A Myron Bolitar Mystery by Harlan Coben
Review: Myron Bolitar must look to his own past — both professionally and personally — when a former client shows up asking for his help in identifying someone who claims the father of the baby she's carrying is not her husband in Live Wire, the tenth mystery in this series by Harlan Coben.
Suzze Tervantino, now retired but a tennis sensation when she was a teenager 10 years earlier, and who was among Bolitar's first clients when he started his agency, is eight months pregnant when she visits his office to ask if he would be the godfather to her baby. But she also asks for his help: she believes someone is trying to destroy her marriage to rock star Lex Ryder by posting a message on her Facebook page that Lex isn't the father of her unborn child. Worse, Lex seems to believe it may be true and has taken off. Bolitar tracks him down to a nightclub, where he spots his sister-in-law Kitty, a woman he hasn't seen in over 16 years, since he and his brother Brad had a falling out over Brad marrying her. Bolitar chases after her, but loses her in the crush of the club's crowd. This chance sighting, however, leads to a cascading set of events that seem to spiral out of control as Bolitar tries to reconcile the improbable coincidence that Kitty and Lex were in the same club at the same time, two people who shouldn't, under normal circumstances, have even known each other in the first place. When Bolitar catches up with the rock star a day later, Lex has some sage advice for him: "You keep wanting to fix things, but the world has a certain ebb and flow. You screw with it, you just make it worse. It isn't always your fight, Myron." But Bolitar doesn't let go, especially after Suzze T. is found dead of an overdose.
There isn't much of a plot to Live Wire … at least not initially. Bolitar quickly determines who wrote the message on Suzze T.'s Facebook page, informs her, she's not surprised, case closed. Indeed, for the first half of the book, nothing much happens and the narrative sort of aimlessly meanders. Some readers may opt to put the book down at this point, but that would be a mistake. Like picking at a loose thread on a carefully constructed garment — a plot thread in a mystery, in this case — the story starts to unravel (in a good way) at about the mid-point of the book as Bolitar continues to ask questions. His investigation takes some unexpected turns along the way, the excitement level ramping up significantly into the second half, which has an intensity that more than makes up for the slow start. Bolitar's best friend, Win, is at his side throughout, and is both charming and annoying, a characteristic that typically means he's made an impression on readers, never a bad thing. On balance, Live Wire is a terrific, well-crafted entry in this series … though one has to wonder why, with all the information technology that Bolitar (and, by extension, Win) has at his fingertips, he couldn't have figured out the book's final twist with a quick database search.
(Note: The final sentence in this review differs slightly from the one originally published, and was changed after the reviewer was advised that an assumption made with respect to the final twist was incorrect, rendering the original text invalid in that context.)
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Live Wire for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Dutton (Hardcover), March 2009
ISBN-13: 9780525951056; ISBN-10: 0525951059
Dutton (Hardcover), March 2013
ISBN-13: 9780525953487; ISBN-10: 0525953485
Location(s) referenced in Live Wire: New Jersey
— ♦ —
Live Wire by Harlan Coben — A Myron Bolitar Mystery
Publication Date: March 2011
List Price: $27.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites