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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2011
I've been a huge fan of Harlan Coben's books for years - his Myron Bolitar series is one of my favourites and his stand alone novels are always excellent. This new book, Shelter, re-introduces Myron's nephew, Mickey, who we met in the latest Myron book, Live Wire and it carries on from the events in that story. Mickey's father was recently killed in a car crash and his mother is in rehab, so Mickey is now living with his uncle Myron. He is new to his high school and his girlfriend has gone missing, so with the help of his new friends Spoon and Ema, Mickey goes in search of her.

This book is written as a young adult novel but can easily be enjoyed by adult readers too. Fans of Coben's other books will love this and really appreciate the in-jokes, references and familiar characters (Myron's parents are in it, Esperanza is mentioned but no Win I'm afraid). I found this an excellent, quick read with the usual sharp, witty dialogue and a thought-provoking mystery. The cliffhanger ending makes me look forward to the next in the series and I'm also very intrigued with how everything will all integrate with the next Myron book (if there is one). Recommended.
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on 13 October 2011
I'm a huge fan of Harlan Coben, and the Myron Bolitar books, but recent books have been dissappointing - it felt as if Coben was bored and just going through the motions. So I was looking forward to this one in the hope that it would have re-motivated Coben. It partly has....but only partly. This book is obviously written for young adults, so I guess Coben is seeking to extend his readership, and he has succeeded in creating immediately engaging characters, and created some obvious hooks for future stories. Yet in some ways the book fails to satisfy; the ending is poor and feels rushed, I'm surprised at the Holocaust/Nazi link, Myron Bolitar has a very small - and strangely out-of-character - part in the book, but largely as a cipher. But, its a Coben book so it's well-written, easy-reading, moves at a good pace, and contains the usual humour. Coben obviously enjoyed writing the book, and suggests that there will be a Mickey Bolitar series, so I hope this isn't the end of Myron; I will watch out for nd buy the next Mickey Bolitar book but a lot more work will be required before these are as successful, or as enjoyable, as the Myron Bolitar series.
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on 27 September 2011
All crime book fans know Coben as a master of the genre. They can't get enough of his crimebuster Myron Bolitar, who is up there with Robicheaux, Reacher and Rebus. That's why it's such a disappointment to find that the crimebuster in "Shelter" is Myron's 15-year-old nephew Mickey; Myron pops up in the book from time to time, but keeps a very low profile - probably for fear of damaging the reputation he's built up over the years.
Mickey has a trio of other teenagers in his gang, prompting comparisons with Enid Blyton's "Famous Five". They get involved with a reclusive and scary "Bat Lady", much along the lines of the youngsters in "To Kill A Mockingbird". There are men in dark glasses and dark suits in black cars with blacked-out windows, to add their sinister threat to the gang, and a concluding scene of (literally) unbelieavable mayhem which stirs memories of the film "Bugsy Malone".
In short, for anybody over age 14 it just doesn't work. What Myron Bolitar had , and what Mickey Bolitar signally lacks, is belieavabilty. Without that, it comes over as a spoof crime book, and a rather silly one at that. Coben claims he has such fun in writing it that we're going to be seeing more of his new hero; but here's one regular customer who isn't. I also said "in short" it doesn't work, and the one thing to say for it is that it's very short indeed. I estimate it at 50,000 words, which is more like an extended essay. It can easily be read in under 4 hours. The real crime about this book (which is beautifully written) is the way the publisher has contrived to stretch these words over 304 pages, to merit a cover price of £[]. Even after Amazon's discount, that still leaves too much to pay for a teenage mag-type story. So Mr. Coben, stop taking the Mickey, and bring back Myron.
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on 7 April 2015
Wow my 12 yr old son has been engrossed in this book and has now read the following 2 in the series. He is now a huge Mickey Bolitar fan. I am a fan of Myron Bolitar and love all Harlan Coben books. I love how the author immediately gets the reader into the sory and I am pleased my son feels the same about this young adult range. Although my son is 12 he is an advanced reader and I did feel the content was suitable for him. Just my opinion of the content for my own son.
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on 6 August 2012
I can not stress enough how much rubbish this book is. The four good-guys were apparently based on the four humans in Scooby Doo, and so, for that matter, was the plot. The book came complete with a spooky house, a comic-book villain and so many loose-ends left hanging that it is obviously just a taster for a whole series. I don't think this book is meant for adults at all and certainly not those who can count.
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on 14 July 2012
Like many of the previous reviewers, I didn't realise this was a book for young adults/teenagers. Having bought it however, I decided to read it anyway as I'm a big fan of Harlan Coben.

Being aimed at a younger audience, this book does not pack the same punch as the Myron Bolitar series, having said that I found it an ejoyable read.

Mickey dislikes and resents his uncle Myron but is very much in the same mold. He's tall, a good basket ball player and shuns the conventional. He chooses to hang out at school with the misfits and outsiders and stands up for them against the bullies.
He's very loyal to his closest friends Ema, an overweight tattooed goth girl, with a great line in 'put downs' and Spoon, a 'geeky' boy who is full of useless information, that turns out to be extremely useful at times. I enjoyed both of these characters immensley. They are later joined by the beautiful Rachel, the archetypal cheerleader, who proves her worth before the end of the book.

If you buy this book expecting the very grown up Myron, you will probably be disappointed. However, Harlan Coben is a good writer and as such he has come up with a group of new characters who are very likeable.
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on 11 October 2011
I'm a Harlen Coben fan and so pre-ordered this book and, as always, looked forward to reading it.

Although the book is very well written, the principal character, Mickey Bolitar, is 15 years old and the story is written from his perspective. The themes included in the book are true to the juvenile perspective - and I don't mean that in a derogatory way - and aren't that interesting to an adult. I gave the book every chance and wanted so much to enjoy it, but having finished the book I maintained the feeling that I had from the first few pages; that I was reading a children's book.

This is a very clever approach by Mr Coben in that he is probably capturing a new generation of readers, but until Mickey gets a little older and is able to enter the adult world, I won't be reading any more books that have him as the main character.
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on 24 January 2012
Am huge HC fan having read all previous stand alone and Myron books however massively disappointed in this book. The characters, dialogue and story line very weak and not up to usual standards. No way these characters in any way compare with those in the Myron books. I understand that this book is intended for a young adult market but even so would have expected more from this calibre of author. I will not be buying any others in this series. A real let down ! Hope we have not seen the end of Myron who is by far a more interesting and witty character - with great friends!!
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on 14 October 2011
Very disappointed with this new series, even allowing for the younger than usual target readership it is very poor. Myron and Co. were great reads but this I will not be recommending ... The ending is so off the wall.... Sorry but no go with this one.
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on 9 April 2012
Like many reviewers here I believed I owned another Myron Bolitar book (of which I love) but on reading found that this was not aimed at adults at all but a teenage audience. I had little choice but to pursue it as I taken it on holiday to Italy and had nothing else [having already my Michael Connelly]. While the develop of the characters was fairly well done, the unveiling of the plot was slow and the ending, frankly, quite ridiculous! I wonder whether Coban has indeed written this at all - while there are similarities it feels like a ghost writer? Existing Coban fans are not, I suggest, likely to be satisfied with this simply because we have been such fans of his portfolio to date.
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