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Promise Me (Myron Bolitar Series #8)

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It has been six years since entertainment agent Myron Bolitar last played superhero. In six years he hasn't thrown a punch. He hasn't held, much less fired, a gun. He hasn't called his friend Win, still the scariest man he knows, to back him up or get him out of trouble.

All that is about to change . . . because of a promise.

The school year is almost over. Anxious families...

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It has been six years since entertainment agent Myron Bolitar last played superhero. In six years he hasn't thrown a punch. He hasn't held, much less fired, a gun. He hasn't called his friend Win, still the scariest man he knows, to back him up or get him out of trouble.

All that is about to change . . . because of a promise.

The school year is almost over. Anxious families await word of college acceptances. In these last pressure-cooker months of high school, some kids will make the all-too-common and all-too-dangerous mistake of drinking and driving. But Myron is determined to help keep his friends' children safe, so he makes two neighborhood girls promise him: If they are ever in a bind but are afraid to call their parents, they must call him.

Several nights later, the call comes at 2:00 am, and true to his word, Myron picks up one of the girls in midtown Manhattan and drives her to a quiet cul-de-sac in New Jersey where she says her friend lives.

The next day, the girl's parents discover that their daughter is missing. And that Myron was the last person to see her. Desperate to fulfill a well-intentioned promise turned nightmarishly wrong, Myron races to find her before she's gone forever. But his past will not be buried so easily - for trouble has always stalked him, and his loved ones often suffer. Now Myron must decide once and for all who he is and what he will stand up for if he is to have any hope of saving a young girl's life.

"Harlan Coben is the modern master of the hook-and-twist - luring you in on the first page, only to shock you on the last." - Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
After six long years, fans of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar saga (Darkest Fear, The Final Detail, et al.) can finally rejoice: The New Jersey basketball legend turned sports agent and amateur sleuth is back -- and better than ever -- in Promise Me, an addictively readable thriller that turns a simple act of kindness into a convoluted nightmare.

During a "coming out" party to celebrate Bolitar's budding new relationship with freelance writer and 9/11 widow Ali Wilder, the 6'4" former Boston Celtics washout overhears a drunken conversation in his basement between Wilder's daughter, Erin, and Aimee Biel, both students at Bolitar's alma mater, Livingston High School. In an attempt to protect the girls from the potentially deadly situation of accepting a ride with an inebriated acquaintance, Bolitar makes the girls promise him that if they're ever in need of a ride they will call him, regardless of the time or place -- no questions asked. Shortly thereafter, Biel takes him up on his offer. Upholding his promise, Bolitar picks up the Duke-bound high school senior in midtown Manhattan at two o'clock in the morning and drives her to what he thinks is a girlfriend's house in suburban New Jersey -- only to find out the next day that she has gone missing. Vowing to find Biel, Bolitar investigates her personal history and uncovers a viper's nest of dirty little secrets -- secrets that could destroy more than a few prominent Livingston families…

The ingeniously elaborate plot of Promise Me is a virtual roller-coaster ride of wild twists and turns, and no one will be able to predict the bombshell of a conclusion. In a word: Unputdownable. Paul Goat Allen
Janet Maslin
Promise Me shows off the best of Mr. Coben's plotting skills, though he has overtaxed them in recent books. This time he's got it just right: the story is tricky enough to be exciting but not tricky enough to cause whiplash.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
After a six-year hiatus, it's good to herald the return of Myron Bolitar, the former Boston Celtics basketball star who became a sports agent and crime solver in Coben's sprightly, exciting series. Even better, it's great fun to hear Coben himself performing this excellent audio version. As a reader, Coben has a quality best summed up by the Yiddish word hamishe (homelike, in its weaker translation). He may not be Laurence Olivier, but he sure knows how to make believers of his listeners. When Bolitar talks about going back to live with his parents in New Jersey, Coben catches the basic boyishness of his aging hero and the impact such a move has on Myron's love life. Of course, the world has gotten a lot more complicated: Bolitar's ladyfriend lost her husband on September 11. When he offers to help her teenage daughter, he quickly finds himself involved in some very dangerous adventures. With fading sports stars behaving badly in real life, it's a great pleasure to see that Bolitar has found ways to survive honorably. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 6). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
Too bad the book's hero, Myron Bolitar, a former basketball-star-turned-sports-and-entertainment-agent, can't go into politics. Myron vividly learns the perils of promises: They can have unpleasant, disappears. Three months earlier another local teenager had disappeared. Both adolescents had used the same ATM in Manhattan. The book takes off in high gear. (19 Jun 2006)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
A promise made on a whim comes back to haunt sports and entertainment agent Myron Bolitar. Worrying about two neighborhood girls riding with drunk drivers, Myron vows to help them anytime and anywhere as long as they call. Keeping his word a few nights later, he drops off one of the young girls in a suburban neighborhood, and she promptly vanishes. Her angry parents question his motives, and eventually so do the police. Myron swears to the missing girl's mother that he will find her daughter, even if she doesn't want to be found. The return of reluctant hero Myron (Darkest Fear) after a six-year absence will be applauded by his fans and enjoyed by newcomers. Abandoning the expected thriller elements, Coben has written a compelling drama that examines the power of honesty and determination to do the right thing. This should be shortlisted for major awards. Promise to read it. For all fiction collections.-Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After six years of spinning jaw-dropping stand-alone thrillers, Coben brings back his sports agent-make that everything agent-Myron Bolitar (Darkest Fear, 2000, etc.) for an encore. Overhearing high-school senior Erin Wilder, his current ladylove's daughter, sharing confidences with her friend Aimee Biel about getting driven by wasted friends, Myron Bolitar promises both girls that if they ever need a ride, they can call him and he'll pick them up, no questions asked. All too soon he gets a chance to deliver. Aimee phones him from midtown Manhattan, where he just happens to be staying, and asks him to drive her to suburban New Jersey. Myron obliges but pushes a bit too hard with the questions, and Aimee vanishes into a strange house. The next day she's still missing, and in jig time the police, armed with Myron's credit-card slips and EZ-Pass records, come calling. It turns out that Myron's not a credible suspect. But because everybody connects Aimee's disappearance to that of fellow student Katie Rochester three months ago, Myron's on the hook with some serious people, from Aimee's parents, who beg him to bring her home, to Katie's mobbed-up dad, who's too proud to beg but has other ways of getting him to cooperate. As usual, Coben piles on the plot twists, false leads, violent set pieces and climactic surprises with the unfocused intensity that have made his thrillers (The Innocent, 2005, etc.) such a hot ticket. Book-of-the-Month Club/Mystery Guild/Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club main selection
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451219244
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: Myron Bolitar Series , #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 86,864
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan Coben
Harlan Coben is the bestselling author of eighteen novels, including The Woods, Promise Me, and The Innocent, and is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. He lives in New Jersey with his family.


Harlan Coben may be the only mystery writer to have inspired the dubious endorsement, "Raymond Chandler meets Bridget Jones" (as the Chicago Tribune wrote about Darkest Fear). But it's not hard to see what the critic means: Coben knows how to create a good chase, but he is also adept at generating laughs along the way. His books often start with a few pieces of bad news and end with the closet door flung open to reveal a few skeletons.

Debuting in 1995, the series that cemented Coben's reputation revolves around Myron Bolitar, a wisecracking sports agent who always finds himself getting into trouble, via his clients or his own past. What's endearing about these books is Coben's willingness to have fun as he spins a story. He might poke fun the yuppie wardrobe of Bolitar's partner, Win, or his gal Friday (and sometime female wrestler), Big Cyndi's, tendency to wear "more makeup than the cast of Cats." There's a slight boys' club air to the series, but it's more frat house than locker room -- or more appropriately, rec room, since Bolitar finds himself still living at his parents' in his early 30s.

Sports-averse readers should not avoid the Bolitar books; in the end, sports play only a peripheral role in the story, which is primarily about the mystery. Given this, it's not surprising that Coben has called William Goldman's Marathon Man one of his favorite thrillers and has cited Philip Roth and Alfred Hitchcock as influences.

And yes, there's certainly life beyond Bolitar! Coben has crafted a number of superb stand-alone thrillers filled with tortuous twists and turns and peopled with characters you can't help but root for. In a 2001 interview, the author stated, "I love a book that sneaks up behind you at the end and slaps you in the back of the head." Ultimately, that describes everything in Harlan Coben's oeuvre.

Good To Know

Coben has four children with wife Anne, his sweetheart since age 20.

Coben advises aspiring writers thusly: "Write. Don't take classes. Don't join workshops. Don't listen to me," he told the Charlotte Austin Review. "Just write. Oh, and cut. Cut a lot. You're probably not editing yourself enough. Then rewrite. Then rewrite again. Repeat. Like with shampooing."

Coben says his mother was his best literary inspiration in an interview with the Page One literary newsletter. "We'd go to the old Barnes & Noble in Manhattan (back then, if you can believe this, I think there was only one) and spend the entire day. We didn't have much money back then and we almost never bought toys -- but we were always allowed to get whatever books we wanted."

In our interview, Coben shared more fun facts:

"I once worked as a tour guide in the Costa del Sol of Spain."

"I pretty much only wear Lilly Pulitzer ties because my best friend owns the company."

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    1. Hometown:
      Ridgewood, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 4, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newark, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 112 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 112 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    A Must Read

    This was my first Harlan Coben book and won't be my last! I loved Myron Bolitar and can't wait to read the other books from his series. The story line was fast-moving and full of surprises yet easy to follow along and keep all of the characters in order. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a little drama and suspense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2006

    Springtime in Heaven with Myron

    Fans of Myron Bolitar unite! Will our faithfulness and longing be duly served in this next Bolitar entry? I will endure feverishly the endless minutes until April 25th. If it is true Harlan would know the right time to bring Myron back, then this hiatus should be well worth its weight in YooHoo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2014

    I met Harlan Coban at RWA National 2011 and fell madly in like w

    I met Harlan Coban at RWA National 2011 and fell madly in like with this hilarious man. His books, however, have a far darker and thrilling tone but they are equally engaging. His Myron Bolitar character is reminiscent to me of Robert B. Parker's Spenser, and Bolitar's friend Will plays a rather Hawk-like role as his even scarier sidekick/buddy (high praise from me). But Coban's books are in a class all their own. In Promise Me (Bolitar #8), Bolitar extracts a promise from two young girls who are partying and casually talking about getting a ride home from someone who's been drinking. All too well aware of the dangers that lurk for these young girls, he gets them to promise: Call him, anytime, anywhere, if they need help or a ride or ... anything. And that well-meant promise sets the stage for dark, dangerous and deadly happenings that draw Bolitar in and put him in serious trouble after one of the teens takes him up on the offer - and disappears into the night. From protective and desperate parents both criminal and otherwise, from thugs, and from the police when the girl goes missing and Myron was the last one to see her. Coupled with college application shenanigans, and a budding romance for Myron even as the former love of his life is getting hitched, Bolitar and team will stop at nothing to save the girls who disappeared. Did they run away? Are the 2 missing girls linked as evidence seems to say? Or is there something more sinister going on. Desperation leads to dark choices for these characters and Myron is in the thick of it all. Setting this thriller in the heart of a community with families, high school students, jealousy and competition, Coban crafts a twisty, provocative thriller (I never saw the end coming!) and manages social commentary on the unforeseen results of even the most generous of actions. If you haven't discovered Harlan and Myron, and the other Coban titles, you're missing out. And Promise Me is a knock-out punch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014


    Very good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Great series! Never disappoints

    Bolitar series always stays fresh. They are interesting, fun, quick reads.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012


    Love this series. Myron and Win forever!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012


    Pretty good...just started it :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Great Book!

    Harlan Coben is a great stoyteller. This book is certainly one to add to the list of great mysteries. I could not put it down.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My First Myron Bolitar Book

    Audio abridged: This is the second Harlan Coben I have listened to and I really liked it. The first book was very gory. This one is more suspenseful and book eight of a series. Myron Bolitar is a former Duke basketball player and self-described superhero. He makes a friend's teen promise, no matter the time or place, to call him instead of getting in the car with a drunk driver. The teen calls Myron just a few days later and of course, trouble ensues. I like the character of Myron. Coben narrates his own book and I pictured Seth Rogan as Myron. Only while Myron seems soft on the outside, he can kick some butt, shoot a gun and is very smart. The best character of the book is his mysterious friend Win. Win makes James Bond look like a noob. Win assesses every situation with pro and con and does what needs to be done. He is smug, but very likable. Overall, great book and I plan to look for some more in audio.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    really good!

    Harlan Coben has a new I will be reading more of his work!

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    'Promise Me' you'll read this book!

    Promise Me by Harlan Coben is a book full of as many twists and turns as a 20 foot wet noodle caught in a tornado. In this intricate web woven by master craftsman Coben lie multiple parallel story lines. These include Myron Bolitar and his quest to find a girl and right a wrong while all the while keeping a 'promise', a central theme in this book. His friend Win, a very rich, scary, smart, and rarely kind man, helps him to achieve what he must. Also, running parallel and sometimes intertwining is the story of Detective Loren Muse and her investigation into several runaway/kidnapping situations that bring her and Bolitar's stories together.

    I think that this book is a fantastic read. Coben's style is full of surprises, shocks, and an array of emotions that paint a wonderful picture. His style of writing will keep you guessing until literally the last few pages. One of the only cons is how confusing and involved the novel can be. With all the storylines and plot developments the reader can become lost in the maze and forget key facts. But this is outweighed by how exciting it keeps the context of the book, making the reader constantly hunger for more. Read it and find out for yourself, I highly recommend this book to readers looking for something to hold their attention and give some excitement to their repertoire of novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Suspense and Suburban Desperation

    In Harlan Coben's, Promise Me, agent slash avenger, Myron Bolitar, inherits more than he bargained for when he asks a couple of teenage girls to promise and call him if they are ever in trouble. Coben delivers a plot full of action and misdirection that's sure to please mystery and suspense fans in this tale of suburban desperation. I liked the book, though I found the love scenes between Myron and his new girlfriend, Ali, to be a bit too cute. I also felt Myron's sidekick, Win, was an over-th-top hero. No matter what Myron needed or when he needed it, his buddy, Win, was there to deliver. That being said, Promise Me has that hard to define Make-you-want-to-read-it quality going in full force. Bob Avey, author of Beneath a Buried House

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    good read

    This was the first book I have read by Harlan so I don't have the backround on Myron like most people. I thought the book was great, I loved Myron and felt so in tuned with him. There were unexpected turns which kept my attention, I read this book in a matter of 6 hours. I will definatley be reading more books by Harlan, and will be catching up on Myrons old ways.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Ohh Yeah!

    Spectacular Book. Stayed in my hands until i finished it, and i still didn't want to put it down. Very nice work Harlan Coben.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    Welcome back, Myron. I missed you.

    From Chapter 29: Myron coughed more. He faked like he couldn't breath. He wheezed, he retched, he started coughing uncontrollably. ... Myron stuck his tongue out, gagged some more. Somewhere, a casting agent was speed-dialing Scorsese. This is the lengths to which Myron will go to survive a situation that could be ugly. What what lengths will he go to in order to keep a promise? He discovers keeping one special promise rocks his world, and not in a nice way. The basic plot is quite simple. But Myron sees waaay more than he would like to in the course of two or three weeks. Just to offer hope from a promise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2007

    Couldn't put the book down!!!

    I've just recently started reading Harlan's books. He's a great author! I finished this book in a day and a half. I just couldn't put it down. He always keeps you guessing what's about to happen next. If you're like me and need a book that keeps your attention, this is it. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Harlan is one of my favorite authors. I have read the entire Myran Bolitar series and think they are terrific, but I thought this book was a disappointment. Maybe after 6 years Harlan should have kept Myron in the past. The plot was lackluster. I would still recommend reading this book, but only after you have read all of the better written, earlier books in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    I Still Love Myron and Win

    Halan Coben still hasn't lost his touch in twist and turn of a story. Myron is more lay back in this book. May be because he's older now but Win is still my favorite psyche. The fast pace and full of humor prevails and I love it. I'm never disappointed with Harlan Coben's writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2007

    Lover of Myron Bolitar

    I have enjoyed reading all of Harlan's books over the years and highly recommend the entire Myron Bolitar series! I love all his wild, funny and very loveable characters including Win.. Harlan can we have more Win?? Either way, I am anxiously awaiting his next book.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 112 Customer Reviews

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