Monday, April 6, 2015

The Information Age Thriller

The Stranger – Harlan Coben (Dutton Books)

Harlan Coben is evil. If you ever bought something online that you’re not proud of, or maybe have an online secret that you don’t want to admit or would prefer to keep under cover then the latest from Harlan Coben, The Stranger will send a chill up your spine.

Welcome to the information age thriller ala Coben. Leading a seemingly vanilla suburban life, attorney Adam Price and his family get plunged headlong into life and death tale when a mysterious stranger tips him off to his wife’s bizarre deception; in which she faked a pregnancy with the aid of an online prank website.

What starts out as a group of supposed do-gooders trying to “right wrongs” quickly escalates to blackmail and worse. Coben spins another masterful tale that will keep you guessing right to the end. Like all good mysteries, the story has elements of reality that make the story more believable and given the recent spate of high profile data breaches, identity theft and online privacy intrusions, The Stranger packs a realistic bite.

Coben adds a dose of reality with ultracompetitive suburban sports parents, the unemployment impact of the economic downturn, and banks foreclosing on upside down homes.

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