LONG LOST Myron and Win Are Back!

I hate Harlan Coben. Every time I pick up one of his books, I think, Oh, I’ll just read one chapter and then I’ll get on with my work/grocery shopping/showering, whatever. But it never works out that way. I’ll read one chapter, then the next, then the next, then it’s 12 hours later and I’m unwashed and starving but there’s no food in the house and I missed my dental appointment because I haven’t moved from my spot on the couch.

And so it wasn’t any different with Coben’s latest, Long Lost (out March 31), especially because sports agent Myron Bolitar, his sociopathic friend Win, his partner Esperanza and their receptionist Big Cyndi are all back in style for their ninth adventure. Myron gets a call from an old lover, Terese Collins (last seen in Darkest Fear), who entices him to meet her in Paris without telling him why. He runs into trouble as soon as he sets foot on French soil and the action doesn’t stop after he returns to this side of the Atlantic. I don’t like giving a lot away so I’ll just vaguely say the plot involves murder, a possible kidnapping and cover-up involving a long-ago car accident, questions about nature vs. nurture, stem cell science, and terrorism.

coben-back-coverOf all Coben’s books, I think this has the grandest scope. I’m not just talking about the locations, though the descriptions of Paris are delicious (there’s a sly reference to the French movie Tell No One, which is based on one of Coben’s stand-alones). What I mean is, the stories are usually personal—Myron (or whoever’s the protagonist in the stand-alones) gets sucked into a mystery because he’s trying to find resolution for a personal matter or help out a friend. But Long Lost involves political conspiracies and Myron’s actions have international consequences. The final reveal is disturbing and you won’t see it coming.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “What the…? I just want my wisecracking Myron and his goofy friends!” Don’t worry—Myron is still funny, still drinking his beloved Yoo-Hoos, but he’s more mature, as he should be since he’s now in his forties. His relationships have more weight and poignancy, especially when he describes what it’s like to watch his parents get older and more fragile. Myron’s quips just can’t cover up the heart that sits on his sleeve.

So, Myron fans, you can rejoice that he’s back, but when you sit down to read this book, make sure you send your kids to a relative, cancel your appointments and wear a carpel-tunnel-syndrome brace so you won’t hurt your hand flipping those pages.

Nerd Verdict: Nothing Lost in translation in this international thriller

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    READER#9
    March 27, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for saying it out loud, PCN. Coben really plots his chapters out well. A chapter rarely ends without a bang, but somehow I actually find time to shower and eat. (LOL)

  • Reply
    FFBUFF8
    March 27, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Not a big reader, mainly because I rarely find a good story. I’ll read the first chapter and if it grabs me like you say, then I’ll buy it.

  • Reply
    Eddy
    March 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Big Coben fan here. I even own (and have read) a hardback of “Play Dead”. (I haven’t been able to track down a copy of “Miracle Cure” yet.)

    I totally agree that he can write a good page-turner. I’ve always liked the Myron books and not to take away from them, but I REALLY like his stand-alones. I still think that “Tell No One” is one of the best mystery novels ever written. My wife disagrees. She thinks that “Gone for Good” is better. (BTW, “Tell No One” – the movie, is high on my Netflix queue.)

    I’m very interested in reading a Myron book told in his stand-alone style.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      March 27, 2009 at 11:53 am

      Eddy,

      This did remind me of his stand-alones, which, like Tell No One, often involve someone who’s supposed to be long dead but might be alive. Out of those, I think I like No Second Chance best. The first sentence slayed me: “When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter.” Yowza!

  • Reply
    BizMan5
    March 27, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I liked his last one Hold Tight, but I confess I miss Myron and the gang. I swear I ended up standing behind a real life Big Cyndi at a book signing once. She scared me so bad I had to get out of line. (LOL)

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      March 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm

      You should’ve taken a picture. I love Big Cyndi!

      • Reply
        BizMan5
        March 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm

        Are you kidding? She scared me so much, I almost peed myself! Couldn’t have held a camera to save my life.

  • Reply
    ScriptPimp
    March 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Didn’t Coben write Tell No One? Haven’t seen the movie it got made into, but I loved the book.

    Looking forward to the next Bolitar adventure.

  • Reply
    EireGo
    March 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Harlan Coben can do no wrong in my book. I also have the same problem as you do, PCN, I have to put everything on hold when I get a new book of his and just read it one sitting.

    Looking forward to the release on Tuesday.

  • Reply
    ShelleyP
    March 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I just keep adding your books to my ever-growing list, PCN. I got The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo out of the library on a fast track 7 day loan last week {insert insane laughter here} and failed miserably. Are you all speed readers here? {Mind you, I AM freshly bathed, fed well and have no outstanding fillings. }

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      March 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      I’m not a speed reader because I like to savor good writing. I’m one of those people who highlight particularly clever sentences, but since I don’t like to mark up my books, I read with a pad of paper and pen by my side so I can write stuff down. It’s tedious but I like to study how really talented writers string words together. I also bring a book everywhere so I can cram in some reading while I’m standing in line at the post office, grocery store, waiting at a long traffic light or for the water to boil in the kitchen, etc.

      So you see, no fast reading here. You, too, could’ve finished Dragon Tattoo in 7 days if you’d skipped eating and bathing!

      • Reply
        ShelleyP
        March 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm

        You are an inspiration, PCN ~ and I guess that’s why you are the one and only PCN! {I must say I’m very thankful I don’t have traffic lights in my usual trips that stop long enough to allow any book reading…}

  • Reply
    DebbieD
    March 28, 2009 at 7:32 am

    How great to wake up this morning, open up my email, and read your headline that Myron and Win are back!! I am a huge Harlan Coben fan and it was such a nice, unexpected, surprise to read your review this morning. I love Coben’s stand alones. I remember starting The Woods on a Sunday night (yeah, how dumb is that) didn’t quite finish it, and brought it to work and had it in my lap because I couldn’t stand to leave it home. And here you go, PCN, getting me all thrilled and excited for Win, Myron, and Big Cyndi and now I have to wait until Tuesday?! Damn you, PCN. 🙂 At least I have time to bathe, shop, and visit my dentist.

    By the way, thanks for the great reviews. I recently finished Beat The Reaper–un-freakin-believable and as I type this I am listening to The Beyman Bros–Keep ’em coming.

    • Reply
      popculturenerd
      March 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      DebbieD,

      Thanks for your very kind words! It’s nice to be able to share my excitement with fellow Coben fans.

      I’m glad you liked Beat the Reaper. That book kicked ass! I’m now looking forward to the movie version and Dr. Bazell’s next Bearclaw book. And I also have the Beyman Bros. in my bedroom CD player. It helps me wind down at the end of the day.

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