Thursday, September 29, 2016

Harlan Coben, Home

Harlan Coben, Home
Dutton © 2016
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108

It’s been five years since we were last in the company of Myron Bolitar and Winthrop Horne Lockwood III (Live Wire, 2011).  And things have changed.  The book opens with a (first-person narration) scene, with Win in London, in search of two boys, kidnapped 10 years before, when they were 6, and were having an after-school play date at one of e boy’s home.  A $2 million ransom was prepared, but never picked up by the kidnappers, and what seems most likely is that they are dead.  Win received word that one of the boys could be found in an area that is a “cruising zone” for male prostitutes and their male clients—and that one of the boys (Paul) will be there.  The other boy (Rhys) is Win’s nephew.  Suffice it to say that things do not go well, and Win calls on Myron (at a somewhat inopportune time) for help.

The plot is extraordinarily complex, but there are two key questions:  Was the boy Win saw really Paul?  Is Rhys alive or dead?  Did the Scandinavian au pair who was taking care of the boys have anything to do with it?  And what has happened to her?  Finding answers to these questions involves dredging up some secrets from the past, and the current relationships among the four parents whose lives were altered in ways that I for one cannot even imagine.  And will the pursuit of the truth get in the way of Myron’s forthcoming marriage to Therese?

Win is still his violent self, and we get more insight into how his mind works in the first-person sections of the book, those in which Win is both the narrator and the chief actor.  When the focus in on Myron, the narration is third-person (and I felt that it was Win providing the narration in those scenes as well).  The quest is helped along by Esmerelda, Myron’s former partner in the agent business and now, apparently doing PI stuff, and Big Cindy, Esmeralda’s former—and current (there’s apparently a circuit for “senior” women) wrestling partner.  Myron’s nephew Mickey (himself an outstanding basketball player, a Myron had been) and his girl friend provide significant assistance.  

And the ending of the mystery is heart-wrenching.  And the end of the book provides an insight into another mystery…one best left unexplored here.  Overall, an outstanding, if violent and very disconcerting story.  Very much worth the time.

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