The Final Detail (Myron Bolitar Series #6)

The Final Detail (Myron Bolitar Series #6)

3.9 110
by Harlan Coben
     
 

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His heart is broken. His partner is in jail. And someone is trying to kill him.

Then Myron Bolitar gets some really bad news....

For sports agent Myron Bolitar, it seemed like the perfect vacation. A tropical beach. A warm breeze. A little uncomplicated passion with a woman he barely knows. Myron is almost in heaven when his friend Win shows up with a

Overview

His heart is broken. His partner is in jail. And someone is trying to kill him.

Then Myron Bolitar gets some really bad news....

For sports agent Myron Bolitar, it seemed like the perfect vacation. A tropical beach. A warm breeze. A little uncomplicated passion with a woman he barely knows. Myron is almost in heaven when his friend Win shows up with a message that blasts him back to reality: Esperanza is in trouble. It's time to come home.

Now Myron is back in New York, determined to help Esperanza, his best friend and partner, who's been accused of killing one of their clients. But Esperanza isn't talking. Neither is her lawyer. And to prove his friend's innocence, Myron must trace the rise and fall of the victim, a pitcher who had been making a comeback with the Yankees. Suddenly the investigation is leading Myron to places he'd rather not go: into a family's agony, through the city's sexual underground, and to a moment buried on the dark side of a brilliant sports career.... Twelve years ago a young agent named Bolitar tried to help an up-and-coming athlete. It was a fatal mistake—and now Myron will have to pay the price....

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
We recently had the pleasure to ask sports mystery king Harlan Coben about his new novel, The Final Detail, his popular sports agent hero, the impression baseball leaves on our lives, and his thoughts on a Mets-Yankees World Series matchup. Enjoy what the very funny Coben has to say.

A Conversation with Harlan Coben

bn.com: What inspired you to create Myron Bolitar, a likeable sports agent? I never realized they actually existed until I read The Final Detail. But then, of course, this is fiction.

Harlan Coben: Saying "likeable sports agent" is a bit like saying "pleasing jock rot." Maybe that was part of the challenge. I never know what inspires what. The process is, I think, more a question of grind than inspiration.

bn.com: Myron has some vivid childhood memories of Yankee Stadium. Are any of those memories actually yours?

HC: The father and son stuff, sure. Ask most adults -- men and women -- to list off some rich childhood memories and I guarantee you that more will revolve around baseball than, say, school. I don't know why. The smells and sounds of baseball are wrapped up in us. I'll always remember the first game my dad took me too. Writing some of the scenes -- digging up these memories -- hurt, almost physically. Readers of all stripes seem to react to that in the book.

bn.com: Do you and your hero Myron Bolitar have anything in common?

HC: Most writers don't like to admit this, but yes, Myron is based somewhat on his creator, albeit with a bit of wish fulfillment tossed in the mix. We both, for example, have great relationships with our parents. We both know too much TV trivia, enjoy Broadway musicals too much, and would rather quote Felix Unger and Oscar Madison than Proust and Yeats. But Myron is funnier than Harlan Coben; he's stronger, more loyal, a better friend, and a helluva better basketball player. I do, however, have him beat in two areas: I'm a better dancer -- I think the correct term for my floor moves would be "snazzy" -- and I'm wiser in the opposite-sex department. I've been happily with the same woman since I was 20 -- I'm 37 now -- while Myron, well, simply put, is an idiot in the ways of women. While I'm jealous of Myron's relationship with his parents, he envies me big-time because I have what he really wants: a great wife and three great kids.

bn.com: The Final Detail touches on a serious problem in our society -- the impression that with talent, money, and fame comes a right to step freely across the line of right and wrong. As your novel points out, the more a person steps across that line, the more it fades and smears. How rampant is this blurring of the lines among professional athletes today?

HC: Pretty dang blurry. But not just for athletes. Myron and Win are often forced to play with those lines too. As I said in The Final Detail, the line between good and evil is not so different from the foul line on a baseball field. It's often made of stuff as flimsy as lime. It tends to fade over time. It needs to be constantly redrawn. And if enough people trample on it, the line becomes smeared to the point where fair is foul and foul is fair, where good and evil become indistinguishable from each other. This is the evil I want to explore. It's why I'm not big on psycho serial killers or that stuff.

bn.com: Have you been enjoying Major League Baseball '99 thus far? What do you think? Are we going to see a subway series?

HC: I don't know. Do you really want to watch a baseball game underground? Duh, duh, dum. Thank you, I'm here all week.

bn.com: What went into your decision to make Myron's partner and friend, Esperanza, bisexual?

HC: When I was in high school, I dated a lot of bisexuals. I'd mention sex; they'd say "Bye." Okay, old, old joke, but should we ignore the classics? Actually I didn't know Esperanza was bisexual until midway through the first book in the series. It shocked the hell out of me.

bn.com: Are you as hilarious in real life as your writing suggests? That bit about "The Sound of Music" killed me.

HC: No. In real life, I'm debonair and oh-so-good looking. Many people mistake me for Mel Gibson, but no one who can -- what's the word? -- see.

bn.com: Talk a tad about today's sports heroes and their responsibility as role models.

HC: They shouldn't be role models. Plain and simple. That's what fascinates me. I don't care who wins or loses or any of that. And it doesn't drive the books. But -- and this is going to sound high-falutin' -- the sports world is a super-intense, high-stakes microcosm. Every emotion is fervently raised to the tenth power. People care about winning and losing way too much. We treat kids who are barely old enough to vote like neo-gods. We make role models out of young men and women whose only claim to such a lofty title is the ability to hurl a sphere with great velocity or jump high or grow big muscles. The money, the power, the fame, the passion -- it's scary and it's a ripe arena for murder and suspense. Whoa, that was deep. Give me a second.

bn.com: What's up next for Myron Bolitar?

HC: I just finished a novel tentatively titled The Ghost in You, which Delacorte will release in May 2000. I don't want to reveal anything yet, but let's just say that Myron readers will be shocked to the core. How's that for a teaser?

Chicago Tribune
Superb...a twisty tale that continues to surprise as it entertains.
Los Angeles Times
Unpredictable.....a startling climax.
USA Today
The Edgar-winning author gives his characters memorable personalities. Myron Bolitar stands out.
Kirkus Reviews
Sports agent Myron Bolitar is free, white, and well over 21, so there's no reason he shouldn't drop everything at a moment's notice to go on a Caribbean idyll with CNN anchor Terese Collins. But he pays a high price for his three weeks of quality sex. When he returns, his partner, Esperanza Diaz, is gone from their New York office, arrested for the murder of their client Clu Haid. The aging Yankee pitcher had fought with Esperanza just days after failing a drug test and trying to track Myron down to warn him about some obscure danger. Now that Myron's friend Win Lockwood, who managed the securities account Clu had just withdrawn $200,000 from, has dragged him home, Esperanza refuses to talk to him; her lawyer tells him to take a hike; and Frank Ache, Jr., the mob scion whose agency has been poaching Myron's clients in his absence, doesn't want him poking around in the case either. No matter: Myron's off and running on an exhilarating trail that'll take him from a transsexual bar called Take A Chance, where you never know whether the bouncers beating you up are really men or not, all the way back in time to an episode from his own past that he'd like to forget. These adventures are greased by a thousand wisecracks, many of them funny and none of them developing the plot or deepening the characters. The crackerjack mystery itself does that: as in One False Move (1998), Myron is as skilled at solving puzzles as his creator is at devising them. Somebody should tell the guy he doesn't need all the putdowns to shine like a star. (Mystery Guild featured alternate; author tour)

From the Publisher
"The world needs to discover Harlan Coben. He's smart, he's funny and he has something to say."—Michael Connelly

"Combines Chandler's wry wit with Ross Macdonald's moral complexity."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Poignant and insightful . . . Myron is gallant, likable and delightfully original."—Los Angeles Times

"If you've been entertaining doubts about the future of the mystery—fuhgeddaboutit! It's in good hands with Harlan Coben."—Lawrence Block

"Coben displays all the right moves . . . snappy dialogue, fast pacing, neat plotting. . . . Myron's some serious competition for Robert Parker's Spenser."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440225454
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/08/2000
Series:
Myron Bolitar Series, #6
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.06(d)

Read an Excerpt

The yacht stopped and dropped anchor. Win stepped down onto a motorized dinghy. Myron waited. He shifted his feet, bracing himself. When the dinghy was close enough to the shore, Win snapped off the motor.

"My parents?" Myron called out.

Win shook his head. "They're fine."

"Esperanza?"

Slight hesitation. "She needs your help."

Win stepped gingerly into the water, almost as though he expected it to hold his weight. He was dressed in a white button-down oxford and Lilly Pulitzer shorts with colors loud enough to repel sharks. The Yacht Yuppie. His build was on the slight side, but his forearms looked like steel snakes coiling beneath the skin.

Terese stood as Win approached. Win admired the view without ogling. He was one of the few men Myron knew who could get away with that. Breeding. He took Terese's hand and smiled. They exchanged pleasantries. Fake smiles and pointless bandies followed. Myron stood frozen, not listening. Terese excused herself and headed to the house.

Win carefully watched her saunter away. Then he said, "Quality derrière."

"Would you be referring to me?" Myron asked.

Win kept his eyes keenly focused on the, er, target. "On television she's always sitting behind that anchor desk," he noted. "One would never guess that she had such a high-quality derrière." He shook his head. "It's a shame really."

"Right," Myron said. "Maybe she should stand a couple times during each broadcast. Twirl around a few times, bend over, something like that."

"There you go." Win risked a quick glance at Myron. "Take any action snapshots, perhaps a videotape?"

"No, that would be you," Myronsaid, "or maybe an extra-perverse rock star."

"Shame."

"Yeah, shame, I got that." Quality derrière? "So what's wrong with Esperanza?"

Terese finally disappeared through the front door. Win sighed softly and turned toward Myron. "The yacht will take half an hour to refuel. We'll leave then. Mind if I sit?"

"What happened, Win?"

He did not answer, choosing instead to sit on a chaise longue and ease back. He put his hands behind his head and crossed his ankles. "I'll say this for you. When you decide to wig out, you do it in style."

"I didn't wig out. I just needed a break."

"Uh-hmm." Win looked off, and a realization smacked Myron in the head: He had hurt Win's feelings. Strange but probably true. Win might be a blue-blooded, aristocratic sociopath, but hey, he was still human, sort of. The two men had been inseparable since college, yet Myron had run off without even calling. In many ways Win had no one else.

"I meant to call you," Myron said weakly.

Win kept still.

"But I knew if there was a problem, you'd be able to find me." That was true. Win could find a Hoffa needle in a Judge Crater haystack.

Win waved a hand. "Whatever."

"So what's wrong with Esperanza?"

"Clu Haid."

Myron's first client, a right-handed relief pitcher in the twilight of his career. "What about him?"

"He's dead," Win said.

Myron felt his legs buckle a bit. He let himself land on the chaise.

"Shot three times in his own abode."

Myron lowered his head. "I thought he'd straightened himself out."

Win said nothing.

"So what does Esperanza have to do with this?"

Win looked at his watch. "Right about now," he said, "she is in all likelihood being arrested for his murder."

"What?"

Win said nothing again. He hated to repeat himself.

"They think Esperanza killed him?"

"Good to see your vacation hasn't dulled your sharp powers of deduction." Win tilted his face toward the sun.

"What sort of evidence do they have?"

"The murder weapon, for one. Bloodstains. Fibers. Do you have any sunblock?"

"But how . . . ?" Myron studied his friend's face. As usual, it gave away nothing. "Did she do it?"

"I have no idea."

"Did you ask her?"

"Esperanza does not wish to speak with me."

"What?"

"She does not wish to speak with you either."

"I don't understand," Myron said. "Esperanza wouldn't kill anyone."

"You're quite sure about that, are you?"

Myron swallowed. He had thought that his recent experience would help him understand Win better. Win had killed too. Often, in fact. Now that Myron had done likewise, he thought that there would be a fresh bond. But there wasn't. Just the opposite, in fact. Their shared experienced was opening a whole new chasm.

Win checked his watch. "Why don't you go get packed?"

"There's nothing I need to bring."

Win motioned to the house. Terese stood there, watching them silently. "Then say good-bye to La Derrière and let's be on our way."

What People are saying about this

Michael Connelly
The world needs to discover Harlan Coben. He's smart, he's funny, and he has something to say.

Meet the Author

Harlan Coben is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. His critically acclaimed novels have been published in forty-one languages around the world and have been number one bestsellers in more than half a dozen countries. In addition to the Myron Bolitar series (Deal Breaker, Drop Shot, Fade Away, Back Spin, One False Move, The Final Detail, Darkest Fear, Promise Me, Long Lost, andLive Wire), Coben is also the author of the young adult Mickey Bolitar series including Shelter and Seconds Away, and of Miracle Cure, Play Dead, Tell No One, Gone for Good, No Second Chance, Just One Look, The Innocent, The Woods, Hold TightCaught, and Stay Close.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Date of Birth:
January 4, 1962
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
Education:
B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984
Website:
http://www.harlancoben.com

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The Final Detail 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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I love the Myron Bolitar series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series (Myron Bolitar)....I realized after I started the book that I had missed #4 "Back Spin", so I will be ordering that next....
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Blown away again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Myron is still my favorite.
Gmom3 More than 1 year ago
Great book. Love Harlan Coben books. Just can't stop reading once you start a book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ANOTHER great book by harlan coben. I cant put them down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
Coben cranks out the hits through stand alone novels and the Bolitar series. Here is another and he does not disappoint on any level. Ny now we know the main characters, and they continue to show more depth for the reader. The plot? Full of twists and turns as we've come to expect, and even when we start to figure out where all the pieces fit, the book is nearly complete - but Coben still has a few important steps to take before he ties it all up. Can't wait to read #7 in the series.
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supsrule More than 1 year ago
PLEASE keep them coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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