Author: Harlan Coben
Type: HardcoverPublished: April 2006
Publisher: DuttonISBN-10: 0525949496
Pages: 370Series: 8th book in the Myron Bolitar series
Series Order: refer to Fantastic FictionFirst 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