Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Promise Me (8th book in the Myron Bolitar series)


Author: Harlan Coben
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Type: Hardcover
Published: April 2006

Publisher: Dutton
ISBN-10: 0525949496

ISBN-13: 978-0525949497

Pages: 370
Series: 8th book in the Myron Bolitar series

Series Order: refer to Fantastic Fiction
First Line: "The missing girl -- there had been unceasing news reports, always flashing to that achingly ordinary school portrait of the vanished teen, you know the one, with the rainbow-swirl background, the girl's hair too straight, her smile too self-conscious, then a quick cut to the worried parents on the front lawn, microphones surrounding them, Mom silently tearful, Dad reading a statement with quivering lip -- that girl, that missing girl, had just walked past Edna Skylar."

Synopsis: Myron Bolitar is an ex-professional athlete turned agent who also sidelines as an investigator.  But for the past six years, Myron has been leading a pretty calm life.  He's spent his time focusing on his company which represents famous sports and celebrity figures.  He's also started dating, Ali, a 9/11 widow and even bought his parents' old house.  It seems like Myron is starting to settle down.
One night, he overhears his friends' daughter Aimee and Ali's daughter, Erin, talking about a drunken party they attended.  Worried about their safety he asks them to promise that if they're ever in a situation where they feel that they can't call their parents that they'll call him, no matter the hour or where they are, if they ever need a ride because they've been drinking.

When Aimee calls Myron at 2am one night he picks her up and drives her to a friend's house.  When Aimee doesn't arrive home the next day her parents begin to worry -- and Myron becomes the police's prime suspect.  Aimee's mom, a long-time friend of Myron's, has him promise that he'll find her daughter no matter what.  Myron enlists the help of his friends -- Win, Esperanza, Big Cyndi -- to help him find the girl.  As he delves into her disappearance he learns of another young girl's similar disappearance.  Can these two cases be related?
My Thoughts:  I picked this book up from my local library merely based on knowing that I really enjoyed Harlan Coben's previous suspense novels.  I had never read any of the Myron Bolitar series but thought I'd jump right in (without even knowing where in the series this book fit).   I'm nothing if not a 'go by the rules' kinda girl so jumping into the 8th book in a series (I found out later) wasn't my thang.  If I had to do it over again I'd read the series in order.  I'm a stickler for reading books of a series in order but I threw caution to the wind last week and gave it a whirl.

So, what did I think of Myron Bolitar??  I thoroughly enjoyed him as a main character.  Bolitar has the kind of dry sense of humour that I can totally appreciate.  I did feel a little in the dark about some of the previous storylines from the first seven books in the series (and I know that I found out about one major death which I'm not thrilled about.  My bad.).  I also didn't see the big deal of Myron's ex-girlfriend's inclusion into the storyline either.  But overall, I didn't feel like I was missing too much pertinent information in order to enjoy this book.
I think there were two things that made this book for me.  First, I enjoyed the pace of the book as well as the major twist at the end of the book which I didn't see it coming. Was it a little far-fetched?  Perhaps.  But it wasn't a silly or totally unbelievable ending so I enjoyed the ride nonetheless.

Secondly, and more importantly, I loved the characters.  They were interesting and, often times, quite funny.  I loved Win, Big Cyndi (who seems to be a twin of Lula from Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" series!) and especially the banter between Win and Myron.  They had some quips that had me smirking and thinking 'ya, that was a good one'.   Myron's humour is quite descriptive as well.  For example, "His worn blue jeans hung low, displaying enough plumber crack to park a bike."  Yikes! There's some mental imagery for ya!
Win is a great 'wing man' to Myron's main character.  He's also got a great sense of humour and I picture him looking a lot like Barney Stinson (of "How I Met Your Mother" fame) -- Neil Patrick Harris' character.  A tall, gangly guy who you'd never suspect could hold his own in a fight (and then some) but can also throw some verbal zingers that make you smile.  And yes, he is pretty much at the top end of the crazy scale but I like his friendship with Myron and feel that it's believable and real.  The other quirky characters round out the cast but I look forward to starting the series from the beginning so I can get a better idea about how they came to know each other.

On that note, I'm really looking forward to reading this series from the start.  In fact, I already have the first Myron Bolitar book waiting for me on my Kindle.  I highly recommend this book but take my advice and start at the beginning of the series.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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