Troubles Catch Up:
It’s been a while since Myron Bolitar made an appearance in a Harlan Coben book. The sports agent and occasional crime solver got married in Home (2016), and retired to some distant town with his wife Terese. Coben’s new book, Win, moves Bolitar’s sidekick front and centre, as the aristocratic and handsome billionaire Windsor Horne Lockwood III aka Win gets to star in his own eponymous novel. Unfortunately, Bolitar pops up only in Win’s thoughts, though the novel would have been more fun to read if he had actually turned up to help his buddy.
Win was going along his merry life, leaving multiple family problems behind on his family’s vast estate, when Ry Strauss, a reclusive resident of a swanky apartment building in New York is found murdered and a priceless Vermeer belonging to the Lockwoods—stolen years ago, along with a Picasso–is found hanging in his room. What gets Win into some degree of trouble is that a monogrammed suitcase belonging to him is also discovered there.
The dead man was one of the Jane Street Six, a group of student activists who had bombed a building back in 1973, causing the deaths of several innocent people, and then had mysteriously vanished. The suitcase belonged to the time when Win’s uncle, Aldrich Lockwood had been murdered by masked intruders and his daughter Patricia kidnapped — one of the 10 women abducted, raped and murdered by men, who were never caught. Of the lot, only Patricia managed to escape. She put the trauma behind her and started a foundation to help other brutalized women. She does not want the past to be raked up again in the media.
A lot happens in the fast-paced book and since the story spans almost half a century, there are multiple twists and turns, which are punctuated by Win’s gloating about his wealth, throwing money when a roadblock is hit in his investigation and his annoying thoughts on his commitment phobic life of one-night stands through a secret app only for the super rich.
The FBI had not been able to solve the two cases, and obviously Win does not relish the idea of being caught up in the mess, especially since he is innocent; so he uses his money and resources to find out what had happened in the past and how it links to him and his family. Win has little patience for the law and metes out his own brand of vigilante justice when he believes it is required–even if one such act gets his bones broken in a revenge attack.
Coben’s intricate plot is intriguing and suspenseful, but the reader misses Myron Bolitar and his badass associate Esperanza Diaz. Win is a vain and pompous bore, okay as a supporting character, not appealing enough as solo protagonist. At least not yet, but one suspects the writer may have started off a series of Win books.
By Harlan Coben
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing