Twenty One Years of Harlen Coben’s Myron Bolitar

Twenty One Years of Harlen Coben’s Myron Bolitar

Deal Breaker (1995)

Myron Bolitar’s sports agency business, MB SportsReps, is about to make it big. His most valued client, up-and-coming quarterback Christian Steel, is about to land a big break with his first NFL contract; that is, until he receives a phone call from an ex-girlfriend who was presumed dead.

Now it’s up to Myron to discover the truth about what happened to this woman, uncovering lies, deceit and a troubling family tragedy; not to mention the dark side of the sports industry, where the truth can be a dangerous thing.

In this first novel of the series, we are also introduced to Myron’s best friend and sidekick, eccentric billionaire Windsor Horne Lockwood III (aka “Win”) – who, as we’ll discover, often gets involved in Myron’s dramas.

Drop Shot (1996)

Business is going well for Myron, who has the biggest young male tennis star – Duane Richwood – on his books. He’s also about to sign up young female tennis talent Valerie Simpson, until she gets murdered in broad daylight at the US Open.

To make things worse, Duane is the number one suspect in the murder case. Not only does he have Valerie’s number in his address book, she had also called him from a phone box (remember those?).

As Myron delves deeper, he discovers the murder of Valerie’s fiancée – the son of a senator – six years before. But with the Senator and the mob wanting to stop Myron digging any further, he unwillingly puts himself in the firing line. Thank goodness Win’s got his back.

Fade Away (1996)

Myron is taken aback when the owner of a basketball team headed for the playoffs asks him to make a comeback and join the team. But the offer is a guise for the real job on offer – uncovering the whereabouts of their star player, Greg Downing.

Downing and Myron have history. They were basketball rivals in high school, and fought for the affections of the same woman, whom Downing ended up marrying. It’s now up to Myron to unravel Downing’s complex, violent life through the midst of a divorce, while confronting his own past.

The antics between Myron and Win continue in this entertaining third book of the series, featuring Coben’s comedic touch and a truly satisfying ending.

Back Spin (1997)

Golf is the sport in focus now, and the kidnap of pro-golfer Linda Coldren’s son during the US Open triggers a hunt for clues and suspects.

Sports agent Myron Bolitar leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the truth, from the Main Line mansions to a seedy downtown motel; if he can find their son, he’ll bag both Linda and her husband, pro-golfer Jack Coldren, as clients. His trail leads him back to the US Open 23 years ago, when Jack Coldren should have won the US Open – but didn’t.

Myron’s dead-pan comments and witty one liners are weaved into a narrative filled with believable characters and unbelievable plot twists.

One False Move (1998)

This book brings a new love interest into Myron’s life, in the form of smart, beautiful basketball player Brenda Slaughter.

Myron is no bodyguard and Brenda is no helpless victim, but when she asks him to help protect her as part of his agent role, he finds it impossible to say no. As he learns more about her troubled past, including the disappearance of her mother when she was five, Brenda’s father goes missing too.

With professional and personal interests to protect, both Brenda and Myron get caught up in a web of corruption and lies, with a dramatic ending that you think the hero may never recover from.

The Final Detail (1999)

In this next instalment, we find Myron in a dark place – mentally that is, not physically, as he’s seeking solace somewhere in the Caribbean.

Hiding from his failures and everyone he knows, Myron thinks he can escape the past. However, when someone he holds dear – friend and former professional wrestler, Esperanza Diaz – is accused of murdering one of the company’s clients, his old life comes crashing back into his present. Esperanza is adamant that Myron shouldn’t get involved, but as we know, that only makes him more keen.

The narrative features more substance than previous instalments, covering matters such as love, friendship, body issues, self-obsession and honour, helping us grow even closer to Coben’s characters.

Darkest Fear (1999)

Things get even more personal and a little less funny in this seventh addition to the series, when Myron discovers that he is a father to a thirteen-year-old boy… who is dying.

The news from ex-girlfriend Emily Downing hits Myron hard. First of all, she tells him that her son Jeremy needs a bone marrow transplant, and that the donor has disappeared; but then Myron learns that the child is in fact is.

As Myron tries to track down the donor, he unravels a dark path that involves kidnap, mystery and the FBI; all the while, questions about Jeremy’s true paternity come to surface. Once again, Myron has the back-up of partner-in-crime, Win, who plays a small but pivotal role.

Promise Me (2006)

At this point in his life, Myron is dating a 9/11 widow with two children. When Myron overhears her teenage daughter discussing a time that she and a friend were driven home by friends who had been drinking, he offers to drive them wherever they need to go, no questions asked.

His paternal instinct backfires when the girl goes missing after being dropped off at a friend’s house, and Myron – the last person to see her – becomes a key suspect.

Promise Me asks some troubling questions about adolescence, sexuality, domestic violence and confrontations within a community. The intricate plot is filled with shocking revelations, multiple suspects and colourful characters who you really invest in.

Long Lost (2009)

Women usually spell trouble for Myron Bolitar, and this time is no exception. Early one morning, he receives a phone call from ex-flame Terese Collins. She’s in Paris, and she needs help with a disturbing matter.

With no girlfriend on the scene, Myron answers her plea and travels across the Atlantic; but after being stopped by French Homeland Security, he realises he is being followed. And when it comes to light that Teresa’s daughter, who was killed in a car accident, may in fact still be alive, Myron and the gang (Esperanza, Big Cindy and Win) are embroiled in a fast-paced journey more gory and violent than the last.

Live Wire (2011)

We’ve seen Myron juggle multiple roles over the previous books: sports agent, detective, friend, lover, father figure, hero, problem solver and suspect.

He’s always quick to defend his clients no matter the cost to himself, and nothing has changed in the tenth book of the series. Only this time, things get brought into the 21st century as the matter of social media comes into play.

Former tennis star Suzze T and her rock-star husband receive an anonymous Facebook message questioning their child’s paternity. When the husband disappears, pregnant Suzze needs Myron to save her husband and her marriage.

In the process, Myron discovers his own sister-in-law, Kitty, and has to find his missing brother as their father nears the end of life. Queue a fraught emotional journey, with Myron’s family taking centre stage.

Home (2016)

Five years on from the previous book and ten years since the high-profile kidnap of two young boys, Win is in London and believes he has located one of the missing children, now a teenager.

Calling on Myron for assistance, the crime-fighting duo set out looking for answers – what does the boy remember about that fateful day, and does he know the whereabouts of his friend? As more questions get raised, they have to retrace their steps all the way home to determine what happened.

Harlan Coben is back at his finest in this moving and harrowing narrative, showing Myron and Win at a more mature stage in their lives, but with the same old wit and charm.