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Tennis has been very good to agent Myron Bolitar. He represents two of the hottest young stars in the game. But when his female player is murdered in broad daylight at the U.S. Open and his male player becomes the prime suspect, Myron's got a whole new match to win. His investigation leads to an old murder, the mob, and someone who's determined to shut down his search for good. Original.
Cesar Romero," Myron said.
Win looked at him. "You'renot serious."
"I'm starting off with aneasy one."
On Stadium Court the players were changing sides. Myron's client,Duane Richwood, was shellacking the number-fifteen seed IvanSomething-okov, leading 5-0 in the third set after winning the firsttwo sets 6-0, 6-2. An impressive U.S. Open debut for the unseededtwenty-one-year-old upstart from the streets (literally) of New York. "
Cesar Romero," Myron repeated. "Unless you don't know."
Win sighed. "The Joker."
"The Riddler." Ninety-second commercial break. Myron and Win were keeping themselvesbusy with a scintillating game of Name the Batman Criminal. The TVBatman. The Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward and all those Pow,Bam, Slam balloons. The real Batman.
"Who played the second one?" Myron asked.
"The second Riddler?" Myron nodded.
From across the court Duane Richwood flashed them a cocky smile. Hesported garish aviator sunglasses with loud fluorescent green frames.The latest style from Ray*Ban. Duane was never without them. He hadbecome not only identified by the shades but defined by them.Ray*Ban was rather pleased.
Myron and Win sat in one of the two players' boxes reserved forcelebrities and players' entourages. For most matches every seat inthe box was filled. When Agassi played the night before, the box hadoverflowed with his family, friends, suck-ups, young lasses,environmentally correct movie stars, hair weaves-like an Aerosmithbackstage party. But Duane had only three people in the box: agentMyron, financial consultant Win, and Duane's coach, Henry Hobman.Wanda, the love of Duane's life, got too nervous and preferred tostay home. "
John Astin," Win answered.
Myron nodded. "How about Shelley Winters."
Win looked puzzled. "And what?"
"What other criminal did Liberace play?"
"What are you talking about? Liberace only appeared in that oneepisode."
Myron leaned back and smiled. "Are you sure?" In his seat next to the umpire's chair Duane happily chugged down abottle of Evian. He held the bottle so that the sponsor's name couldbe clearly seen by the television cameras. Smart kid. Knew how toplease the sponsor. Myron had recently signed Duane to a simple dealwith the natural water giant: during the U.S. Open Duane drank Evianin marked bottles. In return Evian paid him ten grand. That was waterrights. Myron was negotiating Duane's soda rights with Pepsi and hiselectrolyte rights with Gatorade.
"Liberace only appeared in that one episode," Win announced .
"Is that your final answer?"
"Yes. Liberace only appeared in that one episode."
Henry Hobman continued to study the court, scrutinizing with intenseconcentration, his line of vision swinging back and forth. Too bad noone was playing.
"Henry, you want to take a guess?"
Henry ignored them. Nothing new there.
"Liberace only appeared in that one episode," Win repeated, hisnose in the air.
Myron made a soft buzzing sound. "Sorry, that answer is incorrect.What do we have for our player, Don? Well, Myron, Windsor gets thehome version of our game plus a year's supply of Turtle Wax. Andthank you for playing our game!"
Win was unmoved. "Liberace only appeared in that oneepisode."
"That your new mantra?"
"Until you prove otherwise."
Win-full name: Windsor Horne Lockwood III-steepled his manicuredfingers. He did that a lot, steepling. Steepling fit him. Win lookedliked his name. The poster boy for the quintessential WASP. Everythingabout his appearance reeked arrogance, elitism, Town and CountryParties Page, debutantes dressed in monogrammed sweaters and pearlswith names like Babs, dry martinis at the clubhouse, stuffy oldmoney-his fine blond hair, his pretty-boy patrician face, hislily-white complexion, his snotty Exeter accent. Except in Win'scase some sort of chromosomal abnormality had slipped through thegenerations of careful breeding. In some ways Win was exactly what he appeared to be. But in many more ways-sometimes very frighteningways-Win was not.
"I'm waiting," Win said.
"You remember Liberace playing Chandell the Great?" Myronasked.
"But you forgot that Liberace also played Chandell's evil twinbrother, Harry. In the same episode."
Win made a face. "You cannot be serious."
"That doesn't count. Evil twin brothers."
"Where in the rule book does it say that?"
Win set his jutting jaw in that certain way.
The humidity was thick enough towear as undergarments, especially in Flushing Meadows's windlessstadium court. The stadium, named strangely enough for LouisArmstrong, was basically a giant billboard that also happened to havea tennis court in the middle. IBM had a sign above the speedometerthat clocked the velocity of each player's serve. Citizen kept boththe real time and how long the match had been going on. Visa had itsname printed behind the service line. Reebok, Infiniti, Fuji Film,Clairol had their names plastered wherever there was a free spot. Sodid Heineken.
Heineken, the official beer of the U.S. Open.
The crowd was a complete mix. Down low-in the good seats-peoplehad money. But anything went in the dress department. Some wore fullsuits and ties (like Win), some wore more casual BananaRepublic-type clothes (like Myron), some wore jeans, some wore shorts.But Myron's personal favorite were the fans who came in full tennisgear-shirt, shorts, socks, tennis shoes, warm-up jacket, sweatbands,and tennis racket. Tennis racket. Like they might get called on toplay. Like Sampras or Steffi or someone might suddenly point into thestands and say, "Hey, you with the racket. I need a doublespartner."
Win's turn. "Roddy McDowall," he began.
"Joan Collins." Myron hesitated. "Joan Collins? As in Dynasty?"
"I refuse to offer hints."
Myron ran episodes through his mind. On the court the umpireannounced, "Time." The ninety-second commercial break was over.The players rose. Myron couldn't swear to it, but he thought he sawHenry blink.
"Give up?" Win asked.
"Shhh. They're about to play."
"And you call yourself a Batman fan."
The players took the court. They too were billboards, only smaller.Duane wore Nike sneakers and clothes. He used a Head tennis racket.Logos for McDonald's and Sony adorned his sleeves. His opponent woreReebok. His logos featured Sharp electronics and Bic. Bic. The pen andrazor company. Like someone was going to watch a tennis match, see thelogo, and buy a pen.
Myron leaned toward Win. "Okay, I give," he whispered. "Whatcriminal did Joan Collins play?"
Win shrugged. "I don't remember."
"I know she was in an episode. But I don't remember hercharacter's name."
"You can't do that." Win smiled with perfect white teeth. "Where in the rule book does it say that?"
"You have to know the answer."
"Why?" Win countered. "Does Pat Sajak have to know every puzzleon Wheel of Fortune? Does Alex Trebeck have to know every question onJeopardy!"
"Nice analogy, Win. Really."
Then another voice said, "TheSiren."
Myron and Win looked around. Itseemed to have come from Henry.
"Did you say something?" Henry's mouth did not appear to be moving. "The Siren," herepeated, his eyes still pasted to the court. "Joan Collins playedthe Siren. On Batman."
Myron and Win exchanged a glance.
"Nobody likes a know-it-all, Henry."
Henry's mouth might have moved. Might have been asmile. On the court Duane opened the game with an ace that nearly bore a holethrough a ball boy. The IBM speedometer clocked it at 128 mph. Myronshook his head in disbelief. So did Ivan What's-his-name. Duane waslining up for the second point when Myron's cell phone rang.
Myron quickly picked it up. He was not the only person in the standswho was talking on a cell phone. He was, however, the only one in afront row. Myron was about to disconnect the power when he realized itmight be Jessica. Jessica. Just the thought quickened his pulse a little.
"It's not Jessica." It was Esperanza, hisassociate.
"I didn't think it was."
"Right," she said. "You always sound like a whimpering puppywhen you answer the phone."
Myron gripped the receiver. The match continued without interruption,but sour faces spun to seek out the origin of the offending ring."What do you want?" he whispered. "I'm in thestadium."
"I know. Bet you look like a pretentious asshole. Talking on a cellphone at the match."
Now that she mentioned it . . .
The sour faces were glaring daggers now. In their eyes Myron hadcommitted an unpardonable sin. Like molesting a child. Or using thesalad fork on the entree. "What do you want?"
"They're showing you on TV right now. Jesus, it'strue."
"The TV does make you look heavier."
"What do you want?"
"Nothing much. I thought you might want to know I got you a meetingwith Eddie Crane."
"You're kidding." Eddie Crane, one of the hottest tennis juniorsin the country. He was seeing only the big-four agencies. ICM, TruPro,Advantage International, ProServ.
"No joke. Meet him and his parents by court sixteen after Duane'smatch."
"I love you, you know."
"Then pay me more," she said.
Duane hit a cross-court forehandwinner. Thirty-love.
"Anything else?" Myronasked. "Nothing important. Valerie Simpson. She's called three times."
"What did she want?"
"She wouldn't say. But the Ice Queen sounded ruffled."
"Don't call her that."
Myron hung up. Win looked at him. "Problem?"
Valerie Simpson. A weird, albeit sad case. The former tenniswunderkind had visited Myron's office two days ago looking forsomeone-anyone-to represent her. "Don't think so."
Duane was up forty-love. Triple match point. Bud Collins, tenniscolumnist extraordinaire, was already waiting in the gangway for thepostmatch interview. Bud's pants, always a Technicolor fashion risk,were particularly hideous today.
Duane took two balls from the ball boy and approached the line. Duanewas a rare commodity in tennis. A black man. Not from India or Africaor even France. Duane was from New York City. Unlike just about everyother player on the tour, Duane had not spent his life preparing forthis moment. He hadn't been pushed by ambitious, carpooling parents.He hadn't worked with the world's top coaches in Florida orCalifornia since he was old enough to hold a racket. Duane was on theopposite end of the spectrum: a street kid who had run away at agefifteen and somehow survived on his own. He had learned tennis fromthe public courts, hanging around all day and challenging anyone who could hold a racket.
He was on the verge of winning his first Grand Slam match when the gunshot sounded.
The sound had been muffled, coming from outside the stadium. Mostpeople did not panic, assuming the sound had come from a firecrackeror car backfire. But Myron and Win had heard the sound too often. Theywere up and moving before the screams. Inside the stadium the crowdbegan to mumble. More screams ensued. Loud, hysterical screams. Thecourt umpire in his infinite wisdom impatiently shouted "Quiet,please!" into his microphone.
Myron and Win sprinted up the metallic stairway. They leaped over thewhite chain, put out by the ushers so that no one could enter or leavethe court until the players switched sides, and ran outside. A smallcrowd was beginning to gather in what was generously dubbed the"Food Court." With a lot of work and patience the Food Court hopedto one day reach the gastronomic levels of, say, its mall brethren.
They pushed through the crowd. Some people were indeed hysterical butothers hadn't moved at all. This was, after all, New York. The linesfor refreshments were long. No one wanted to lose their place.
The girl was lying facedown in front of a stand serving Moëtchampagne at $7.50 a glass. Myron recognized her immediately, evenbefore he bent down and turned her over. But when he saw her face,when he saw the icy blue eyes stare back at him in a final,unbreakable death gaze, his heart plummeted. He looked back at Win.Win, as usual, had no expression on his face.
"So much," Win said, "for her comeback."
Posted October 20, 2011
This second installment in the Myron Bolitar series is another solid entry, though not as riveting as the first book. Myron's dry wit makes the story more interesting and continues to be the draw for me.
I didn't think Win could get scarier but he pulls out the stops in this story. There are some tense moments but for the most part, this was more of a puzzler than suspense. There were several subplots that converged at the end, which kept my interest level high. I was able to figure out most of the main plot but admit I was caught off guard with one of the other diversions.
I'm hooked on Myron and this series and will be continuing. My rating for this story is 3.5 stars.
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Posted September 15, 2011
The novel Drop Shot, by Harlan Coben was an action-packed page-turner. Coben's sense of humor was present throughout the story as he portrayed protaganist Myron Bolitar, who, with best friend and partner in crime Windsor Horne Lockwood III, attempts to solve another mystery. In this story, Bolitar leads the reader through an adventurous search for the murderer of former female tennis star Valerie Simpson. Through many twists and turns, the reader is lead back to a six-year old murder case involving a senator's son, which connects to the recent catastrophe. Will Bolitar find the answer to the mystery, or will he fall victim to the intimidation of the mob, who play an important role in the murder case? Drop Shot keeps the readers eyes glued to the page, as mine were this summer. Highly recommended.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2012
Posted October 23, 2010
The second in the Bolitar series continues with the development of the lead character, as well as his cohorts Win and Esperanza. Good story telling by Coben, well-crafted intrigue and twists and turns, and participants who jump off the pages. I'm not new to Coben, but am new to the Bolitar series - will definitely keep reading them!
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Posted September 26, 2013
Rarity close her eyes and thought hard." Its true. They have been ignoring me lately." She admitted. The voices laughed."See, Rarity? We are right, as always. Take our advice, or you will regret it." A voice from the Fog. Rarity had a feeling she should listen closely." Whats your advice?" She said, looking into one of the eerie glowing eyes." Show them your best. Show them you have POWER!" The voice crowed. A strange feeling crept through Rarity." Yes, i'll show them. I'll show them all!" She called, her voice echoing through the Everfree Forest. The voices muttered their approvement." Yes yes, very good, my dear Rarity. Show them!" Suddenly the feeling inside Rarity became stronger. It was the same feeling she had gotten when Discord hypnotized her.....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2013
My first encounter with Coben's writing was his most recent book, Six Years. It was excelleent prompting me to follow up with Drop Shot. The story line in the latter is also well developed and written. But the abundance of foul language is disturbing. So much so that I will not read another book by this author. Other readers may not be disturbed by vulgarity, but as a Christian I am offended by it.
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Posted April 29, 2013
The second book in the Myron Bolitar series, "Drop Shot" tops the first book with excellent built-up and a satisfying twist. At this point, author Harlan Coben's writing skills were clearly reaching a point of excellence, though, like the first in the series, "Deal Breaker", some of the dialogue is a little too cheesy for me. However, he also improved in this area, with the beginning of Chapter 42 in a part between Bolitar and girlfriend, Jessica ("I work fast", and her "And yet I never complain" retort) is brief, shows the chemistry between the two, and avoids feeling gratuitous. A great read, and I'm glad I re-read this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2013
I dont know about this Harlin Cobin. His stories are childish and boring. You do want to get to the end, to know who the killer is, but if thats the only reason to try and finish a book, it must be a pretty sad book. Btw It was mom.
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Posted April 26, 2013
Really enjoyed the second book of the series. Lots of plot twists and turns that keeps the pages turning. Actually glad that I had "ran out of books" from the usual authors that I had been reading. It gave me an opportunity to try out another author and I am so glad that I have found Harlan Coben!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 5, 2013
Posted October 20, 2012
Posted October 22, 2012
Posted March 5, 2012
Posted February 19, 2012
Posted September 8, 2011
Posted June 17, 2010
Having caught up with all my favorite authors' latest, I decided to take on a new author, Harlan Coben. WOW! Following the Myron Bolitar series takes action and suspense to a new level. Just when you think you have figured out "who dunnit", Mr. Coben throws in a new twist. Easy and fast read. I recommend starting with the first in the Bolitar series. The writing is a bit rough early on, but improves with each in the series. A mystery reader must!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 11, 2009
Posted August 23, 2009
This series is my favorite for reading on airplanes and in airports. It's a book that you can carry around and get distracted from then easily pick up where you left off. The main characters, Myron and his weird friends, are funny and entertaining. The only complaint I have is that the author makes things a bit too convoluted late in the book. I sometimes get bored and have to scan the last couple of chapters. A fast fun read always.
This particular book was not as good as the other Myron books - the whole idea of it strained my ability to suspend disbelief. The premise was a top seed tennis player is really a boy involved in a murder a number of years before. But I still finished it and enjoyed it.
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Posted July 5, 2009