Home by Harlen Coben
This is number 11 in the Myron Bolitar series. The bold Mr Bolitar is a former pro-basketball player turned sports agent, who continually finds himself getting into some very dangerous escapades. I hope to Christ he never ventures into Cabot Cove or all hell is going to break loose there, and Jessica Fletcher will shit a brick.
Myron’s best friend (they love each other; it gets mentioned a lot) is Win, or to give him his full title, Windsor Horne Lockwood III. Win is a WASP of very old money and runs his own security company.
Yep, you’ve guessed it. Win is a really tough and dangerous hombre. Well he would have to be, wouldn’t he? After all, every novel needs an uber-wealthy sociopath with a kind heart (oxymoron?).
As much as I do enjoy Coben’s writing, and he does know how to pen a good novel, I find such plot mechanisms as the monied friend with access to everything, to be a lazy approach to constructing a story-line. Need a plane? Win has one. Need a place to hide? Win has a hotel. Need a gun? Win will hire the marines. Need someone killed? Win gets an erection doing it. You get the idea.
I like the idea of Win and Roarke (from J.D. Robb’s novels) having a fight to the death. I know it’s not possible as Roarke lives in 2061, and Win would therefore have to be in his seventies. Still…
In Home, Win has resumed the search for his cousin’s son who was abducted as a 6 year old. Then search moves from London, to Italy and back to New Jersey, as Myron is enlisted to help. Along the way we encounter a host of interesting characters.
Coben is consistent in his character development, even if some are implausible. His scene-setting is good. The story premise is decent, even if Win’s personality is not entirely believable.
All in all, the Bolitar series is a fair, if sometimes bland read. It won’t sicken you and you may find it something of a page-turner, especially if you like psychos and money and New Jersey. However, it won’t rock your world. In Home, the topic of child abduction is dealt with in a sensitive manner, yet more could have been added to impress upon the reader the horror of such an experience (in my inflated opinion). Yet I like Coben’s work, in a ‘I don’t want to think too much as I sit and read and scratch my balls’ kinda way.
If I can’t see Win and Roarke in a deathmatch, then I’d like to see Coben and Nora Roberts having a massive punch-up. My money would be on Roberts.
Sult scale rating: 6.5 out of 10. It’s okay.