Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mystery Book Review: Long Lost by Harlan Coben

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Long Lost by Harlan Coben. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Long Lost by Harlan Coben

A Myron Bolitar Mystery

Dutton (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-525-95105-9 (0525951059)
ISBN-13: 978-0-525-95105-6 (9780525951056)
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $27.95

Review: Sports and entertainment agent Myron Bolitar takes on a personal case when he's called to help out an former love not seen in 10 years in Long Lost, the ninth mystery in this series by Harlan Coben.

Terese Collins disappeared from Bolitar's life as quickly as she entered it. Ten years have passed since their brief, but intensely satisfying, affair took place on a tropical island. Now she's calling him, begging him to meet her in Paris. Curious about the urgency, but also hoping to rekindle the passion they once shared, he agrees only to discover she's a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband. When Bolitar is threatened at an outdoor cafe, and kills a man in self-defense, he's whisked out of France to England by his closest friend, Win Lockwood, and becomes a fugitive himself. But it is in England where Bolitar discovers the story behind Terese's current predicament, when she lost her only daughter in a tragic automobile accident many years ago. As he struggles to connect the death of a young girl to the murder of her father, the stakes are raised when anti-terrorist agencies take an interest in his investigation and assume he's in possession of information that they need ... and will get any way possible.

Readers will be sorely tempted to finish Long Lost in one setting. The narrative is taut, the pace relentless. That the author takes more than a few convenient shortcuts to advance the plot is perfectly reasonable; tangential and likely lengthy detours would simply be an unacceptable compromise here. The riveting action scenes are crisply choreographed, and the characters, in particular series leads Bolitar and Win, are in fine form. The potentially trite plot, which notably shares many key story elements with Ira Levin's 1976 thriller The Boys from Brazil, gets a 21st century update with modern technology and a new generation of fundamentalists.

Minor quibbles include jokes about Mee that wear thin very quickly (but maybe that's the point) and Bolitar's occasional sarcastic interaction with the reader. Still, the three-year pause between Bolitar thrillers may be just what was needed to refresh this series; though far from masterful, Long Lost is one of Coben's most entertaining efforts.

Special thanks to Penguin Group for providing a copy of Long Lost for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Myron Bolitar hasn't heard from Terese Collins since their torrid affair ended ten years ago, so her desperate phone call from Paris catches him completely off guard. In a shattering admission, Terese reveals the tragic story behind her disappearance-her struggles to get pregnant, the greatest moment of her life when her baby was born ... and the fatal accident that robbed her of it all: her marriage, her happiness and her beloved only daughter.

Now a suspect in the murder of her ex-husband in Paris, Terese has nowhere else to turn for help. Myron heeds the call. But then a startling piece of evidence turns the entire case upside down, laying bare Terese's long-buried family secrets ... and the very real possibility that her daughter may still be alive.

In grave danger from unknown assailants in a country where nothing is as it seems, Myron and Terese race to stay a step ahead of Homeland Security, Interpol, and Mossad. Soon they are working at breakneck pace, not only to learn what really happened to Terese's long-lost little girl-but to uncover a sinister plot with shocking global implications.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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