true or die.”

    Huffington Post

  • “When everything explodes, the payoff is glorious. Stay Close is a perfect example of a master at the top of his game.”

    Associated Press

  • “Edgar-winner Coben continues to mine rich veins of terror in his New Jersey novels of domestic suspense, exploring both the reality and the ideal of family ties and the ease with which evil can destroy both. In this masterful stand-alone…Coben writes with wit and irony, and his flair for exposing the frail balance point between order and chaos in our lives has never been stronger than in this suspenseful outing.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Coben’s title describes perfectly how the suspense in this tour-de-force stand-alone works. It stays close in an unbelievably sustained way, giving the reader a steady stream of jolts and sinking feelings, as Coben’s three main characters face danger from without and from their own tricky psyches…Coben excels in descriptions of his characters’ tortured, ruminative inner lives. He also can pull out of their psychological nosedives to deliver some of the most shocking action scenes in current crime fiction. Once again, Coben uses the dives of Atlantic City as a backdrop, and what he does with the six-story pink construction known as Lucy the Elephant is worthy of Hitchcock. Satisfying on every level.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “His characters are so real this time around that they almost seem to rise off the printed page…In the end, though, it is the plot that will keep you reading. And if the ending isn’t a full-bore, happily-ever-after one, it is just enough so to be satisfying and remain believable.”

    Bookreporter.com

  • “While Harlan Coben’s plot involves many characters, he makes them memorable through their backstories. Scott Brick crafts characters not so much by shaping each individual voice with different accents but by using expressions and tones that convey strong emotions. And the emotions are far ranging. Empathy, psychotic behavior, and frantic helplessness all figure into the narration as much as the plot. It’s a diverse group tied to the crimes: a crooked cop haunted by his conscience, two young psychopathic killers, old lovers who are trying to escape their past and confront their present. Brick’s narration is crucial as the solution is unearthed.”

    AudioFile

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Priyasha | 2/12/2014

    " Harlan Coben has been a favorite mystery/thriller author of mine for quite a while. With all the previous books I've read from him, I've never been able to guess the ending. However, I didn't find "Stay Close" to be all as engaging as his other books. It was an interesting story, but I felt that he focused too much on progressing the plot and not enough on developing the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Edmands | 2/10/2014

    " A great book! Had that must-keep-reading quality. I have not read any Harlan coburn books before but I will do in the future! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 2/7/2014

    " Everyone once in a while I like to read this type of book. Its a quick read (less than on day for me) but fun and mindless. Great book for the holiday weekend. I enjoyed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jules Kirk | 2/6/2014

    " Didn't enjoy this as much as previous novels by HC - found it difficult to like some of the characters. Still a good read though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 1/29/2014

    " Loved this book. Harlan has such a way to spin a thriller mystery that keeps you turning the pages for more. Never quite knowing until the end the answers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 1/26/2014

    " The story here is a real stretch but still an edge of your seat thriller. I did guessed the ending which doesn't happen with Coben. Megan is a suburban soccer mom who walked on the wild side back in the day and her family knows nothing about her former life. She makes the mistake of revisiting this life and gets involved in secrets, murder, lies, etc. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Reid | 1/22/2014

    " I don't know if I'll finish this. It seems to be predictable and more than a bit ugly. In ways that aren't necessary either to advance the story or some set of sensibilities. There are the quickly drawn, accurately rendered characters. Misfits and those who are just trying to scrape by in their tawdry lives. There is violence; there are sudden connections, but it seems to me the suspense is lost. One knows what will happen in the next chapter; whose bones will be broken and why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/22/2014

    " Usual great crime stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 1/18/2014

    " Solid B murder mystery. I couldn't stay focused all the time. The suspense just wasn't there for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sondra | 12/30/2013

    " Like HARLAN cOBEN books alot and this was one of the ones I liked. Was a little slow and/or confusing in parts but all melded together in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan Leicht | 12/27/2013

    " I always enjoy reading Harlan Coben, however, the conclusion was too unbelievable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherryi | 12/25/2013

    " serial killer fiction usually scare me, but I enjoyed this one. well written, suspenseful without the gore and heeby jeeby. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carla | 12/13/2013

    " I really enjoyed this suspense thriller. I have read a few of Harlan Coben's books and find them hard to put down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 11/28/2013

    " Another great Harlan Coben Book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah Minchew | 11/21/2013

    " I normally love anything by Harlan Coben, but I just couldn't get into this story. I skim read the last 100 pages just to find out what happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Ballenger | 11/17/2013

    " Wow, this one get a bit intense. I was not prepared for some of things that happened in this book. I was a great read as always, but Harlan did add some extra punch to this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Colvin-Jarvis | 11/7/2013

    " Just a bit repetitive. I get it, you love your kids. Enjoyable though "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeri | 11/7/2013

    " Oh, so juicy! Three main characters with intersecting lives; add one missing person from 17 years ago, mix well and look out. Raced through this wonderful book with my heart pounding. I really enjoy Coben's stand alone thrillers, and this was right up there for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keith | 10/30/2013

    " Another one for the editor. Written like it was a proposal for a movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 6/19/2013

    " Just OK. Entertaining but not his best or the best of anybody. Mixed up plot and characters. Maybe too long also. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carla | 4/25/2013

    " It was OK but not a favorite. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cass | 3/18/2013

    " I love Harlan Coben but this book was not up to his usual standards. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Lauer anderson | 1/11/2013

    " Not one of my favorites of Coben, but still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 10/27/2012

    " Coben never lets me down. Another classic tale of domestic mystery and suspense. Now it's the wife's turn to not be able to put this book down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 10/19/2012

    " I love Harlan Coben's books! This one was great, and I read it fast because I was so into it! I wish I could say I guessed "who did it" but it took me until two pages before it was revealed to figure it out. I loved trying to figure it out though. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iris | 8/17/2012

    " Terrific thriller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J.T.H. | 8/3/2012

    " This was another winner from Harlan Coben and it was made even better by the excellent narration. Spine-chilling and gut-wrenching are two very apt descriptions of this audiobook. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ree | 8/3/2012

    " It was a good story. It was not his usual. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie Ogan | 8/1/2012

    " not my favorite Harlen Coben - but good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kylie Bolling | 7/31/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. It was constantly twisting and turning, and the ending was great! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David W. | 7/28/2012

    " A very well-written and suspenseful story with an ending I never would have guessed in a million years. I enjoyed this novel quite thoroughly! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie M. | 7/12/2012

    " I've listened to several of Harlan's earlier novels and I'm afraid this wasn't nearly as good as those. It was too formulaic and it felt sloppy and rushed as well. Very disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D.G. | 7/9/2012

    " Great story, very suspenseful and an ending that tied everything together masterfully. This one was a real thrill ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 TT8675309 | 6/22/2012

    " I found this novel to be very riveting. Several sections are fairly disturbing because of the violence but aside from that I have no complaints. There's plenty of suspenseful twists that kept me interested the whole way through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve G. | 6/12/2012

    " Not Harlan's best but a pretty good effort. I liked the plot but it moved too slowly in some sections. The ending was great though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Bernstein | 5/25/2012

    " It's hard to put this one down; keeps you guessing till the end. He always comes through with a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Belle | 5/9/2012

    " THIS AUDIOBOOK WAS GREAT. AWESOME STORY AND A VERY GOOD SURPRISE ENDING. THIS IS NOW MY NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/26/2012

    " I found the portrayal of women off-putting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K.L. | 4/14/2012

    " I recently listened to this audiobook on a long roadtrip and I was treated by the author (and narrator) to a very well-crafted story with plenty of twists and a ton of suspense. One of the best suspense novels I've read in quite some time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darvin Babiuk | 3/29/2012

    " Coben is just a great writer; he takes simple, every-day people in average settings and puts them in believable peril, all the while making us care for their well-being. No false notes here. "

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About the Author
Author Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including eight novels that have made the #1 New York Times bestsellers list. He is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards, and in 2010, Live Wire won the world’s most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing, worth €125,000. His books are published in forty one languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.