Parents' Guide to

Seconds Away

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teen thriller sequel lacks punch of previous volume.

Book Harlan Coben Mystery 2012
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SECONDS AWAY may pick up only a few days after the events in Shelter, the first volume in this thriller series, but it can't match the energy and inventiveness of its predecessor. The central mystery -- Who shot Rachel and her mother, and why? -- does not develop compellingly. The overarching mystery of Mickey's dead father, however, takes a few intriguing twists, but that's clearly a plot line that won't be tied off until some future installment. There's also a growing plausibility factor in Second Away: Does absolutely everyone in this town harbor a mind-blowing secret? Author Harlan Coben is a pro at this kind of suburban intrigue, but he's going to need to step up his game next time.

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