In this sixth novel in the award-winning Myron Bolitar series, Harlan Coben delivers a riveting powerhouse thriller—a twisting mystery of betrayal, family secrets, and murder.
Myron Bolitar’s colleague at MB SportsReps, Esperanza, has been arrested for the murder of a client, a fallen baseball star attempting a comeback. Myron is determined to prove Esperanza’s innocence—even if she won’t speak to him on the advice of her lawyer, who warns Myron to keep away from both the case and his client. But Myron is already too close, too involved, and has too much at stake. And the closer Myron gets to the truth, the more the evidence points to the only viable suspect besides Esperanza: Myron himself.
About 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 Tight, Caught, and Stay Close.
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
Read an Excerpt
Myron lay sprawled next to a knee-knockingly gorgeous brunette clad only in a Class-B-felony bikini, a tropical drink sans umbrella in one hand, the aqua clear Caribbean water lapping at his feet, the sand a dazzling white powder, the sky a pure blue that could only be God's blank canvas, the sun as soothing and rich as a Swedish masseur with a snifter of cognac, and he was intensely miserable.
The two of them had been on this island paradise for, he guessed, three weeks. Myron had not bothered counting the days. Neither, he imagined, had Terese. The island seemed as remote as Gilligan'sno phone, some lights, no motorcar, plenty of luxury, not much like Robinson Crusoe, and well, not as primitive as can be either. Myron shook his head. You can take the boy out of the television, but you can't take the television out of the boy.
At the horizon's midway point, slicing toward them and ripping a seam of white in the aqua-blue fabric, came the yacht. Myron saw it, and his stomach clenched.
He did not know where they were exactly, though the island did indeed have a name: St. Bacchanals. Yes, for real. It was a small patch of planet, owned by one of those mega-cruise lines that used one side of the island for passengers to swim and barbecue and enjoy a day on their "own personal island paradise." Personal. Just them and the other twenty-five hundred turistas squeezed onto a short stretch of beach. Yep, personal, bacchanallike.
This side of the island, however, was quite different. There was only this one home, owned by the cruise line's CEO, a hybrid between a thatched hut and a plantation manor. The only person within a mile was a servant. Total island population: maybe thirty, all of whom worked as caretakers hired by the cruise line.
The yacht shut off its engine and drifted closer.
Terese Collins lowered her Bolle sunglasses and frowned. In three weeks no vessel except the mammoth cruise linersthey had subtle names like the Sensation or the Ecstasy or the G Spothad ambled past their stretch of sand.
"Did you tell anybody where we were?" she asked.
"Maybe it's John."
John was the aforementioned CEO of said cruise line, a friend of Terese's.
"I don't think so," Myron said.
Myron had first met Terese Collins, well, a little more than three weeks ago. Terese was "on leave" from her high-profile job as prime-time anchorwoman for CNN. They both had been bullied into going to some charity function by well-meaning friends and had been immediately drawn to each other as though their mutual misery and pain were magnetic. It started as little more than a dare: Drop everything and flee. Just disappear with someone you found attractive and barely knew. Neither backed down, and twelve hours later they were in St. Maarten. Twenty-four hours after that they were here.
For Myron, a man who had slept with a total of four women in his entire life, who had never really experienced one-night stands even in the days when they were fashionable or ostensibly disease-free, who had never had sex purely for the physical sensation and without the anchors of love or commitment, the decision to flee felt surprisingly right.
He had told no one where he was going or for how longmostly because he didn't have a clue himself. He'd called Mom and Dad and told them not to worry, a move tantamount to telling them to grow gills and breathe underwater. He'd sent Esperanza a fax and gave her power of attorney over MB SportsReps, the sports agency they now partnered. He had not even called Win.
Terese was watching him. "You know who it is."
Myron said nothing. His heartbeat sped up.
The yacht came closer. A cabin door in the front opened, and as Myron feared, Win stepped out on deck. Panic squeezed the air out of him. Win was not one for casual drop-bys. If he was here, it meant something was very wrong.
Myron stood. He was still too far to yell, so he settled for a wave. Win gave a small nod.
"Wait a second," Terese said. "Isn't that the guy whose family owns Lock-Horne Securities?"
"I interviewed him once. When the market plunged. He has some long, pompous name."
"Windsor Horne Lockwood the third," Myron said.
"Right. Weird guy."
She should only know.
"Good-looking as all hell," Terese continued, "in that old-money, country-club, born-with-a-silver-golf-club-in-his-hands kinda way."
As though on cue, Win put a hand through the blond locks and smiled.
"You two have something in common," Myron said.
"You both think he's good-looking as all hell."
Terese studied Myron's face. "You're going back." There was a hint of apprehension in her voice.
Myron nodded. "Win wouldn't have come otherwise."
She took his hand. It was the first tender moment between them in the three weeks since the charity ball. That might sound strangelovers alone on an island, the sex constant, who had never shared a gentle kiss or a light stroke or soft wordsbut their relationship had been about forgetting and surviving: two desperate souls standing in the rubble with no interest in trying to rebuild a damn thing.
Terese had spent most days taking long walks by herself; he'd spent them sitting on the beach and exercising and sometimes reading. They met up for food, sleep, and sex. Other than that, they left each other alone toif not healat least stave off the blood flow. He could see that she too had been shattered, that some recent tragedy had struck her deep and hard and to the bone. But he never asked her what had happened. And she never asked him either.
An unspoken rule of their little folly.
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."
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," Myron said, "or maybe an extra-perverse rock star."
"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?"
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."
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."
"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."
Table of Contents
What People are Saying About This
The world needs to discover Harlan Coben. He's smart, he's funny, and he has something to say.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A better offereing from Harlan this time around. Mylon is recovering form teh conclusion of the (presumably) last book, in almos perfect solitude when Win sails by. Win managaing once again to display un-explained superpowers of deducyion in finding him. Fortunetly Win's prescence in the book is much reduced.Mylon returns home to find his Agency in tatters, Ezmerelda in jail, Big Cindi in tears and suspicions cast everywhere. His parents are getting older on top of all his other worries. As usual there are a few clues scattered around, though much is "Mylon made a few calls that confirmed his supicions" which is annoying to read. The characters are no more than 2D but Mylon's wit and banter keep it all flowing nicely. An enjoyable and quick light whodunnit and why?
Another tricky plot for Myron to unravel after he takes off to the Caribbean for three weeks without telling anyone only to find his trusty colleague Esperanza has been arrested for the murder of one of their clients. As usual the pages are full of wise cracks and vivid descriptions of characters, both major and minor which really bring them to life. Recommended.
Finally, one of Coben's books that I enjoyed. A good mystery.
This is a good read, but somehow the plot of this one just stretches my credibility a little too far - I really am not sure about the revelations at the end of the book. One of the things I do enjoy about this series is how Coben's characters, especially Myron, grow from book to book, well the read learns a little more about Will with each book.
Esperanza is in prison for murder and she isn't talking to Myron. He insists on helping her, even though she has asked him not to. This had plenty of the humor I have come to appreciate in Coben's stories. The mystery was good enough that it kept me guessing until the reveal, and I only felt the author cheated a little by withholding crucial information. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the story and I will be looking for more books by Harlan Coben.
Must read. I love how his love life/personal life continues throughout his series and gives you an update of it so far!
I took the risk of reading this instalment in the series out of sequence, which was perhaps a mistake as it was peppered with references to previous adventures I haven't read yet....but I'd started, so I finished.In time honoured fashion it's a complex whodunnit/whydunnit involving sports stars, guns, wisecracks and the obligatory missing girl. There are discourses on subjects as diverse as sexual/gender preference, baseball and the Beach Boys, and Myron Bolitar gets to the bottom of the mystery thanks in no small part to his tough friend, a man whose powers seem limitless and thus could only exist in fiction.Humour is what sets this author apart from other crime writers. It's there on every page, and not just in dialogue between the characters: the authorial voice has its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout with witty asides and winks to camera. The effect is like having an overexcited friend perched at your side, continually digging you in the ribs and chortling "he's a right one innee, eh, eh?" It meant I was constantly aware of the author, reminded that it was all a work of fiction. On the other hand, I would guess that the chumminess and what are undoubtedly excellent jokes in many cases, are what keep fans coming back for more.
Another fun adventure with Myron and Win! I loved this one, couldn't put it down!
Coben did it again. I love this series. I've dreading the fact that I'm nearing the end, but I can't stop I'm eating these books up like candy. Candy with the surprise center, because I never see the end coming and I haven't gotten a bad one yet!
When Myron's friend and partner, Esperanza is arrested for murder, Myron must find out what transpired while he was on vacation for a few weeks.
This is thw 2nd novel I have read and, although very good, it was not as riveting as the first. Maybe it was he "Myron bolitar" thing; series books can sometimes have less depth. Myron seem to always be up and going here and there but hardly ever is the time for food, sleep, etc the normal parts of life that need to be included in any story if it wants to be original. Myron is made out to be a little larger than life as a sports rep trying to discover one of his client and also an alumni of the college they attended. Always going here and there, winning each battle with his wits, strengh or whatever he needs to pewere over his adversary. Still good readning, tho.
#6 in the Myron Bolitar series.Myron, depressed over the death of a young woman with whom he fell in love, flat-out runs away to a Caribbean island where he meets a woman on a similar quest. He and she use their sexual involvement to keep at bay the events in their lives. But Paradise is invaded by none other than Win, who informs Myron that Esperanza is in big trouble in New York and needs Myron's help. Myron leaves immediately on Win's yacht (naturally).Back in New York, Myron discovers that Esperanza is being held as the chief (and only) suspect in the murder of an aging pitcher, Clu Haid. Haid, who had struggled over the years with alcohol and drug addictions, as well as marital infidelity, was trying to clean up his act in order to retain his last chance in the major leagues, with the NY Yankees. according to witnesses, Haid confronted Esperanza in a parking lot--and actually punched her in the mouth. Days later, Haid was dead.Now, Esperanza isn't talking to Myron about her case, and has asked Big Cyndi and her lawyer, Hester Crimstein, to keep silent as well. she warns Myron to let the case go, and depend on Crimstein, a famous defense lawyer, to take c are of everything. Myron, of course, is constitutionally incapable of "letting it all go", and with Win along as backup, investigates.Which leads him into some of the odder aspects of Manhattan life; accompanied by Big Cyndi, he visits a bar aptly named Take A Guess--where sexual identity is pretty fluid. There is a really funny scene in the bar where Myron, attracted to what appears to be (but remember to guess) a woman in a cat suit (he has a thing about women in cat suits), tries to figure out if there's one too many penises between them.Coben's off-the-wall humor is present and enlivening as always. In addition, this is his best-written book to date in the series. The plot is excellent and the writing taut. The climax is superbly done But best of all is the ambiguity Coben introduces. Justice? Right and wrong? While Myron dwelt on the morality of his actions in One False Move, Coben ups the ante in this book to encompass a great deal more.An important thread in the story involves around the attitude just about everyone has towards successful sports figures; definitely, rules get bent and even broken when it comes to the athletically supertalented, and Coben, through Myron, reflects on the resultant damage to everyone. While this book was written in 2000, certainly the headlines in today's media about, in particular, NFL stars makes this line of social observation extremely pertinent.Well-written page-turner, The Final Detail is a thoughtful social commentary as well. Highly recommended.
Myron returns to New York from an unannounced vacation when he finds out that business partner has been accused of murdering one of their clients. But she didn't really do it, did she? Outside of one scene I really didn't care for, I found this book to be a very good mystery with great characters. I have a feeling I'll be reading more.
I love the Myron Bolitar series!
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....
Blown away again!