A Myron Bolitar Mystery by Harlan Coben
Review: Sports and entertainment agent Myron Bolitar takes on a personal case when he's called to help out an former love not seen in 10 years in Long Lost, the ninth mystery in this series by Harlan Coben.
Terese Collins disappeared from Bolitar's life as quickly as she entered it. Ten years have passed since their brief, but intensely satisfying, affair took place on a tropical island. Now she's calling him, begging him to meet her in Paris. Curious about the urgency, but also hoping to rekindle the passion they once shared, he agrees only to discover she's a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband. When Bolitar is threatened at an outdoor cafe, and kills a man in self-defense, he's whisked out of France to England by his closest friend, Win Lockwood, and becomes a fugitive himself. But it is in England where Bolitar discovers the story behind Terese's current predicament, when she lost her only daughter in a tragic automobile accident many years ago. As he struggles to connect the death of a young girl to the murder of her father, the stakes are raised when anti-terrorist agencies take an interest in his investigation and assume he's in possession of information that they need … and will get any way possible.
Readers will be sorely tempted to finish Long Lost in one setting. The narrative is taut, the pace relentless. That the author takes more than a few convenient shortcuts to advance the plot is perfectly reasonable; tangential and likely lengthy detours would simply be an unacceptable compromise here. The riveting action scenes are crisply choreographed, and the characters, in particular series leads Bolitar and Win, are in fine form. The potentially trite plot, which notably shares many key story elements with Ira Levin's 1976 thriller The Boys from Brazil, gets a 21st century update with modern technology and a new generation of fundamentalists.
Minor quibbles include jokes about Mee that wear thin very quickly (but maybe that's the point) and Bolitar's occasional sarcastic interaction with the reader. Still, the three-year pause between Bolitar thrillers may be just what was needed to refresh this series; though far from masterful, Long Lost is one of Coben's most entertaining efforts.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Long Lost for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Dutton (Hardcover), March 2011
ISBN-13: 9780525952060; ISBN-10: 0525952063
Location(s) referenced in Long Lost: England, France
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Long Lost by Harlan Coben — A Myron Bolitar Mystery
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $27.95