Live Wire Hardcover – 10 May 2011
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It was only matter of time before Facebook and other electronic social media found their way into thrillers – as they do with Live Wire. For some years, Harlan Coben has been situated firmly at the top of the tree in the crime and thriller stakes, and each new outing consolidates his already enviable reputation. So far, there have been no missteps (not something every bestselling crime writer can claim), and Live Wire is another example of his command writing. Coben’s engaging protagonist Myron Bolivar is back in the thick of things again in this one. But the author has something special up his sleeve here for his beleaguered hero.
A Facebook posting sets out destructive claims about who the father of a child yet to be born. On the receiving end of the questionable revelations are ex-tennis champion Suzze T and her retired rock star partner Lex. Lex deserts his pregnant lover, and the distressed Suzze calls on private eye-cum-sports agent Myron Bolitar, hoping he can retrieve her relationship. More is, in fact, at stake – including, it seems, the life of the errant Lex. And Myron’s private life is in its customary jumbled state. He runs into his sister-in-law Kitty (married to a brother who has broken off contact with Myron) and the couple’s teenage son Micky. The boy rages at Myron, who he considers responsible for his parents’ estrangement. So Myron has multiple problems: sorting out the chaos caused by the unpleasant Facebook posting, saving the life of Lex and curing his own headaches over his warring relatives. From this busy premise, Live Wire goes off at a surprising tangent, with Myron even confronting an existential question: his own shifting identity.
Coben’s dialogue here fizzles like the best vintage crime fiction, and Myron remains one of the strongest characters in the genre. As always, the sense of place is crucial with the author: the settings here have a pungency that leaps off the page. But it’s the plotting that really grabs the interest – along with what we learn about Myron, which changes the face of this entertaining sequence of books decisively – and permanently. --Barry Forshaw
LIVE WIRE... shows Coben to be a master of intricate plot-weaving. Twists come thick and fast, and there's an immediate re-readability as you attempt to unravel the tangled web of events. (SHORTLIST)
Classic Coben: witty and twisty.***** (Boyd Hilton HEAT)
Compelling, hard-edged and wryly funny (SUNDAY SPORT)
'Coben's dialogue is as punchy and readable as ever... another novel that will manage both to raise the heart rate and serve as a relaxing treat.' (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY - Novels for Summer)
Cunningly plotted and dependably entertaining (EVENING STANDARD)
The twists and turns of the clever plot will keep you guessing until the final showdown. (BELLA)
Bestselling writer Harlan Coben dazzles us yet again with a pacy thriller that's hard to put down. ***** (STAR MAGAZINE)
Coben's 10th Myron Bolitar novel is a perfect 10: providing readers with new information about the past of the former athlete turned agent and owner of MB Reps; a satisfyingly complex mystery (PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY)
Newcomers to Coben will find "Live Wire" a great starting point, and fans will be awe-struck with this latest novel, wondering how Coben maintains such a high level of excellence. (LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR)
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Top Customer Reviews
As well as a bit of a Bolitar history lesson we also get to meet Myron's nephew Mickey. I'm not going to give anything away but how many parts of storyline in this book finishes makes me wonder if this is the end for the Myron series, particularly as the next Harlan Coben book is a young adult novel starring Mickey Bolitar called Shelter (due out late 2011). So maybe the baton has been passed over to his nephew for the spotlight from now on? Time will tell.
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best in the series and definitely isn't the worst but it is a thoroughly good read and if this does happen to be the last on in the series then so be it. I will definitely miss Win, Esparenza, El-Al, Big Cyndi and of course Myron but the way this book finishes is great and I would be happy with this ending if that was it. No doubt if Mickey Bolitar is the lead guy in Coben's books from now on then Myron will pop up from time to time and I can't wait to see how it all goes from here.
Without giving too much away, Live Wire follows Myron doing what he does best, namely, playing the hero. It does contrast however as we get to see a deeper glimpse into his family, especially his estranged brother and his nephew. The writing is as witty as ever, and it's interesting to see how the ageing Win and Myron deal with the modern world. I was disappointed with how the book ended. If this is going to be the last of the series it would have been nice to not have so many loose ends left loose.
One thing you will notice, which has been apparent with the last few books, is that the characters are getting old. Win and Myron aren't the 30-something-year-olds we first met in Deal Breaker as Coben will repeatedly point out. Once you finish this book you will even question whether there will be another Myron Bolitar novel, at least one where Myron, Win and Esperanza take centre stage. It does seem apparent that Harlan Coben intends to shift the focus of the series to Myron's nephew, Mickey (the first of these books, titled 'Shelter', will be released in 2012).
Some reviewers have been critical of the repetition in Coben's books; it's true that certain salient facts are repeated in almost every one, but it is only repetitive if you read them all - which I and many others have chosen to do because we enjoy them. If you just picked one up not knowing anything about the main characters, the oft repeated background info would be useful. Each book is a stand-alone thriller, but if you read a Myron Bolitar story and enjoy it, try to go back to the beginning and work your way through - there is a list on Amazon which puts them in order - but perhaps don't start with this one as it's the last!
Coben is now writing about Myron's nephew, Mickey, to whom we are introduced in "Live Wire", but judging by most of the reviews, these are aimed at teenagers rather than adults.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn’t really get what the mystery was for the first third of this crime/ suspense novel. This is saying something about a suspense book when the author is as prolific and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Ameya
Myron Bolitar is my favourite fictional character. The Live Wire is one of my favourite of his storiesPublished 22 days ago by marma
Reviewing last in series, as I have loved every book in it. Got lots of his stand alone books but this series is great, and I feel bereft it has come to an end.Published 1 month ago by P. Aston
Great read even though a little into the book I realised that I'd read it some years ago.Published 4 months ago by John McComish
Amazing, loved this book as I have all the others, couldn't put it downPublished 4 months ago by Becky T.
I’ve read the entire Myron Bolitar series in sequence over the past eighteen months and unfortunately I thought this was a weak end to the series. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Damo Green