Customer Review

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Caveat Emptor - Check all reviews before buying, 22 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Miracle Cure (Unabridged Audiobook) (Audio CD)
I should prefix this review by saying I am a Harlan Coben fan and have read all his books, and that this review is based on the unabridged audio version. The fact that I bought it as an audio book download meant that I didn't see that it was an old book being republished before I bought it. This was the second book he wrote after Play Dead. If I had known I may have avoided it. I read and reviewed Play Dead and said it is for completists only. Well the same is true here. This one is really awful. Since I bought it, (from Amazon's sister company Audible), it has disappeared from their catalogue and from Amazon's list of other formats available. I would like to think it was on grounds of taste, but more likely a timing error in releasing the unabridged audio before the hardback publication has led to it being withdrawn temporarily.

In Coben's later works and particularly the Myron Bolitar series you know the characters are ridiculous but they are fun nonetheless. They really are caricatures. (You doubt me? Run through the C.V.s of Myron, Win, or the female ex tag team wrestlers who work for him. 'Nuff Said?) Despite this you get the impression the author is treating it as light hearted and enjoying the joke WITH the readers. In this book and in Play Dead he comes across as laughing AT his audience.

The author Jasper Fforde in his parody of cop/private eye genre, The Big Over Easy, said that the crime writers' guild got together and outlawed a number of plot devices, e.g. the long lost twin, as no longer permissible for a thinking audience. If only Mr. Coben had signed up to the resolution he might have avoided the equally outdated and overdone theme he forces on the reader here.

POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD SKIP NEXT PARAGRAPH TO AVOID.

SURELY the mad scientist would have to be close to the top of the list of outlawed plots. The totally unsurprising ending to this book would have been right at home in an overacted 1950s B-movie. So bad it was beyond laughable. If you ever saw the film Carry On Screaming, itself a parody, think of Kenneth Williams' manic monster creator and you will get an idea of how this pans out. In addition of course, you just know that the Myron prototype who is the 'hero' of this book is not going to be allowed to die no matter how many misdirections are thrown into the plot line.

I would say this is the worst Harlan Coben ever. Given the author's explanation regarding Play Dead, and the fact that he acknowledged its flaws, and gave a clear warning that it was not for new readers, it was just about acceptable to allow it to be republished. Unfortunately I can't give the same dispensation to Miracle Cure. This seems like cynical attempt to cash in on his later success. Once again, buyer beware.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Apr 2011 15:17:24 BDT
Thanks for your review, I've read all Harlan Cobens' books but thought Play Dead was truly awful. I will avoid this one...
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Alex
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Location: Sandhurst, United Kingdom

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