Author: Harlan Coben
First Published: 1995
Series: 1st book in the Myron Bolitar series
- Deal Breaker
- Fade Away
- Back Spin
- One False Move
- The Final Detail
- Darkest Fear
- Promise Me (for my review of this book please click here)
- Long Lost
- Live Wire
Synopsis: Myron Bolitar is a former NBA player whose career in the big leagues was suddenly cut short due to a serious knee injury. Left without a future in basketball, Myron joined the FBI where he and his friend Win quickly rose to the top of their game and completed several black-ops missions. Now Myron is embarking on yet another career, that of a sports agent.
Myron represents a very popular young football player named Christian Steele. A Heisman trophy winner, Christian has a bright future ahead of him. When Christian unexpectedly receives a racy magazine featuring a picture of his college sweetheart who has been missing for over a year he turns to Myron for help. Is the girl still alive or is someone just manipulating Christian's future? Myron's involvement in case is sealed when he learns that the missing girl is the younger sister of his own college sweetheart - a woman he never got over.
My Thoughts: I have to start this review by coming clean. In my love of all things bookish I kind of forgot to write this review. I got so excited by all the books I had to read that I just kept reading and not reviewing. Bad book reviewer. I read "Deal Breaker" 6 weeks ago so I'm digging into the depths of my memory (and the notes that I made while reading) to bring you this review. The book is still securely in my cranium which should prove that I enjoyed this book.
A little while ago I read "Promise Me" (the 8th book in the Bolitar series) and really enjoyed it. Not one to read a series out of order (Type A!!!) I figured I'd start from the beginning of the series. "Deal Breaker" is a good start to the series and helps introduce the reader to Myron and his cronies, Win and Esperanza, so that we can get a better idea of where they all started.
Myron is a great main character. He's strong, but not overly tough. He's smart but also relies on his collegues to help him out. He also hides the fact that he cares so much about his friends and clients with his wonderfully sarcastic tongue. He's self-deprecating in a truly humourous way that I adore. Is he realistically portrayed? Weeelll, maybe not. This guy must have eaten a lot of Wheaties because he's done it all in his 30+ years. Not only was he in the NBA but he also worked for the FBI, has a law degree, is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a sports agent. Phew! But he does balance this all out by .... still living with his parents. Does this little foray into a slightly unbelievable realm bother me? No. Myron still comes off as a likeable guy that you could totally imagine hanging out with. Win? Well, apart from me picturing him looking like Niles Crane (from Frasier fame) I love the fact that his looks are deceiving to ne'er-do-wells and he routinely kicks some major butt. Bottom line? If you mess with this nerd you'll live to regret it. He brings a lot of comic relief with his witty remarks and is more than a little scary (let's say I wouldn't want to take a peek into his mind) but I really like his relationship with Myron.
I will admit that I enjoyed "Promise Me" more but I think that was because the characters were already well defined and they had more chemistry/banter between them. As one would expect, Coben is using this first book to lay the ground work for the characters (as well as tell a good mystery) so I look forward to seeing how the characters grow in future books.
As for the mystery portion of the book? It was a solid read - albeit the ending was a little obvious to me. It has a lighter feel to it than other Coben suspense books. Think of it as "Mystery-Light" -- still enjoyable but a little less satisfying. ;) Regardless of the "mystery-caloric" content I enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more about Myron, Win and Esperanza.
I recommend this series.
My Rating: 3.5/5