I have never read a book with a more annoying male protagonist than this one. He is pretentious, frumpy, arrogant, selfish and delusional. Yet the story is compelling, because who doesn't want to believe that a lost love can be recaptured, against all odds? It's just that...life is more complicated than that.
Human beings face challenges. Some of those roadblocks can't be overcome. Coben seems to believe in the law of attraction - if you want it badly enough, you can get it. Well, no matter how much I want to drive, I am never going to be able to obtain a driver's license, because I am visually impaired. But there are other things in life that I can have - do have - because I worked hard and earned them. Dream big, but back up your dreams with action. Don't sit and wish for what can never be. More importantly, destroying other people's lives so you can get what you want is vicious. Jake is no better than his adversaries. In some ways, he is worse, because he cloaks his cruelty in charm and bravado. "I love her," he says. His actions say, "Don't get in my way or you'll regret it".
I found this a fast-paced read, and was excited to learn the outcome of Jake's quest. But really, he should have left well enough alone. Sometimes sacrifice is far more noble than treacly declarations of undying adoration.