Joyce Lagow's Reviews > Back Spin

Back Spin by Harlan Coben
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's review
Apr 20, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery

#4 in the Myron Bolitar series.[return][return]Up to now, at least, each book in the series revolves around a different sport. For Back Spin, that sport is professional golf. Coben admits up front in his Acknowledgements page that he enjoys golf "about as much as sticking his tongue in a fan". And thus his protagonist, Myron.[return][return]Still and all, Myron has a business to run, a sports representation agency. So, despite his aversion, he is attending the U.S. Open, trolling for potential clients. This year, the tournament is being held at Merion, home course of Windsor Lockwood III (known to many of us as Win the Sociopath); Myron is staying with Win.[return][return]To his surprise, he is asked by one of Win's family friends to aid the top woman golfer in the WPGA, Linda Coldren, whose husband Jack leads the pack for the tournament. Their son Chad has disappeared, and Linda fears kidnapping or worse.[return][return]With a promise to represent Linda if he can help, Myron begins an investigation. To his bewilderment, Win refuses to help; the Coldrens are neighbors, Win has known Jack since childhood, but he remains adamant without explanation. And so Myron more or less blunders along without the aid of his efficient and deadly backup/sidekick. Two murders later.....[return][return]The plot is good with enough twists and turns to satisfy old fans; Coben's writing carries it along handsomely. Coben's particular brand of bizarre wit is very present, but somehow not as biting without Win. Characterization is typically Coben/Bollitar--slightly off-beat but believable. The world of professional golf is mildly interesting but since neither Coben nor Myron is involved emotionally in the sport, it remains exactly that--mildly interesting but not terribly revealing.[return][return]A good story, but we miss Win.

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