I really can’t be objective when Harlan Coben writes another Myron Bolitar mystery. I’m just so darn happy to see Myron, Win, and the rest of the Scooby gang again and find out what they’re up to. I read this latest outing in about four hours and it felt like a great way to start the summer reading season with a book that doesn’t break any new ground but which engaged me from beginning to end.
Jumping into this book is a bit like coming home. Myron’s drink of choice is still Yoo-Hoo. He still makes self-deprecating remarks about his deductive powers, his way with the ladies, and just about everything else. Also, Myron still is willing to risk his life to help others. Win, in turn, is still Win—deadly, sociopathic, and totally devoted to Myron.
Interestingly, this novel begins and ends with chapters narrated by Win (something I don’t think that Coben has ever done before) and it’s a little unnerving to spend time in his head (shades of Dexter). However, this particular mystery starts with him. Ten years before, Rhys Baldwin, the six-year-old son of Win’s cousin, Brooke, was kidnapped, along with a friend, Patrick Moore, who was at the house for a playdate. Though the parents pulled together money to pay the ransom, it was never collected and the boys were not seen again. Or at least not until Win gets a mysterious e-mail that suggests he look for the boys on a specific street in London and he sees a boy who looks a lot like Patrick Moore.
Coben has had a lot of practice in his stand-alones in creating tight and fast-moving plots and this novel is no different. As Win and Myron start digging into this ten-year-old kidnapping, trouble soon follows (as it always does). There’s some great crossover appeal as Myron’s nephew, Mickey, helps out (just as Myron often wanders at the edges of Coben’s YA series focused on Mickey and his friends) and Coben throws in a Hamilton reference or two (what’s not to love).
This is not the place to start with Myron and friends (since I believe this is the 11th book in the series) but if you’re a fan, this is worth the read. Also, I’m waiting for HBO or Netflix to decide that they could build a series around these characters because I would be all in.