The Final Detail, Harlan Coben 1999

Coben once again entertains and engages with his wonderful cast of characters and the finely paced unfolding of his creative plot.  Perhaps it’s just that I personally identify with the main character, Myron Bolitar, a Jewish, 6’6″ former Duke All-American basketball player drafted by the Celtics who lives with his parents in New Jersey.  Or perhaps it’s that I identify with his side-kick, Winthrop Horne Lockwood, III the ultimate preppy financial advisor who can kill with his bare hands and enjoys doing so.  Or perhaps, it’s Esperanza and Big Cyndi, the former tag team wrestling duo who now are Myron’s team at MB Sports.  All unlikely, but at the end of the day, I think it’s Coben’s often laugh-out-loud humor that is mixed generously with the violence and tension of a good mystery story.  Donna Leon, in a recent By the Book interview in the NYT Sunday Book Review when asked what makes a great mystery, replied “…the writer has to persuade the reader that the quest is worth the effort and the cost…. After all, if the reader doesn’t care about what’s happening to the people in the book, there’s little reason to read it.”  Right on, Donna!  Coben does this and more.  A fun read.

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