I'm not sure what got me on a nostalgia track. But I actually remember where I was when I first started reading Coben and Bolitar. We were on vacation in Lake Tahoe in the late 1990s. And we were visiting a shopping center in Tahoe City. Joni was at her favorite women's clothing store, Fine 'n Funky, in The Boatworks shopping center. As interested as I am in Joni's clothing (I am, actually, her final arbiter for daily wardrobe choice - I'm just sayin'), I decided to saunter on over to a nice little bookstore across the aisle. And since it was about 15 years before I started my blog, I was still mostly reading mysteries/suspense/thrillers. I asked the young guy working there if he had any suggestions, and he recommended Coben's 1st book, Deal Breaker. And there you have it. Since then, I have eagerly read every Coben book (except for the 3 where his nephew, Mickey, is the protagonist). Counting Home, that makes 26!
Plots are not that critical when you're talking about the Myron Bolitar series. But I'll give you a quick synopsis anyway:
A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years, their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived. Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.
When you read a Bolitar, you are guaranteed a whole bunch of things:
1. An emotional connection with Myron, Win, Esperanza, Big Cyndi, and Al & Ellen Bolitar (Myron's parents)
2. Very interesting 2nd string characters: Nephew Mickey, his girlfriend Ema, Myron's fiancee Terese, Win's cousin Brooke, and some bad guys
3. Extremely clever dialogue
4. Laugh-out-loud humor, oftentimes to the point of tears, along with many chuckles and smiles
5. Very relatable writing
6. Lots of references to pop culture and current events
7. Great relationships - Myron with Win, parents, Esperanza/Big Cyndi, Terese
8. And lots of twists and turns and surprises
I also had my usual assortment of personal connections:
1. The High Line in Manhattan, which we walked a couple of times while visiting Lauren and Joe
2. A reference to having a Jacuzzi, which is my uncle (he married my mom's sister) and his family business
3. A reference to the Stockholm Syndrome, which was the main theme of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, which I really liked (p.s. I'm reading the ARC of Ann's next book, Commonwealth, and it's only fair)
4. A character named Chick, which was the name of my uncle - Chick (Giacondo) Jacuzzi
As I mentioned, this is book 11, and Coben has done something in Home that he hasn't done in any of his other Bolitars. He has chapters with Win being the narrator. See what you think about that. I actually liked it.
Home hits the air and print waves 1 month from today, on September 20. If you've never read Coben or Myron Bolitar before, you will still really like this one. If you've read all of the other 10 Bolitar books in the series (or at least some/most of them), then you will LOVE this one. These are people that I feel I personally know. How much better does it get than that?