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 more than a decade, 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—and 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 carefully constructed fiction.
In Harlan Coben’s Six Years, Jake Fisher attends the funeral of the man his lover abruptly married six years ago only to discover the grieving widow is not the woman he loved and lost. Thus begins the protagonist’s dogged, foolhardy search for a woman whose very existence is clouded in mystery. Obsessed with finding her, Jake sets about unraveling the tangled webs around her and the idyllic Vermont retreat at which they met, the violent roadblocks set to deter him only increasing his resolve.
As a whole, the read was a solid one, but here Coben seemed to rely on the formula of his previous novel, Tell No One. The plot devices were so similar there was a feeling of déjà vu: a disappearing woman, an email, a race to find her and those who will stop at nothing to ensure he fails, etc. The plot twists were too predictable in Six Years to be as clever as they could have been, and all of the connections were too convenient, so much so they became too far-fetched to be plausible.
While lacking in cleverness and suspense, Six Years is an enjoyable read that is slyly humorous and fast-paced.