Love love me some Harlan Coben! Every book I've read by him is FANTASTIC -- I just can't get enough (PS - I just downloaded Caught on my Kindle...can't wait to start it!!).
This book was great, all of the twists and turns kept me hooked, and I couldn't put it down.
Marc, a doctor, wakes up in the hospital, and realizes he is on the wrong side of the bed. He has no memory of anything happening to him, and he is completely confused. 12 days prior to this, Marc was shot in his own home. His wife was found dead in the house, and their 6 month old daughter is missing. Some investigators come to the hospital to check in with Marc and see if there is anything that he can remember that might be able to help them find Marc's daughter. Marc's best friend, Larry, is an attorney, and he strongly advises Marc not to answer any further questions. As it always goes, the first person that is suspected in the murder of a married woman is the husband.
There was no ransom note, or really any sign of a struggle, so the cops believe that Marc did this for some reason. A few weeks later, a ransom note shows up, and demands that Marc follow all of the rules, or his kid is as good as dead. Lost and confused, Marc turns to Larry, who advises him to let the investigators in on the news. He does, and it turns out poorly. Once he gets to the drop location, there is a white van waiting on him. The money is exchanged, but there is no kid, the kidnappers just run with the money. Marc is extremely upset, and spends a lot of time trying to figure out what happened to him and his family.
Marc is visited by a young woman he used to go to school with. He is actually currently living in the house she grew up in. He had always heard rumors growing up about how the girl was physically/mentally/sexually abused by her father, but didn't know if it was true or not. She has been lurking around his house, and when he is finally able to catch up to her, he questions her. She tells him that the house still haunts her, and she's been visiting for quite some time. He asks her about his wife, and she says that she had met with her previously. She is unable to give a lot of information on the matter, but does lead him to a hidden day planner in the basement, where he finds a disc that contains information that will help him figure out what is going on. The disc is password protected, but he finds out that it is from a private investigators firm. When he gets there, he is unable to get any information from them, as they claim that there is a confidentiality agreement that they cannot break. So dead end...he thinks.
Another ransom note comes out, and the outcome is just as bad. No money, no kid. Through more investigating Marc is able to find out what happened the day his wife was murdered. She had thought that Marc was cheating on her, so that is why she got pregnant in the first place -- to keep him (what a bitch...). She then hired a private investigator to follow him and figure out what was going on. The private investigator got some photos, but they were misleading, and incorrect. Marc was not cheating on his wife, but he was being contacted by an ex girlfriend. Marc's wife had decided to kill him, but everything went wrong. Marc's sister ended up showing up, and a lot more damage was done.
Larry had walked in on the crime scene and thought both Marc and his wife were dead. His only thought at that point was what to do with Marc's daughter. He had heard of a "doctor" that basically sold children, and thought that would be the best option. He took Marc's daughter to the agency, and cleaned up the crime scene as best as he could to make it look like it had been a robbery gone wrong. Marc finds all this out, and also finds out that Larry had been behind all of the ransom notes as well. Larry had wanted to make some money off the deal, and knew that Marc's wife came from a lot of money. He didn't see any harm in it, but Marc is unable to forgive Larry.
Marc is able to locate his daughter, and when they are reunited, he notices how happy she is with her new family. He knows that he will not be able to provide for his daughter as well as this new family is, so he decides to have a sort of joint custody with the other family. This works out well, and life goes on happily for all.
5 out of 5 stars