We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of No Second Chance by Harlan Coben

No Second Chance

by Harlan Coben

No Second Chance by Harlan Coben X
No Second Chance by Harlan Coben
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2003, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2004, 448 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Mired in a deepening quicksand of deception and deadly secrets Marc clings to one unwavering vow - to bring home his six-month-old kidnapped daughter, at any cost.

Harlan Coben "serves up everything you could ask for in a can't-put-it-down book...rocket-fast pace with solid emotional underpinning" (San Francisco Chronicle). Now, he returns with an explosive novel about the love of a father, in a story where nothing is what it seems-and where hope and fear collide in the most surprising ways.

When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter…

Marc Seidman awakens to find himself in an ICU, hooked up to an IV, his head swathed in bandages. Twelve days earlier, he had an enviable life as a successful surgeon, living in a peaceful suburban neighborhood with his beautiful wife and a baby he adored. Now he lies in a hospital bed, shot by an unseen assailant. His wife has been killed, and his six-month-old daughter, Tara, has vanished. But just when his world seems forever shattered, something arrives to give Marc new hope: a ransom note.

We are watching. If you contact the authorities, you will never see your daughter again. There will be no second chance.

The note is chilling, but Marc sees only one thing—he has the chance to save his daughter. He can’t talk to the police or the FBI. He doesn’t know who he can trust. And now the authorities are closing in on a new suspect: Marc himself. Mired in a deepening quicksand of deception and deadly secrets-about his wife, about an old love he’s never forgotten, and about his own past—he clings to one, unwavering vow…to bring home Tara, at any cost.

Both a white-knuckle thriller and an emotionally powerful tale about the loyalty of old friends and the bond between parent and child, No Second Chance is another masterpiece from an author who writes “suspense at its finest” (Jeffrey Deaver).

Chapter I



When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter. At least, that is what I want to believe. I lost consciousness pretty fast. And, if you want to get technical about it, I don't even remember being shot. I know that I lost a lot of blood. I know that a second bullet skimmed the top of my head, though I was probably already out by then. I know that my heart stopped. But I still like to think that as I lay dying, I thought of Tara.

FYI: I saw no bright light or tunnel. Or if I did, I don't remember that either.

Tara, my daughter, is only six months old. She was lying in her crib. I wonder if the gunfire frightened her. It must have. She probably began to cry. I wonder if the familiar albeit grating sound of her cries somehow sliced through my haze, if on some level I actually heard her. But again I have no memory of it.

What I do remember, however, was the moment Tara was born. I remember Monica - that's Tara's mother - bearing down...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

People Magazine Page-Turner of the Week
Coben stands on the accelerator and never lets up…riveting.

The Daily News
If you like smart thrillers ... go out and buy No Second Chance.

The Houston Chronicle
This is a wild ride.

The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Coben's plotting skills are in vigorous form, and he has devised a cleverly intricate scheme surrounding Tara's disappearance ... No Second Chance has a life of its own.

Booklist
Starred Review. Very few writers induce in their readers the kind of trancelike state, punctuated by frequent “wows,” that most of us associate with much-loved books from childhood. Coben can.

Kirkus Reviews
Once again, Coben expertly tugs at a suburban citizen's most ordinary fears until he finds a mind-boggling criminal conspiracy at the other end of the line... Irresistibly overstuffed.

Publishers Weekly
What Coben's thriller lacks in originality, it makes up for in sheer vigor; few browsers or dippers will put this down.

Reader Reviews

Emily

No Second Chance review
Both exciting and wonderful. It was very hard to put this book down. I'm 18 and the only books I read are by Harlan Coben because they are thrilling and are perfect if you looking for something new to read.
Cree

Harlan does it again
Once again, Mr. Coben does an outstanding job writing a murder mystery... weaving in details and characters that all come together beautfully and seamlessly in the end. While you know he always includes details for a reason, it is still a ...   Read More
Kim Izor...age 15

The book is outstanding! I started reading it for a book report, but got in to it right away. It's never ending thrill and excitment and the ending is priceless!
Michael Reed

New to Harlen's work. GREAT! One of those that you don't put down....not even to sleep...

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked No Second Chance, try these:

  • Exit Wounds jacket

    Exit Wounds

    by J.A. Jance

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More by this author

    A powerful tale that explores the darkest corners of human nature, revealing the grievous injuries inflicted behind locked doors, the unseen wounds that bleed and destroy and never heal.

  • Monkeewrench jacket

    Monkeewrench

    by P.J. Tracy

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More by this author

    The odd-ball crew of a software company create a computer game where the good guy always wins, but their game becomes a nightmare when someone starts duplicating the fictional murders in real life.

We have 4 read-alikes for No Second Chance, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Harlan Coben
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...
  • Book Jacket: Our Moon
    Our Moon
    by Rebecca Boyle
    In Our Moon: How Earth's Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution, and Made Us ...
  • Book Jacket: Neighbors and Other Stories
    Neighbors and Other Stories
    by Diane Oliver
    The history of American segregation, along with changes to it in the 1960s, is sometimes taught and ...
  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

  • Book Jacket

    Leaving
    by Roxana Robinson

    An engrossing exploration of the vows we make to one another and what we owe to others and ourselves.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.