Harlan Coben's creation, Myron Bolitar, is a sports agent who is just about to hit the big time with his prized client, rookie quarterback Christian Steele. But before that happens, he's going to have to do some hard bargaining with some pretty shady characters who don't mind using violence as a negotiating tool. Fortunately, Myron has as his ace in the hole his friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win), to watch his back. Win makes up a considerable posse all by himself.
Myron and Win formerly did some top secret work for the government and they are both black belts in tae kwan do. They are very well-trained and capable of physically defending themselves against the bad guys, but defending his clients against the psychological and financial harm that can ensue when certain secrets start unraveling may be a different matter.
Christian Steele receives a phone call from his former fiancee, a woman whom everyone assumed was dead, although her body had never been found. Then nude pictures of the woman turn up in a sleazy magazine. At the same time, the woman's father is murdered by an presumed mugger. Are the incidents related?
To complicate matters further, Myron has a personal connection to the family. He is in love with the woman's older sister. Although his relationship with her has long since ended, his feelings for her haven't.
Myron and Win begin to dig into the mysteries but things just get more and more complicated as they uncover lies within lies and family secrets which could destroy many lives.
Coben has created a very personable and likable hero in Myron Bolitar. He is a compassionate man in a business that is all about the money. Moreover, he has a sly humor that is very endearing.
Coben writes dialogue that is believable and rings true, although I know nothing about the business of being a sports agent. He tells his story in a linear, easy-to-follow manner and it is a real page-turner. He builds suspense as he keeps the reader in doubt as to whether the missing woman is alive or dead until close to the end of the book. All in all, it is a very satisfying read and a good introduction to the series. This first entry in the series was published in 1995 and there have been several since then. I look forward to reading them and to getting to know Myron and Win better.