Book Title: Home
Author: Harlan Coben
Series: Myron Bolitar #11
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Humor, Contemporary, Crime Fiction
Date Read: 08/22/16
Pub Date: 09/20/16
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.
Oh my lucky stars, I cannot describe the high I am still riding after finishing this book. My sister and I binge read books #1-10 of the series back in 2011; they were a different read for us as we don’t gravitate toward sports themed books, but I quickly fell in love with the quirky cast of characters, hilarious banter, and action packed mysteries found in each story. It had been so long since I read book #10 (Live Wire) that I had to search out some refreshers online to make sure I was up to speed, although it turns out I didn’t need them. I would highly recommend reading the rest of the series before picking up, say, book #11, but if you aren’t in it for the character development and solely for the mystery, I guess you could jump right in.
I’ll admit, I was a little worried that Mr. Coben might have lost his touch in the years taken off from writing the escapades of his BFFs Myron and Win, but I’m happy to report that all is as it should be, and our dynamic duo is better than ever. The book starts with immediate action, and the narrative is told alternating between Win and Myron’s POV (more Myron than Win though). This flowed nicely and kept the suspense tight throughout; even at 400 pages this book flew by so fast I half expected smoke to come off my fingertips. Clearly the individual plots of the series are enough to keep you engaged, but the true WINning factor (see what I did there?) is the character development. The relationships that integrate his characters, not only with each other, but in the plot line is superb; anyone who has read a book by Harlan Coben knows he is the master of converging multiple storylines that are seemingly unrelated into one complex finale to blow your mind. His series is no different, in fact it might be even better, as we have these recurring characters to journey with while growing to love them more with each book.
The plot in this one felt a bit heavier than his past books; sure they all include murder and violence, but these aspects are usually paired with dry humor and slapstick sillies. This particular story felt set apart from the others. I’m not sure if this was due to there being such a large gap between book #10 an #11’s publication or due to the subject matter; it could be a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it was brilliant and I couldn’t be more impressed. Our characters show more growth, depth, emotion, and moral character (or lack there of) than in any other Myron Bolitar novel to date. There were still the scenes of humor we all love, but overall this book had a darker side along with a more complex storyline that, while gave us answers, didn’t leave everything cookie cutter perfect. That reason alone is what bumped my review to a full 5 star rating; I can’t tell you the amount of maturation in the author’s writing of this series between this book and the last. The pacing as I stated before was very quick, intense, and satisfying; I’ll stop there as to not spoil anything.
If you are a huge fan of the series, like myself, you might be worried that after so many years away from these characters, the author just can’t deliver like he used to. Maybe he should have stopped while he was ahead and concentrate his efforts elsewhere. Please don’t, and make sure and give this book a go. I truly believe this is his best Myron Bolitar yet, so much so that I feel I need to go back and read his Mickey Bolitar series now! (BTW- I feel like I would have been able to experience this book on a deeper level if I had read Mickey Bolitar’s story first. This is completely readable without doing so; its the difference between having backstory and a relationship with side characters with deeper understanding than just getting acquainted with them and having to learn their backstory later.) This will likely be my top read in a series for 2016; I cannot recommend it enough! If you are new to the series, go ahead and start with Deal Breaker and enjoy getting to know Myron, Win, Esperanza, and Big Cyndi. This is one investment of your time that I can guarantee you won’t regret.
* I received my copy from Dutton Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. Many thanks and can’t wait to see the overwhelming success that the Myron/Win dream team are sure to bring!