Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar Series #2)

( 44 )

Overview

When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey Bolitar and his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and the adorkably charming Spoon—find themselves at the center of a terrifying mystery involving the shooting of their friend Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey have to continue his quest to uncover the truth about the Abeona Shelter, the Butcher of Lodz and the mysterious death of his father, he needs to figure out who shot Rachel—no matter what it ...

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Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar Series #2)

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Overview

When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey Bolitar and his loyal new friends—sharp-witted Ema and the adorkably charming Spoon—find themselves at the center of a terrifying mystery involving the shooting of their friend Rachel. Now, not only does Mickey have to continue his quest to uncover the truth about the Abeona Shelter, the Butcher of Lodz and the mysterious death of his father, he needs to figure out who shot Rachel—no matter what it takes.
 
Mickey has always been ready to sacrifice everything to help the people he loves. But with danger just seconds away, how can he protect them when he’s not even sure who—or what—he’s protecting them from?

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

"Mickey’s fast-paced, first-person narration won’t disappoint his growing fan base."
Kirkus Reviews
High school sleuth Mickey Bolitar continues to find trouble...or maybe it finds him (Shelter, 2011). In a spooky house, Mickey squares off with a gnarled crone he knows only as the Bat Lady. She freaks him out by telling him that his father is not dead, and Mickey responds with a revelation of his own: that the paramedic who whisked his father away on the day of his death is a notorious Nazi war criminal. As implausible as this sounds, the Bat Lady's violent reaction seems a validation of his claim. This troubling issue is shoved onto a back burner with the news that Mickey's friend Rachel was shot by an intruder, who also killed her mother. The mutual attraction of Mickey and Rachel is a thorn in the side of her boyfriend, basketball star Troy Taylor, who also happens to be threatened by Mickey's mad court skills. Since Troy's dad is the police chief, Mickey finds himself treated like a suspect. He and outcast pals Ema and Spoon try to unravel both mysteries, too busy to even note the arrival of movie star Angelica Wyatt, who's managed by Mickey's Uncle Myron, with whom he lives (and around whom Coben has spun a successful series for adults). Coben deftly weaves these multiple plot threads into a compelling whole. An involving thriller that moves like lightning. (Mystery. 11-16)
VOYA - Rebecca Denham
Mickey Bolitar’s life has become rather complicated. After assisting in the rescue of a schoolmate, Mickey is shown a picture of the Butcher of Lodz, a Nazi SS officer responsible for the massacre of thousands during World War II--only the man in the picture looks shockingly like the paramedic who pronounced Mickey’s father dead after the car crash that changed everything. This information shatters the new reality Mickey has built for himself and leads him on a dangerous path where nothing is what it seems and everyone is a suspect. Coben’s newest young adult novel is all over the place in terms of plot, and moves at such a pace that readers need to sprint to keep up. There are so many mysteries to follow that the reader really must pay attention or risk substantial confusion. The initial mystery of the Butcher of Lodz is overshadowed by the investigation into who shot Rachel and Mickey’s preoccupation with trying out for the basketball team. The character development is solid, however, and readers will enjoy Mickey’s internal dialogue as well as his relationships with Ema and Spoon. Generally, it is a decent read, but it lacks the depth of some other young adult thrillers. Recommend this for readers who enjoy Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series or Charlie Higson’s Young James Bond novels. Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
Mickey Bolitar's life has spiraled into a world of mystery and impossibilities. After his father's death and his mother's breakdown, Mickey is trying to figure out how to live with his uncle. But the mysteries and uncertainties that surrounded his parent's lives are following Mickey and putting everyone around him in danger. When Mickey's friend, Rachel, gets shot and he becomes a suspect, Mickey, along with his close friends Ema and Spoon, decide to discover who tried to kill their friend, and what Mickey's parents have to do with the danger that is following them. Real life issues and supernatural intrigue entwine throughout the story, creating unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader guessing what will happen next. The novel follows close on the heels of Shelter, Coben's first Mickey Bolitar novel. The text is engaging and interesting, but it is highly recommended that Shelter be read first. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—High school sophomore Mickey Bolitar is no stranger to mystery and danger and has a rap sheet to prove it. Flashing back to Shelter (Putnam, 2011), in which his father dies in a car crash and his mother is sent to a mental hospital, Mickey is now shown a photo of a Nazi named the Butcher of Lodz, who is a dead ringer for the creepy paramedic who whisked his father's body away the day of the accident. The owner of the photo is an Auschwitz survivor and eccentric neighbor known as the "Bat Lady," so when her house burns down and she turns up missing, Mickey is sure it all has something to do with his father. In a parallel plot, Mickey's classmate Rachel is wounded and her mother shot and killed at their home, by unknown assailants. Mickey's busy sports-agent guardian, Uncle Myron, is more focused on Mickey's chances of making the school basketball team than on answering questions about his brother's death, leaving the teen and friends Ema and Spoon the opportunity to investigate Rachel's shooting. Pulled in many directions by a plethora of red herrings, including the random appearance of Abeona butterfly symbols, a beautiful movie star neighbor, and a shady character named Shaved Head, it is clear that many contrivances will be needed to tie everything together. Action-loving readers, however, will enjoy the page-turning intrigue offered up by this otherwise typical teen hero spawned from the author's "Myron Bolitar" series for adults.Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142426357
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Series: Mickey Bolitar Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 65,287
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben (www.harlancoben.com) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous adult novels, and winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award, and Anthony Award--the first author to receive all three. His books are published in forty-one languages--with over 50 million copies in print worldwide--and have been #1 bestsellers in over a dozen countries. He lives in New Jersey.

Biography

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:

Read an Excerpt


“Have you met Rachel Caldwell’s father?”
That question threw me. “No.”
“How about her mother?”
“No.”
“Any family member?”
"No. Please. What’s going on? Is Rachel okay?”
“Tell us about your phone conversation with Rachel Caldwell.”
“I already did.”
“From the beginning. Word for word.”
“I don’t understand. Why do you need to know word for word?”
“Because,” Homicide Investigator Dunleavy said, “right after you finished talking to her, someone shot Rachel Caldwell in the head.”
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Site worth checking Out!

    Although this book, and the prequel before it "Shelter" appeared in the young adult catagory, as an adult I really enjoyed reading both. I am a fan of Harlan Coben, and have read many of his books. I would recommend that parents check out these books.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Yes it is a young adult book and it is very well written. The

    Yes it is a young adult book and it is very well written. The series features Mickey Bolitar, Myron's nephew, on a search to see what really may have happened to his father. Suspense and good character development will make you forget you are reading a young adult book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    AMAZING!!!!!!

    I've always loved mystery books and this is one of them so Harlan, please write more Mickey Boltar books!!!!! :-)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Highly recommended :)

    I like this kind of book. When I started to read, I could not stop. I could not wait for the end of the book. Recommend

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Highly recommend it.

    Great book. Easy read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 5, 2012

    A must read!!

    Great book! Fast paced! Coben does not disappoint! The characters feel like old friends of mine that I have grown close too!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Great new series!!

    Love Coben and love the new series. Mickey Bolitar is a fearless young man on a mission. Great characters - one of Coben's strong points - he writes characters that you relate to and care about.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    CAN'T WAIT!!!

    I've read the first book and i was blowen away with it. I shaking the book and begging for more. I have not read this book(yet) but I know it will be good!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Recommend

    If you are Harlan Coben fan you will enjoy this series & book. This series brings new characters and story lines with just a touch of your old friend Myron Bolitar. There are enough twists & turns to keep you from figuring it out. It is an easy quick read you will enjoy.

    Tom in south Florida

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 2, 2013

    Absolutely love this series and this book. I can't wait for the

    Absolutely love this series and this book. I can't wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    ok

    It was ok. Not up to usual story telling.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2012

    Never go wrong with Harlan Coben

    I should have re-read Shelter before starting this book since it picks up the next day. But didn't really need to since it recapped without sounding like a recap. Harlan is good at that. I can't wait for future books to see how Mickey might meet the Myron that Uncle Myron is hiding from him. Not to mention the cast of characters in Myrons life. It's just so good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2012

    This book was really enjoyable, I would buy Harlan Corban's othe

    This book was really enjoyable, I would buy Harlan Corban's other books for sure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Awesome

    Cant wait to read this book- loved the first one!:)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    I want to read it!

    I can not wait to read it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    I love the first two books in the Mickey Bolitar series and cann

    I love the first two books in the Mickey Bolitar series and cannot wait to read the third! Mr. Coben does a superb job writing these books with teenage main characters. His plots leave you surprised and excited to following Mickey and his world to see what will happen next. I have been waiting and waiting for the release of the third book in this series. These books are in the category of great writing, so even as an adult reader, I appreciate both the writing and the stories as well. I hope he is already working on a fourth book as I'm sure I will consume the next one coming out. Thank you for writing this young adult series, Mr. Coben. I realize the adult series are very popular too, but hope this series with Mickey's adventures will continue to receive your attention. Great!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Hi

    Hi

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  • Posted March 30, 2014

    This author never disappoints!!  The follow up book to Shelter w

    This author never disappoints!!  The follow up book to Shelter will leave you hungering for more, more,  more.  He keeps you on edge
    the entire book and I feel this series should be read by all Mr. Cobens fans, I love the new character Mickey and his sidekicks are so 
    interesting and riveting.   You will not want to put it down and by the end you're in a MUST KNOW what happens state of mind.  This author
    proves that he is very hip with todays youth and sucks you in immediately.  All ages will be drawn into this series.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Boring!

    It's like reading a glorified episode of Scooby Doo!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the fact that Seconds Away began immediately where Shelt

    I loved the fact that Seconds Away began immediately where Shelter left off. It's not a very big deal for a book in a series to start some time after the previous book and fill you in on the events that have happened, but that probably wouldn't have worked as well in this case.

    Coben's writing is as good as before. He continues to build on the story and I don't feel like anything that happens is forced or out-of-place. This definitely makes for a really good book in my opinion.

    Seconds Away was just as good as Shelter. While it didn't further the overall Mickey Bolitar storyline as much as it could have, there was quite a bit that happened and it was a solid book. I, personally, cannot wait for the third book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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