” Memories, you see, hurt. The good ones most of all. ” (Prologue, p.3)
Tell No One pulses with shocking revelations and terrifying twists. It begins with a terrifying kidnap at the secluded Lake Charmaine, where David and his wife Elizabeth had their anniversary. It’s been eight years. David Beck is a widower mourning the loss of his wife and childhood-love, Elizabeth, who was kidnapped then murdered for reasons known to no one. Beck himself also suffered from a concussion after he was hit in the head.
A pediatrician by profession, Beck devotes his mind and energy to kids and their medical issues. Elizabeth’s case reopens as two bodies were found buried at Lake Charmaine along with the weapon that might have hit him. Beck is suddenly taunted by the impossible idea that Elizabeth is not dead—when he receives cryptic communications, in the form of anonymous e-mails coded with words and places only himself and Elizabeth had known. He senses danger and proceeds secretively as all the messages are signed “Tell No One.”
If Elizabeth was alive, where had she been for eight years? Why choose now of all times to come back from the grave—the same time, by coincidence, that the FBI starts suspecting you of killing her? And come on, do you really believe she’s still alive? . . . A hoax. Has this all been nothing but a hoax? (Ch.6, p.131)
If Elizabeth is dead, how does a stranger know of their secrets and codes? So begins the reverse journey of David Beck into his wife’s life. He probes the past, digs the details,and begins to question everything revolving her death—the dubious details of how she was retrieved and transferred to the morgue, the autopsy, and burial, all performed without his knowing since he was injured. While Beck investigates a public defender whom Elizabeth had met regarding a high-profile murder case and sheds light into her own murder, the FBI has him on suspicion of murder of his wife. Pictures of Elizabeth’s injuries also become available that point to domestic violence. This search for truth only leads to more unanswered questions for all parties. What is in store for Beck not only shakes the core of him but leaves him doubtful about everything he knew his wife ever was.
Part of the mystery, I guess, but for the first time, I could feel the chasm between us. Our relationship had survived so much. I wondered if it could survive the truth. Or for that matter, the unspoken lies. (Prologue, p.1)
Secrets, tragedies, lies, falsehoods and murders all wait to be unleashed, as Beck goes up against even more improbable foes. An interesting, but believable cast of people comes into his aid. A celebrity lawyer Hester Crumstein, grateful drug-dealer Tyrese Barton, and his own sister’s lover Shauna—all play a part in this circuitous vendetta plan brought on by a billionaire who wants to revenge his son’s death at all expense. The intricate plot is well-developed and well-paced. Coben turns the story on its head every few chapters. That final twist really throws me off. Despite a few plot holes, this is a gripping novel about the power of love and loss. This is the ancestor of Gone Girl.
370 pp. Mass Paper. [Read|Skim|Toss] [Buy|Borrow]