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4.4 out of 5 stars
Promise Me (Myron Bolitar Book 8)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
There are two sides to the Coben portfolio : one features Myron Bolitar, the other doesn't. This is my seventh novel by the great man and of course I'm here to pass on the message that everyone already knows, which is that if you want to read the best that Coben can offer, stick with Myron. Over the six year period since his last escapade, we have been presented with lead characters such as Will Klein in Gone for Good, Matt Hunter in The Innocent and Dr Marc Seidman in No Second Chance, but none have been so readable, durable and plain enjoyable as sports-agent-cum-amateur-sleuth Myron Bolitar.

Promise Me is, as usual, full of such highly colourful characters that it's almost like reading a comic. Myron himself is relatively normal, but you can't say the same about his friends, family and accomplices Win, Esperanza, Big Cyndi, Zorra and El-Al, nor some of the baddies conjured up such as the 'very bad hombres' known simply as The Twins. (If Win warns you they're bad, that means bad bad) The central theme of the story is parent-teenager relationships and how variously most of the characters in this book act them out. There's a fair slice of violence of course, which often tends to happen when Win's around, but there are also regular helpings of humour and romance. You could accuse Coben of trying to please all of the people all of the time with such an all-bases-covered approach, but he gets away with it. And it's true to say that he does keep you guessing until the last page.

Much as I enjoyed the story, and in particular the way it was told, I can't help but feel that it's somewhat forgettable. When I look at this title in a year or two I can imagine myself thinking "Great book, I really loved it" followed a moment later by "What was it about again?" Maybe it's just my weakening memory, but although I regard Darkest Fear (another Myron Bolitar outing) as a better read than Promise Me, I can't remember what it was about! Is this what they call popcorn writing? Whatever the answer, Harlan Coben has a deservedly huge fan club and the next time that Myron features, I'll place my order.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2007
Myron Bolitar, and breathed fresh life into the sports agent- turned-detective with this slick, fast paced thriller that is guaranteed to satisfy from the moment the novel is opened.
Everything that a Crime fiction reader could ever possibly want is within the pages of this book. The dialogue is Connelly-esque in its tightness and holds such a natural rhythm that the reader becomes a virtual eavesdropper. The descriptive prose has been so vividly drawn, it is as though we have been invited to come along for the ride and so can "see" where we are and what is about to transpire.

As for the characters, good and bad alike, well, it's like meeting with old friends - or running into old enemies - such are the feelings that are stirred. The theme of the novel is simple - as it usually is with the best of novels - and, here, is delivered and adhered to with such clear mindedness that when the denouement arrives, it is not so much as a surprise but more a physical shock to the system.

Harlan Coben has now written eight Myron Bolitar novels and this is as good a place to start as any if you've not read any of the others. The blanks in the back-story are filled in with out being heavy handed, whilst the peripheral characters have all been drawn with such attention to detail, the reader wants to know what they have been up to in the interceding six years as much as they do about Myron. This indeed is a welcome return of a well-defined hero and Harlan Coben can expect to roundly applauded from all quarters for doing so at long last!!! Also, if you missed reading Tino Georgiou's masterpiece--The Fates, go and read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2007
Coben had given Myron Bolitar, Win, Esperanza and co a break and has focussed on 'one off' thrillers like 'Just One Look' and 'Tell No One'. But now Myron is back!

I have to say that 'Promise Me' was much more like one of his recent thrillers but with Myron as the central character - his MB SportsRep (now MB Reps as he represents actors as well) clients are no longer the key characters.

It was nonetheless, like all Coben books (Myron and non-Myron) very enjoyable. Certainly not his best but suspensful, witty and fast paced if a bit dubious plot wise. I like the way that HC develops his characters - Myron always comes out on top but not without self doubts, personal flaws, goofy smiles and the fact that he lived with his parents well into his 30s!

Coben's books are so easy to read - I finished this in two days - before seeing this I was (and still am) really struggling with Atlantis by David Gibbons.

I'm looking forward to the next book having read the one chapter teaser at the end of this. Its great to have Myron and co back!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
I was given this book by a friend and In some ways I regret not starting with the first of the books with Coben's recurring hero, Myron Bolitar. Not that the book wasn't a first class read. It is one of the cleverest and most exciting thrillers I have read. Normally I prefer more literary thrillers (think PD James), but this one had a quality of tension, fear and excitement that made it hard to stop reading once I started. It has also given me the incentive to go back to the beginning and read some of Coben's other books, especially in this Myron Bolitar series.

The book tell of a teenager going missing after the hero (a former basketball player, now sports agent, lawyer and de facto private investigator) has given her a lift. What follows is a search and discover thriller of some considerable complexity, populated by quirky characters like the hero's taekwondo expert friend Windsor Horne Lockwood (AKA "Win") and a pair of psychopathic tough guys who offer violence for sale. The hero himself is no wimp, but when the going gets rough, the fact that his friend Win is only a phone call away, is certainly comforting.

I won't go into the details of the story. Other reviewers have done so and I don't want to give away anything that would spoil the reader's enjoyment. I would only say that the story deals with relevant, modern themes such as teenage emotion and parental responsibility. There are also some short but powerful interludes of extreme violence. But interestingly, the author manages to include an element of humour that somehow works and flows without jarring or clashing with the dark content and heavy-duty story matter.

I have given this book four stars because, good though it was, I can imagine it being better and I want to have room to give appropriate recognition in the future to better books, like the literary books I have read in the past. But it will be interesting now to go back and read some of Coben's other books in this series, starting at the beginning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the first Harlan Coben book that I have read - I wish I had found him sooner as I thoroughly enjoyed this book and his style of writing. Following a little research I now know that he has authored 21 books so far with this being his fourth book involving Myron Bolitar as a character - I will definitely be downloading the previous three books.

Myron is an ex-champion basketball player who is now a private detective. He is a decent guy and feels honour bound to fulfil a promise that he made to his friend's daughter,Aimee, even if what she asks makes him feel uncomfortable. Aimee calls him from Manhattan in the middle of the night, clearly in distress. She wants him to pick her up and drop her off in the suburbs. He does so, but then she disappears. Why? What's happened to her? Is she a runaway? Was she kidnapped? This is the basis of the story.

As Myron investigates, the plot becomes ever more complex and this keeps you on your toes as a good mystery novel should do. As the story progresses you are introduced to many characters, each of whom have some kind of link to Aimee.

Myron's dialogue tends to be very terse, often consisting of one word responses, and on the odd occasion when he feels particularly talkative he can be found to complete a whole sentence! This in no way detracts from the brilliant story and from Myron as a character.

I won't spoil the mystery but the book does reveal the extreme lengths some parents could go to, to help their kids, although I'm not sure that many would in reality go to the lengths described - but they do add to the dramatic effect for the reader.

A very good read, fast paced, gripping and definitely an author to try out if you like mystery thrillers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2010
I have read a few of Coben's books and really enjoyed them all - until this one!
His casual and anecdotal style can be very engaging. This usually adds to a books entertainment value as he builds on a plot that is both engrossing and compelling.
Unfortunately this book falls well short of his usual high standard. The plot is a little weak and stretched (to say the least) the characters are wishy-washy, in most cases, and utterly unbelievable in others. Win, who is portrayed as a monied, handsome, charming and witty all-American assassin/henchman/best mate we'd all like by our side in a scrap, is really a bit of an insult to the reader. He manages to despatch two of the meanest hoods in the history of the American under-world as if they were mosquitoes buzzing around his head. He does this with such nonchalance and style that you just can't help but like the guy.....?

This book really grated on me by the end. Myron's relationship blossomed in the week or so the book is set over. Despite the fact that the missing girl appears to be in more and more danger, Myron still found time to slip in a quick shag as he closed in on the case - and I really didn't care that he 'hadn't told a woman he loved them for 7 years' or that 'they panted in each other's arms- fully spent'. It's all a bit embarassing really. And that's without going into the women's tag wrestling sideline or Myron's innate martial-art expertise that would make Rambo run for his mother.
VERY DISAPPOINTING. If you haven't read this book yet - don't bother. If you have and it's your first Coben - please read a couple more before you pass judgement on him. His thrillers are usually very entertaining and credible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There are two sides to the Coben portfolio : one features Myron Bolitar, the other doesn't. This is my seventh novel by the great man and of course I'm here to pass on the message that everyone already knows, which is that if you want to read the best that Coben can offer, stick with Myron. Over the six year period since his last escapade, we have been presented with lead characters such as Will Klein in Gone for Good, Matt Hunter in The Innocent and Dr Marc Seidman in No Second Chance, but none have been so readable, durable and plain enjoyable as sports-agent-cum-amateur-sleuth Myron Bolitar.

Promise Me is, as usual, full of such highly colourful characters that it's almost like reading a comic. Myron himself is relatively normal, but you can't say the same about his friends, family and accomplices Win, Esperanza, Big Cyndi, Zorra and El-Al, nor some of the baddies conjured up such as the 'very bad hombres' known simply as The Twins. (If Win warns you they're bad, that means bad bad) The central theme of the story is parent-teenager relationships and how variously most of the characters in this book act them out. There's a fair slice of violence of course, which often tends to happen when Win's around, but there are also regular helpings of humour and romance. You could accuse Coben of trying to please all of the people all of the time with such an all-bases-covered approach, but he gets away with it. And it's true to say that he does keep you guessing until the last page.

Much as I enjoyed the story, and in particular the way it was told, I can't help but feel that it's somewhat forgettable. When I look at this title in a year or two I can imagine myself thinking "Great book, I really loved it" followed a moment later by "What was it about again?" Maybe it's just my weakening memory, but although I regard Darkest Fear (another Myron Bolitar outing) as a better read than Promise Me, I can't remember what it was about! Is this what they call popcorn writing? Whatever the answer, Harlan Coben has a deservedly huge fan club and the next time that Myron features, I'll place my order.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2006
I was very excited to learn that Mr. Coben was bringing back the character of Myron Bolitar after a long absence, that I order my copy months ago and was very happy to see it arrive a day before the publication date! After two nights of page turning thrills I am happy to say that it was worth the wait! Coben's characters and dialog are as sharp as ever. Myron is trying to be a good guy and has for the last 6 years. But when he over hears the teenage daughter of the woman he is dating talking to her friend about being driven home from parties by drunk and stoned friends, Myron makes her and her friend an offer. He tells the girls he will offer them a no questions asked taxi service to and from parties. The problems start for Myron when he drops off one of the girls at New Jersey cul-de-sac wear she claims her friend lives. The next day the parents of the girls report the girl as missing, and guess what?-Myron was the last person to see her alive! Poor old Myron is back in trouble again. The book takes off from here with Coben's trade mark style (and I do mean style) with plenty of twists, turns and suspense. Its an over used cliche, but this is a truly a page turner! If you like Coben's style I highly recommend you check out the thriller "A Tourist in the Yucatan."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2006
It's been a while since Harlan Coben produced a Myron Bolitar novel, but the wait is well worth it. It is great to have Myron, Win and gang back. After a couple of dodgy novels, Coben is back on form with a great story full of the trademark twists. In his acknowledgements Coben claims that he wanted to wait for a good idea before bringing Myron back. He hit gold with this one, because it is a gripping page-turner. If you take longer than two or three days to read this novel I'd be surprised!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Harlan Coben continues to prove that he is one of the best thriller writers around at the moment. A page turner is a much used phrase but in this case it is really appropriate. The author's books are always so well structured and his character's well rounded. He is obviously comfortable with his style and ability and this transmits itself to the reader making the reading of his books sheer pleasure from start to finish. Coben has now got a string of best selling crime novels behind him and all I can say is that I hope he continues to write for many years to come. The author lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

It has been an unsually quiet period for sports agent Myron Bolitar. In fact in the last six years very little has happened to take him out of his comfort zone. He has not taken a punch, fired a gun, in anger anyway, and his clients have managed to stay alive, a big plus in his line of work.

But of course nothing lasts forever. By trying to do the right thing and protect two neighbourhood teenage girls from the all too dangerous and common mistake of getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, Myron has the girls promise him that if they are ever in trouble and afraid to call their parents, they should call him instead. Little does he know what he has let himself in for.

Sure enough several nights later a call comes through in the early hours and true to his promise myron picks up one of the girls and drop her in a quiet cul-de-sac where she says a friend lives. The following day the girl's parents discover their daughter is missing and Myron was the last person to see her . . .
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