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Review: Shelter by Harlan Coben

Shelter by Harlan Coben
Published by Orion
Challenge: DAC
Source: Review Copy

Mickey Bolitar’s year can’t get much worse. After witnessing his father’s death and sending his mom to rehab, he’s forced to live with his estranged Uncle Myron and switch high schools.

A new school comes with new friends and new enemies, and lucky for Mickey, it also comes with a great new girlfriend, Ashley. For awhile, it seems like Mickey’s train-wreck of a life is finally improving — until Ashley vanishes without a trace. Unwilling to let another person walk out of his life, Mickey follows Ashley’s trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that this seemingly sweet, shy girl isn’t who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey’s father. Soon, Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it makes high school drama seem like a luxury – and leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew. 

Harlan Coben is one of the very few adult authors I can claim to actually have read and enjoyed so when I heard he was writing a young adult series I knew I would want to get my hands on it asap. I am pleased to say that Shelter was every bit as satisfying as his adult novel (maybe even more so) and I really enjoyed reading it.

Mickey is the new kid at school. He has been sent to live with his Uncle after the death of his father and institutionalisation of his mother. From day one he isn't too sure about his new home. The crazy "Bat Lady" said things to him about his father that left him unsettled and his girlfriend (if you can call her that yet) has gone missing without a trace. This grips Mickey's curiosity and the rest of the book follows him as he tries to solve the mystery he has found himself in the middle of.

I actually thought Mickey was a fantastic character, cool without being nasty with a brilliant sense of how to be a good friend. I particularly loved the relationships he built up with Ema and Spoon the two rather odd individuals he meets when he first starts High School. I thought Ema in particular was brilliantly funny and stole the show whenever she was in a scene as she was so fast thinking and witty.

The mystery side of the story is just what I have come to expect from a Harlan Coben. There are loads of twists and turns which keep you guessing right through until the very end of the book meaning you are in for a bit of a rollercoaster ride because you never really know what is going to happen next and which way the author is going to go.

Whilst this book came to a satisfying end in itself I have been left with so many more questions that were opened up towards the end of the story about Mickey's family and their background which I am dying to know more about. I cannot wait for the next instalment to be released.


Sarah said…
I haven't been reading many crime / thriller stories recentley but I really like the sound of this one. Think I might have to buy a copy :o)
ooo I may have to check this one out! It sounds great
Anonymous said…
Shelter sounds really good. I've enjoyed some of his adult books as well. Loving the sound of this new YA series!
I keep seeing this one about and wonderfing if it's a book for me.. Still on the fence!