Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Long Lost - Harlan Coben


Long Lost
Harlan Coben
Dutton

Mystery/Thriller

Myron Bolitar, former first-round draft pick for the Celtics and now an entertainment agent, hasn’t heard from Terese Collins in over seven years. The two spent a few passionate weeks together back then, each trying to blot out painful memories. Then she disappeared completely. When she calls, out of the blue, and asks Myron to come to Paris to meet her, he’s bemused. And not a little tempted. In the end, Myron does what he feels he should and travels to Paris.

Not long ago, Terese got a very similar phone call from her ex-husband, Rick. For the first time in forever, Rick sounded scared, but said he had something to tell his former wife that would change her life. Terese arrived in Paris, but there was no sign of Rick. Eventually, she tells Myron that, when they met, she was running from a personal tragedy involving her young daughter. That’s the only thing that she and Rick could possibly have in common.

Myron knows that there must be more to the story. For one thing, he was detained at the airport when he arrived. And he’s being followed around Paris. Then there’s the gun-toting guy at the café who tries to kidnap him. Working with Berleand, a French detective, Myron learns that the police found Rick in a bloody murder scene. Not all of the blood at the scene was Rick’s. Entirely improbably, some of that blood appears to be that of Rick’s and Terese’s long-dead daughter.

The story begins with a scene of pure Americana: the kids’ basketball game. Myron displays his great wit by observing that many of the parents have “Spectator’s Tourettes.” From there, the story moves to Paris, then to England and back to the US. There are several seemingly disparate subplots that eventually – and surprisingly – do manage to come together in the end.

No previous experience with this series is necessary. New readers will be happy to meet Myron, et al, and probably anxious to check out the backlist. Each character’s background is quickly sketched in without losing any narrative momentum. I have to admit that I don’t care for the character of Terese. She struck me as flat-out selfish. But the actions of Myron, Win, and everyone else seem perfectly consistent with their own characters. This is one of those could-be-true scenarios that kept me up late at night to finish the book. It was time well spent.

Rating: 8
April 2009
ISBN# 978-0-525-95105-6 (hardcover)



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