Evangeline Jennings's Reviews > Live Wire

Live Wire by Harlan Coben
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Jul 08, 12

I own a copy

After six or seven books in the Myron Bolitar series, Harlan Coben either ran out of ideas or got some new ideas beyond his station. Either way, his subsequent standalone thrillers have been largely disappointing. Compare and contrast with Dennis Lehane. Also Robert Crais.

So it was no big surprise that after three of them, he returned to Myron Bolitar and his more interesting friend Windsor Horne Lockwood III. AKA Win. Coben has alternated between the two styles of late but this, the most recent Myron Bolitar book, may have been the last.

Live Wire is what happens to a writer who loses the plot. In Long Lost, the previous Myron Bolitar, the plot became ludicrous and outlandish. In Live Wire, things go from bad to worse.

Coben returns to - and recycles - a brief anecdote about Myron's father (The Last Detail) to essentially invent an estranged brother and a whole new traumatic backstory for Myron before promptly killing the brother off again. Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, poor Brad Bolitar never makes it onto the stage - and I doubt Tom Stoppard is going to help him out.

At least, I suppose, Coben stops short of giving Myron an evil identical twin. But not far short. He regurgitates jokes and plot lines, and rushes to bring the series to an unbecoming end. And why? To set the stage for Bolitar rebooted - the YA adventures of Myron's teenage nephew Mickey (real name also Myron). Clearly the only reason for the cursory reinvention of brother Brad.

Let's not mince words. Live Wire is crap. But I still read it all - and preferred it to the recent Stay Close - because I have an emotional attachment to the characters and because even recycled familiar humour has its appeal. And when, as he surely will, Harlan Coben is desperate enough to bring Myron and Win back from the brink one more effing time, then I'll prolly read that too. But Coben isn't fooling me, as a novelist, on this evidence, he's shot.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Lynn Totally agree. A disappointment. Especially the Epilogue....basically a goodbye to all the characters.


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Polito Yep!! Thrown together as though he had a week to get it written. The only Coben book that ever disappointed me.


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