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Caught by Harlan Coben
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Caught (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Harlan Coben

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1,615None4,483 (3.8)49
Member:Samqua
Title:Caught
Authors:Harlan Coben
Info:Dutton Adult (2010), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Caught by Harlan Coben (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
EDITORIAL REVIEW: **From the #1 *New York Times* bestselling master of suspense comes a fast-paced, emotion-packed novel about guilt, grief, and our capacity to forgive** 17-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst. Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission, to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborateand nationally televised—sting operations. Working with local police on her news program Caught in the Act, Wendy and her team have publicly shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined. In a novel that challenges as much as it thrills, filled with the astonishing tension and unseen suburban machinations that have become Coben’s trademark, *Caught* tells the story of a missing girl, the community stunned by her loss, the predator who may have taken her, and the reporter who suddenly realizes she can’t trust her own instincts about this story—or the motives of the people around her. Praise for *Long Lost*: "Coben is one of the best authors around at writing page-turning suspense, as *Long Lost* makes clear." -*Chicago Sun-Times* "Roller-coaster plot and savvy dialogue...All the ingredients of a good old- fashioned thriller: murder, action and wit." -*New York Daily News*
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
A high school girl goes missing; the police and a reporter work the case to find the predator.

Oh dear, another read that just didn't hold my attention. And, that was a shocker because I really enjoy Coben's standalones. I must say that I did enjoy the prologue and looked forward to the story, but as it continued I never fully connected. When a few new characters (and there were many) were introduced, I disengaged some more. I did enjoy the ending, though. Ultimately, only truly liking the beginning and the ending does not make a great read. I'm glad to be moving on.

Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy ( )
  ThoughtsofJoyLibrary | Aug 20, 2013 |
Seventeen year old Haley McWaid is a good girl, captain of her suburban New Jersey lacrosse team, and was headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams. Her mother awakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before and three months quickly pass without word from the girl. Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission; to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborate sting operations. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined. Princeton Univ, Sterns Suite #109 with Dan Mercer, Phil Turnball, Farley Parks, Kelvin Tilfer and Steven Miciano "as roommates." ( )
  Gatorhater | Jun 26, 2013 |
Harlan Coben is one of the few fiction writers I like, mainly because when he writes a mystery, he includes the human element, his books are part mystery, partly a commentary on human nature.

In this book, like in many of his books, he shows how the things we do affect us for the rest of our lives. It is also interesting how he reveals thought processes, he weaves modern technology into the story and provides enough twists to keep me interested.

More then a mystery, this is a story of how modern technology can be abused, and how revenge is ‘a dish best served cold’ for many people. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Apr 4, 2013 |
Caught opens with the life of Dan Mercer, social worker and all around good-guy, falling apart. Feeling what turns out to be a justified sense of unease Dan makes his way to an address at which one of the troubled children he counsels is waiting in apparent distress. When he gets there he is instead ambushed by a TV reporter who accuses him of being a paedophile who had gone to the house with the hope of having sex with an underage girl. Ugliness ensues. Concurrently in the same town the McWaid family are dealing with the disappearance of their teenage daughter Hayley. The seemingly happy young girl has been missing for three months and her family are barely coping with the uncertainty her disappearance has caused.

Much of this story is told from the perspective of Wendy Tynes, the news reporter who ambushed Dan Mercer. I found her sanctimonious, hypocritical and obtuse. Did I mention sanctimonious? It was this holier-than-thou aspect of her personality that increasingly grated on my nerves as the book progressed. I should however separate the fact I did not like Wendy from the fact she is a well drawn, complex character. After all it is realistic that I wanted to run over her driving an SUV as I fantasize about doing that to people (and television reporters) in the real world too.

Despite my homicidal feelings for Wendy the characters were the best thing about this book. There were several really credible and quite beautiful depictions of ordinary people in horrible situations. The parents and siblings of Hayley McWaid were all heart-wrenchingly believable. As were the Fathers’ Club: a group of middle-aged men including one of Dan Mercer’s old college roommates who Wendy tracks down with the aim of discovering more about Dan’s past. All of the men had become unemployed thanks to the economic downturn and their various ways of coping with being men unable to provide for their families in a world they believe only values them by their ability to do so was touchingly portrayed. I even managed to find Wendy’s teenage son and father-in-law quite endearing despite their association with the self-righteous Ms Tynes.

Parts of the story were solidly plotted and more akin to traditional crime fiction than a thriller as layers of people’s pasts were unpicked to provide understanding and motivation for various happenings. For me though these portions were overshadowed by some clumsiness. Firstly I began to wonder if Coben had been paid by the Temperance Society (or some shady government body) to wedge the ‘alcohol is bad’ theme in wherever he could (and sometimes where he couldn’t). This was monotonous and a pretty big give away to one of the two major plot threads which meant I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop despite the several apparent endings to that storyline. The other jarring note for me was the inclusion of the use of social media as a plot device. At times this was well integrated but at others it felt overly awkward. I can’t say more without giving away spoilers but, for example, I simply did not believe the actions taken by Wendy’s employers to information they discovered via the blogosphere.

I acknowledge this as a character defect of my own but when I love a particular character I can forgive minor flaws in a book and, conversely, when I develop a slow-burning hatred for someone my brain turns each tiny imperfection of the book into a major distraction. This is, I think, partly to blame for my reaction to Caught but I’ve never claimed to be entirely objective here. If you’d like another perspective on the novel do read the review at Petrona which is untainted by a reviewer’s rampant hatred for the encapsulation of everything that is wrong with the world in the form of Wendy Tynes (though being fair to myself I think I would have found the plot clumsy anyway). This is only the second Harlan Coben book I’ve read and as I really enjoyed the other one I’ll happily give the man another go and I’ll look for more books narrated by Christopher Evan Welch who was excellent (rating is 2.5) ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
The following list of shockeroos does not amount to a spoiler, because you cannot possibly guess how “Caught” cobbles all of these together: a pedophile, an investigative reporter, an embezzling scheme, a drunken driver, a college boys’ conspiracy, a television show judge, a case of mistaken identity on the Internet, a disappearing corpse, a kneecap shooting, a dead hooker and a GPS. Half as many gimmicks and twice as much authorial forethought would have made for vast improvements.
 
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Book description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a fast-paced, emotion-packed novel about guilt, grief, and our capacity to forgive

17-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission, to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborate-and nationally televised-sting operations. Working with local police on her news program Caught in the Act, Wendy and her team have publicly shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined.

In a novel that challenges as much as it thrills, filled with the astonishing tension and unseen suburban machinations that have become Coben's trademark, Caught tells the story of a missing girl, the community stunned by her loss, the predator who may have taken her, and the reporter who suddenly realizes she can't trust her own instincts about this story-or the motives of the people around her.
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Dan Mercer stands accused of being a sexual predator thanks to the ambush journalism of Wendy Tynes, a tabloid TV reporter, who must cope with her husband's death caused by a drunken driver as well as reckon with the possibility of Mercer's innocence. When Tynes finds a link between a father of one of Mercer's alleged victims and others felled by scandal, she could become a killer's next victim.… (more)

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