Darkest Fear Paperback – 28 May 2009
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Darkest Fear represents an interesting transition between Coben's comparatively lightweight and formulaic early novels and his more recent, nervier and darker novels such as Tell No One and Gone for Good. It is part of the series dealing with the misadventures of Myron Bolitar, sports agent and occasional investigator, but this time Myron has more than the convenience of his clients on his mind. An old girlfriend turns up with the revelation that her son is dying for a bone-marrow transplant--and that the son is his. Myron has always had an overdeveloped sense of personal responsibility and this time it goes into overdrive. He, and his efficiently violent friend Win, find themselves involved with one of the richest and most secretive families in America, with a particularly brutal serial kidnapper and murderer and with the FBI on one of its off days.
Coben takes his wise-cracking series hero and puts him in real physical and emotional jeopardy--the book is impressive, and a decisive break with the formula he had established earlier. After this, gloomier and more dangerous books were inevitable, and protagonists less fundamentally cheerful than the ebullient Myron. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A slam dunk ... You race to turn the pages ... both suspenseful and often surprisingly funny."--"People" "Terrific."--"Boston Globe" "A winner."--"Orlando Sentinel" "Fast-paced ... layered with both tenderness and fun ... Coben [is] a gifted storyteller."--"Denver Post"See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Myron Bolitar is charged with the search for an anonymous donor who has mysteriously disappeared; without this bone-marrow match, the life of a young boy is at stake. Events quickly develop into a cat-and-mouse game when a kidnapping takes place and Myron is caught up in an FBI investigation. Myron's plight in this story is made even more compelling by family links to the events as they unfold.
The book works well on two levels - one, the reader has the suspense and uncertainty of a twisty plot and two, the author puts the conflicts faced by Myron in the context of the emotional turmoil he is under due to the human relationships involved. The author has given a detailed delineation to create a believable character who is capable of carrying out a wide range of emotions and actions with credibility for the reader. There are also some excellent touches of humour in the book to add light relief to the more serious, twisty plot.
On starting the book I didn't realise that this is one of a series of Myron Bolitar stories, but it does work very well as a stand-alone novel. However, reading this story resulted in another visit on-line at Amazon to buy more of Harlan Coben's novels!
Whether you have already met the characters or are being introduced for the first time, Coben makes it easy for the reader. There is always enough information for the first-time reader to follow where the main characters have come from and what they are about but never too much to put off the veteran.
The storyline has many twists and turns, not too many to confuse, but enough to make you think you've worked out what will happen next... but unless you've already skipped a few pages ahead, you will almost certainly have guessed wrong.
This is definitely a book that once you've started reading you'll find it very difficult to stop. Reach the end of a chapter, check the watch, you'll be guaranteed to decide that you've still got a few more minutes and can read one more chapter. Before you know it, it will be 2 a.m. and you still won't want to put it down!
`Darkest Fear' is a transitional book for Coben as it marks his move away from lighter crime action into the darker realms that have made him an even more successful writer. When you are dealing with an evil serial killer and dying child, the idea of making jokes no longer works and therefore Bolitar struggles in this book. He laughs in the face of fear, but he also has to laugh at his Dad's heart attack, a dying child and 4 missing people. Like some of the later Elvis Cole novels, the once happy go lucky Bolitar cannot exists successfully in such a dark novel.
If a more generic alcoholic ex-cop had been airlifted into `Darkest Fear' the book would have been more conventional and worked slightly better. As it is the tone shifts from the dark to the light with each flippant remark. The story itself is an interesting one, making the book worth reading. It would be another 6 years before Coben returned to the character of Bolitar, as if he knew he was running out of steam. A decent read for the character's fans, but not great.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first Harlan Coben book. I am not impressed. Hardly a crime story!Published 3 months ago by D. Rowland
As with all Harlen Coben books I couldn't put this down. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.Published 6 months ago by barbara
When this story started off I felt it was slow and boring and not like previous Myron Bolitar stories. Read morePublished 6 months ago
I’m reading the Myron Bolitar series in sequence and to be honest they've started to become a bit samey. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Damo Green