Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Last Guy to Discover Harlan Coben

Bestselling author Harlan Coben has moved on from his Myron Bolitar series, but we were late to the party, and we're not going home until all of the refreshments are gone. After we read DROP SHOT in Mexico last year, we found ourselves in an independent book shop this week looking for a beach read. We saw FADE AWAY displayed and couldn't resist a follow-up.

Even better. Harlan writes big time thrillers these days, but we're not going there until we finish all seven of these Bolitar adventures. I want to hang out with Myron and his pal Win five more times.

Here's what Publishers Weekly said about DROP SHOT when it came out in 1996: "Wisecracking sports agent Myron Bolitar returns with style in his third mystery (after Deal Breaker and Dropshot). This time, Myron is given a chance to return to professional basketball after being sidelined by a heartbreaking injury 10 years ago. No, the owner of the New Jersey Dragons doesn't want Myron to play. He wants him to use his skills as a onetime FBI undercover agent to find a missing player and former rival.

It's personal.

With the help of his lethally loyal pal Win, he untangles the mess with bravado and not a little personal pain. Coben writes a fast-moving narrative in a style witty enough to keep pace without straining too hard."

From Harlan's web page (click on the headline): "In his first books, Coben immersed himself in the exploits of sports agent Myron Bolitar. Critics loved the series, saying, “You race to turn pages…both suspenseful and often surprisingly funny” (People). After seven books Coben wanted to try something different. “I came up with a great idea that simply would not work for Myron,” says Coben. The result was the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller TELL NO ONE, which became the most decorated thriller of 2001 – nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, a Macavity, a Nero, and a Barry; winner of the Audie Award for Best Audio Mystery/Suspense Book (read by Steven Weber); and a #1 hardcover book on the Book Sense 76 list.

"Coben followed the success of TELL NO ONE with the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers GONE FOR GOOD (2002), NO SECOND CHANCE (2003), and JUST ONE LOOK (2004) and THE INNOCENT (2005). Bookspan, recognizing Coben’s broad international appeal, named NO SECOND CHANCE its first ever International Book of the Month in 2003 – the Main Selection in 15 different countries."

There's the new thriller coming in March, but we're probably going to stick with Myron and Win a little bit longer. We've got some catching up to do.

FULL DISCLOSURE: A couple of other reasons we like Harlan so much. One, he lives in New Jersey, which appears in all it's glory in the Bolitar novels. Two, with the exception of dialogue tags other than "said," Mr. C follows Elmore Leonard's rules of writing, my favorites being a shortage of description (except when it's funny) and hooptidoodle. Three, I am one of Harlan's 2,622 Facebook friends.


Marshall-Stacks said...

Yep - he leaves out the bits we might skim through ( and Mr Leonard and Mr Chandler are my Gods)

and I just love his Psycho-Preppy, in the tradition of Robert B Parker's fabulous Hawke, and Hiaasen's Psycho-Senator.

I was just given a copy of Promise me, and could not put it down till the end. It is wonderful to come upon an author after everybody else, because then one has a pig-out read of all the back-catalogue.

Austin Carr said...

Psycho-Preppy is so perfect for Win.