Author: Harlan Coben
Pages: 338 pages
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Status: 2nd book in the Mickey Bolitar series
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
This action-packed second book in international bestseller Harlan Coben’s Mickey Bolitar young adult series follows Mickey as he continues to hunt for clues about the Abeona Shelter and the mysterious death of his father—all while trying to navigate the challenges of a new high school.
When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey and his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and the adorkably charming Spoon—find themselves at the center of a terrifying mystery involving the shooting of their classmate Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey need to keep himself and his friends safe from the Butcher of Lodz, but he needs to figure out who shot Rachel—no matter what it takes.
Mickey Bolitar is as quick-witted and clever as his uncle Myron, but with danger just seconds away, it is going to take all of his determination and help from his friends to protect the people he loves, even if he does not know who—or what—he is protecting them from.
From Kirkus Reviews: “Coben deftly weaves…multiple plot threads into a compelling whole. An involving thriller that moves like lightning."
Let me just take a moment to say that Harlan Coben is another master of cliff hangers (or should I say tormentor?).
Seconds Away is the sequel to Shelter, and picks up immediately where it left off. Mickey is still at Bat Lady's place where he learns the Butcher of Lortz (I think that's how it's spelled?) is the man who took his father's body away after their car accident.
Bat Lady kicks him out and once he's outside he is greeted by Bald Guy, who asks him some pretty strange questions. Mickey then tells Emma what just happened and what he learned at Bat Lady's place. At home, Mickey calls Rachel to check up on her and tell her that their history project is due the next day. She hangs up on him, and the next morning, police show up at his door telling him Rachel's been shot and her mother is dead. And Mickey? Well, he also happens to be a suspect, as he was the last to have any contact with her.
I liked this book a lot. Harlan's books are very action-y and have great plots. What I liked the most about this book is that we get a chance to learn about Ema's history and who she really is, and how she is connected to Mickey. Another thing I like is that we get to see Myron be uncle-like (but now I really have the urge to read his story). What I didn't like, however, was the fact that we didn't get to know what the Shelter really is and what they really do.
This book focused mostly on the groups search for Rachel's shooter. Mickey does go out and tries to find out more of the Shelter that his parents worked for and the Butcher (and nearly gets killed in the process by the way), but the mystery is never solved.
Mickey and his friends are nearly killed while looking for the shooter, but survive (except for poor Spoon who gets injured). When Mickey figures out what happens, Harlan Coben throws in a plot twist that DOES make sense, but at the same time, can also not (confusing, right?).
Here's the thing: there were a lot of things in this book that I didn't suspect/ didn't think would happen, but at the same time, there were MANY things that didn't happen at all.
We learn what really happened with Rachel, but her dad's story and Mickey's theory can both be considered the truth. We learn that the photo of the Butcher (aka the guy that took Mickey's dad's body away) isn't really the Lortz butcher, but his own personal Butcher. We learn that Rachel may have been with the Shelter looooong before Mickey arrived. We learn who the Bald Guy, who always appears out of no where, really is. We learn that from the Bald Guy, that being chosen for the Shelter can be considered both a privilege and a burden.
I know this review sounds confusing, but honestly, this is the best that I can do without giving out any more spoilers!
Overall, 3.5 out of 5 stars! I reallllllllllyyy hope we learn more about the Shelter really soon!