Deal Breaker Paperback – 25 Jun 2009
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" A mystery thriller with all the right stuff, intrigue, suspense, romance and humor...Coben keeps you in suspense from beginning to end." -- "The Newark Tribune" " Like fellow wise-cracking P.I.'s Spenser and Elvis Cole, Myron Bolitar is great fun in the best hard-boiled tradition." -- "Houston Chronicle" "From the Paperback edition."
A phone call from a 'dead' woman - Myron Bolitar soon discovers that the truth can get you killed... A stunning thriller from the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of CAUGHT and PLAY DEAD.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Myron Bolitar is a likeable protagonist: a former basketball player who worked briefly (in an undefined capacity) for the FBI before becoming a sports agent. His assistant Esperanza is an ex-pro wrestler and his best friend and sidekick Win (short for Windsor Horne Lockwood III) is a "full fledged whitebread". The missing girl is his client's girlfriend, but he also has a personal connection in that he dated her sister for four years. The book has a large cast of one-dimensional characters and moves quickly, which I found somewhat confusing. The convoluted mystery is also downplayed: there is neglible suspense and it unravels for Myron with minimal difficulty.
Ultimately I prefer Coben's tighter and more suspenseful standalone books to this more lightweight style, but it would make for ideal mindless holiday reading. If I was rating the book on how much I enjoyed it, it would probably only score 2 stars, but I've tried to put my own prejudices aside and to rate it on its own merits.
Myron Bolitar is a PR for athletes and sports stars, or 'sports agent' in the jargon. He also, for no very good reason, doubles as an amateur sleuth. He and his friends all live in Made-for-TV Movieland, just a couple of blocks over from Columbo, Starsky, Hutch, Angela Lansbury, Dick van Dyke, T.J. Hoooker, Mr T., etc. etc. So no need for any actual writing to set the scene, then.
Plot: involves blackmail via dubious-but-legal soft porn magazine titles. Staking out a PO Box. Cars. Beautiful women. Americans. Dry wit, some of it witty.
Characterisation? Well, people say and do stuff, but only the same stuff all the same people say and do in all the same stuff that's going down just a couple of blocks over in Made-for-TV Movieland. Nobody thinks. Nobody feels. Nobody learns.
Bolitar is arrogant, judgemental, totally un-funny and impossible to empathise with. Combine this with some of the most confusing plots and sub-plots imaginable (I won't go into detail because many other reviewers have already done so) and you have this awful book.
I understand from reading other reviews that it is intended to be light-hearted, at least in parts. If that is what you are looking for, then my recommendation would be to go for something by Carl Hiassen, Charles Willeford, Robert Crais or, best of all, the magnificent Robert B Parker - whose Spenser character is everything that Bolitar tries but fails so spectacularly to be.
These comments shouldn't be interpreted as me hating Harlan Coben or all of his work: I've read some of his stand alone books and thoroughly enjoyed them. They seem to be far better written, with tighter & less confusing plots, and much more rounded & likeable characters. Indeed, after throwing this book into the first charity bag to fall through the letter box, my over-riding thought was "How can someone capable of writing a novel as good as Tell No-one be responsible for this dross?"
Although the characters are first introduced in this book, it often doesn't seem like an introduction to a series, little of how Win, Myron and Esperanza meet and how they set up the sports rep firm is explained. This doesn't really distract from a romping good read and shows promise that is fullfilled in some of his later books.
Harlan Coben created a story that i felt immediately at home with. The characters are very quickly idetifiable with, and thankfully you are not bombarded with character facts and itricate plot developments straight from the first few pages. Coben's style is to give you a little more information about plot and character as and when it suits. This is such a welcome relief from other writers that give so much detail of characters and plot that you need a pen and paper by your side to remember what the hell is going on.
I was so impressed with this book that I just had to buy another straight away, which wasn't that easy while away on holiday in a foreign country. I had to restrict the number of pages i read so that the enjoyment would last, BUT it never worked and i just happily read to the finish that hit me as hard as one of Win's punches.
A must read, and if necessary, pay twice the cover price, or just steal it off anyone you see reading it!!!!!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First time I have read anything by this author but it will NOT be the last.Published 4 days ago by Barbara Rane
Really enjoyed this book. Always a pleasure to read any of his books. Funny,slick and a very well written.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
very good writing in the same style as Michael Connerley. will read another one of his books i'm a fanPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer