Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Harlen Coben – Play Dead

It should have been the happiest time of her life. But Laura Ayers’ honeymoon turned into a nightmare when her sports superstar husband went for a swim – and never returned.

Whilst struggling to cope with her almost overwhelming grief, Laura is plagued by questions and doubts. Was it an accident? Or suicide? Or is it some terrible, ill-judged hoax? As events unfold, Laura starts to question David’s mysterious disappearance. She begins to uncover a conspiracy which reaches deep into the past, and is now slowly beginning to destroy everyone involved. Someone will do anything to keep Laura away from the awful truth – and she has no idea who she can trust…….”

This is the first Harlen Coben book I have read. I find it really hard to find books that I enjoy, I don’t know why but it’s always been the case. Romantic stories and Chic Lit don’t appeal and after draining the Vampire fiction market I had to find something else!

I wasn’t disappointed. This is one of Coben’s early stories that hasn’t until now been published and he hasn’t edited from his original. This made me a little wary as his introduction starts with “Okay, if this is the first book of mine you’re going to try, stop now. Return it. Grab another. It’s okay, I’ll wait.” Oh dear, I thought! If a book doesn’t grab me in it’s opening 100 pages I don’t finish it – an awful habit I know but life is too short!!! So I was prepared for this to be one of those.

How wrong could I have been. Coben’s writing constantly has you guessing and there are twists, turns and somersaults throughout the book. I won’t go into the plot more than the synopsis above, but right from word go there are questions you’re dying to know the answers to. I have to say I got one of the twists early on, but once I’d finished the book I realised I was probably meant to! It was such an easy to read story that I got lost in it sometimes, but then isn’t that how a good book should be?

I loved this story and it has everything, love, deceit, crime, trust, friendship……it even made me shed a tear a couple of times. Coben builds the characters well, even the ones we’re not sure we should be feeling sympathy towards. They jump from the pages as people who could be real and I loved that. It’s also written from many perspectives, so you get into the minds of everyone involved throughout the story and I liked that. The great thing was, there was no confusion. Coben’s work flows in such a way that you really get to learn what makes each character tick.

So my recommendation is simple, whether you’ve read his work before or not give this one a go. If I managed to read it in under a week then that means it’s good! Let me know what you think? Oh and if you’ve read any of his others I’d love to hear some recommendations of where to go next because I think I’ve just found a new author to add to my list of favourites!

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

Dead And Gone

No, no don’t worry – no one has died, well, no one real anyway!!!


I’m talking about the book I last read! I finished it last night and Dead and Gone is the 9th Book in the True Blood series, the final one currently available. So I thought I would take some time to review the series so far…..


If you haven’t read the books, you may know a bit about them from the TV series. Currently showing Season 2 on FX and approaching the release of Season 3 in the states it has been very popular! Why? Well it’s more than Vampires in my opinion!


The title True Blood takes it’s name from the synthetic blood that has made it possible for the Vampire community to “come out of the coffin” so to speak. The story follows Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress from Bon Temps. We start the story with Sookie, and the small town, receiving it’s 1st Vampire since they came out 2 years previously. But Sookie is no ordinary waitress, she is also telepathic and is drawn towards Bill the Vampire because she realises she can’t read his mind and relishes the silence that radiates from him.


As you can imagine, there are lots of twists and turns and Sookie and Bill form a friendship that turns to love and sees Sookie running for her life at the end of the 1st book, Dead Until Dark. But if you think this is just another Vampire Romance, think again. There is something in this series for everyone, although it’s definitely not for the younger ones! A lot of comparisons are made between Sookie and Bella of Twilight, but I am not going to do that. I personally think both stories are fantastic but the ONLY comparison that can be made is that both contain Vampires and Shapeshifters. There the similarities end.


True Blood is currently 9 books, with Book 10 – Dead in The Family – released on June 11th 2010. The fact that the series is so long and has such avid followers is, in my opinion, down to the fact it contains a lot of details. The characters are developed right through the series and and there is always a new twist. But, the thing I love is that each of the books is a story in it’s own right. I personally have read them all, in order. But if you wanted to dip in and out you could. I would recommend reading the lot though because that was the authors intention.


As with the TV series, these books contain action, romance, sex (a friend of mine referred to the TV series as “Vampire Porn”!), comedy and an underlying story of life. It covers the changing relationships between the whole community of Bon Temps and I for one am now counting down to the release of the next book! Oh and the arrival of Season 2 DVD which is released today and on it’s way from Amazon!


If you’re put off by the word Vampire, please don’t be, I would recommend this series to everyone who enjoys a good dip into sheer escapism. The series even made my cousin ask me whether I thought in a few years the Vampires may really come out………….I love it on paper, but real life is good the way it is! Let me know what you think if you have read these!

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , | 2 Comments