Coben tackles the issue of privacy and how the internet and messaging has changed everything. He delves into how in today’s society anyone can write anything they want about you and your loved ones, and there isn’t much you can do. After all, once it is launched into cyberspace, it is out there.
At the core of Coben’s point of issue is the Baye family and the argument of a child’s right to privacy versus a parents’ moral and legal right to know. Mike and Tia install a spy program to keep tabs on their sixteen-year-old son Adam, after one of Adam’s buddies commits suicide. Not long after a tenebrous IM arrives, Mike tries to shelter Adam and keep him home, but instead Adam takes off. Hold Tight kicks into gear with riveting suspense as the search is on for Adam. One of the stops along Mike’s search for his son leads him to the dilapidated underbelly of the Bronx and a deeper look into the world of pharm parties. From there the suspense in Hold Tight propels the reader forward in a manner akin to a high intensity roller coaster ride that leaves you breathless and dizzy, as you feverishly flip pages.
Coben brilliantly maneuvers a few contradistinctive vignettes, which focus on the theme of parents trying to shield their children from the world and learning to distinguish them in their newly appointed roles of burgeoning young adults.
With every plot and subplot Coben unfolds effortlessly, as he hits the summit without a single loose end in sight. It is absolutely nothing short of literary magnificence.