Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mini-Review of “One False Move” by Harlan Coben

My favorite fictional sports agent, Myron Bolitar, returns to the world of professional basketball – this time representing the star of a new women’s professional league. A mob-backed rival league threatens to ruin the debut of Brenda Slaughter (Coben chooses wonderful names for his characters!) and her teammates. Myron is called in to deal with the disappearance of Brenda’s father, to provide protection for the star athlete, and ultimately to find the answer to the disappearance of her mother – twenty years ago. New Jersey politics provides some added spice to the story line. The patriarch of one of the state’s richest families iproves himself willing to do anything to ensure that well-concealed family skeletons remain hidden in the closet. Throw in a dash of police corruption and cover-up, and you have the recipe for another zesty Coben concoction.

The usual cast of characters – Myron, Win, Esperanza, Big Cindy – manage to involve themselves, and ultimately extricate themselves, from a dizzying array of crises and dilemmas. Coben simultaneously apes and then laughs at the Kevin Costner – Whitney Houston plot line in this story. Myron is chronically challenged when it comes to his love life, and in this book, those challenges take on a different hue. Myron's attraction to Brenda also gives a whole new meaning to the phrase: "on the rebound."

One of Coben’s recurring leitmotifs that recur in each novel in this series is the theme of the depth and breadth of the pain of family dysfunction – passed from generation to generation. “The sins of the fathers . . .”

As usual, Coben did not make any false moves when he penned this gripping novel: “One False Move.”



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