4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Myron Bolitar, RATING, Read in 2015, SERIES

2015.20 REVIEW – Back Spin by Harlan Coben

Back Spin
by Harlan Coben

Copyright: 1997
Pages: 342
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 28 – July 6, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 20
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Series: Myron Bolitar #4

Back SpinBlurb:
In this fourth thrilling novel featuring sports agent Myron Bolitar, a boy vanishes on Philadelphia’s mean streets. Golf superstar Linda Coldren is desperate to find her son – and taps Myron to unravel the mystery.

But when Myron goes after the missing boy, he crashes through a crowed of lowlifes, blue bloods, and liars on both sides of the social divide. With Linda’s golf-pro husband suddenly making a run at the U.S. Open championship, a family’s skeletons are coming out of the closet. And Myron is about to find out how deadly this game can get.

Review: I’m guessing that when you think of golf you probably don’t think of it as a very cut-throat sport … right?! Me either. I am a casual golfer (I did play on my high school team one year) but I really wouldn’t have ever thought that there could be a mystery novel having golf as a subject which would hold my interest. But this one sure did.

Maybe it’s because I can’t seem to resist Myron Bolitar. I mean, the dude is hilarious. And if you can make golf funny … yeah, you can make anything funny.

There’s not much to say about this book. I like the Myron Bolitar series. I find them entertaining and intriguing. They are so different from Mr. Coben’s stand-alone novels, which I also enjoy, but there’s just something about Myron’s character that I love. I would definitely recommend this book and the series as a whole. But if you’re not into series books, these read well as stand-alones.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Myron Bolitar, RATING, Read in 2014, READING CHALLENGES 2014, SERIES

2014.7 REVIEW – Fade Away by Harlan Coben

Fade Away 
by Harlan Coben

Copyright: 1996
Pages: 355
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 6 – Feb. 13, 2014
Challenge: Eclectic Reader Challenge
Yearly count: 7
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Fade AwayBlurb: In novels that crackle with wit and suspense, Harlan Coben has created one of the most fascinating heroes in suspense fiction: the wisecracking, tenderhearted sports agent Myron Bolitar. In this gripping third novel in the acclaimed series, Myron must confront a past that is dead and buried – and more dangerous than ever before.

The home is top-notch New Jersey suburban. The living room is Martha Stewart. The basement is Legos – and blood. The signs of a violent struggle. For Myron Bolitar, the disappearance of a man he once competed against is bringing back memories – of the sport he and Greg Downing had both played and the woman they both loved. Now, among the stars, the wannabes, the gamblers, and the groupies, Myron is embarking upon the strange ride of a sports hero gone wrong that just may lead to certain death. Namely, his own.

Review: This is the third book in the Myron Bolitar series and I want to start this review by telling you the same thing I told you in my review of the second book (Drop Shot). Myron Bolitar is hilarious. Laugh out loud hilarious. Yeah sometimes it’s pretty cheesy, but for the most part it’s really funny. Humor is not something I have in the book that I read, so this was a nice light read for me … just what I needed, really!

In this book Myron is called back onto the basketball court. His NBA career was over before it even began many years prior when his knee blew out after an unfortunate collision with another player. So you could tell that Myron was as giddy as could be when the opportunity arose which would place him back on the court. Yeah, he understood he wasn’t in as good of shape as the other guys and that he would likely warm the bench. But still, you can’t help but smile at the thought of a second chance for Myron. Regardless of how short-lived it would be. And so what if this opportunity arises because a star player has disappeared and he’s really only joining the team to get closer to the team members in order to try to find Greg Downing.

There are many twists and turns in this one. Myron finds himself crossing paths with the Mob, murderers, blackmailers and even some people who have been underground for many years after being outed as 1960s revolutionaries. There’s a lot that goes on and every twist and turn definitely kept me on my toes because I never knew what Myron would find himself involved in next.

Overall this is a really good book. The characters were well-developed. The writing was excellent. The storyline was interesting. The book’s pacing was spot on. There’s not much at all I can honestly find to complain about.

I’m definitely interested in seeing where Myron goes next now that he’s had his “closure” from his playing days. I think what I like most about Myron is that yeah he’s funny, but he’s really got heart. There’s just something to him that works.

Definitely a good book that I would definitely recommend, but I don’t know if this one would standalone very well. I’m sure it would be okay, but I honestly think that you won’t understand some of the secondary characters if you don’t have the background of the first two books.

Either way, definitely recommended.

Favorite quotes:

Riverside Drive was relatively quiet. Myron arrived at his Kinney lot on 46th Sreet and tossed Mario the keys. Mario did not park the Ford Taurus up front with the Rolls, the Mercedes, Win’s Jack; in fact, he usually managed to find a cozy spot underneath what must have been a nesting ground for loose-stooled pigeons. Car discrimination. It was an ugly thing, but where were the support groups? (p. 34)

Myron checked the clock. He’d been in for thirty-four seconds and his man had scored five points. Myron did some quick math. At that rate, Myron could hold Reggie Wallace to under six hundred points per game. (p. 241)

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Myron Bolitar, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, SERIES

2012.2 REVIEW – Drop Shot by Harlan Coben

Drop Shot
by Harlan Coben

Copyright: 1996
Pages: 341
Rating: 4/5
Read: Jan. 8 – Jan. 15, 2012
Challenge: The Eclectic Reader 2012; Mystery & Suspense 2012; Off the Shelf 2012
Yearly Count: 2
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb: A young woman is shot in cold blood, her lifeless body dumped outside the stadium at the height of the US Open. Once her tennis career had skyrocketed. Now the headlines are being made by another young player form the wrong side of the tracks.

When Myron Bolitar investigates the killing he uncovers a connection between the two players and a six-year-old murder at an exclusive club. Suddenly Myron is in over his head. And with a dirty senator, a jealous mother, and the mob all drawn into the case, he finds himself playing the most dangerous game of all…

Review: So this is the second in the Myron Bolitar series. I read the first one (Deal Breaker) a long time ago. (And please excuse my terrible review, which was before I got very detailed in my reviews). I wasn’t too impressed, so naturally I wasn’t in very much of a hurry to get around to the second book. For whatever reason, I decided to give this series another shot. I’m glad I did. To be completely honest, having that big of a gap (3 years) in between reading the two books, I was a little lost. I didn’t remember the supporting characters. I didn’t remember some things that were mentioned. But that was okay for me; it didn’t hurt my opinion of the book at all.

What I continually kept asking myself while reading this book was this: was the first book this funny? I mean, I’m talking laugh out loud funny at times. Other times it was cheesy funny. But in all seriousness, I don’t recall Myron being humorous. I would assume that he was funny in the first book, that’s not something that is likely to change in a character; I just don’t remember that aspect of Myron’s character. Either way, I enjoyed the humor.

The big ah-ha moment came at a perfect time in my opinion. I hadn’t figured out what was really going on before the big reveal. That’s exactly how I like my books to be, I don’t want to figure it all out way too early and then have to finish the rest of the book. And to be completely honest, the person who ended up being the killer made perfect sense when I sat down and really thought about some of the clues left throughout the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I found it to be funny and enjoyable. And while I would recommend reading any series in order, this book stands relatively well on its own.

AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Myron Bolitar, Read in 2009, SERIES

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Deal Breaker
by Harlan Coben

Copyright: 1995
Pages: 343
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Feb. 3-5, 2009
Challenge:  2009 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2009; 2009 1st in a Series Challenge; 2009 Celebrate the Author Challenge
Yearly Count: 9

First Line: Otto Burke, the Wizard of Schmooze, raised his game another level.

Sports agent Myron Bolitar is representing rookie quarterback, Christian Steele. But when Christian receives a mysterious phone call from who he thinks is his former girlfriend who has been missing for over a year everything starts to spin out of control for Christian. And it is Myron who is at the helm of investigating what is really going on. But what he will find out will shock him more than he can believe possible.

This is the first in the Myron Bolitar series. I enjoyed it. However, I personally feel that his stand alone books might be better than this. I am going to continue this series, but I’m really not in much of a rush to do so.