My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've had this book on my Kindle for a couple of years, but after reading Deal Breaker and Drop Shot, the first two books in the series, I was not anxious to pick up a third.
Actually, I rather enjoyed the first one, but I found Drop Shot totally without merit and I suffered from testosterone poisoning for weeks after reading it. So, two more books in the series have languished on my Kindle since.
But I have this rule that I can't remove books from the device and send them to the Cloud until I have read them and I got sick of seeing those titles every time I opened up the Kindle. Time to bite the bullet I thought. I'll read one of them.
I chose Back Spin, thinking it was number three in the series. Turns out it is number four. Oh, well. Imagine my utter surprise when I found out that I liked it!
I found the writing much more crisp, the character development more believable, and the plot complicated but overall easy to follow and suspense was maintained throughout. All in all, it was a good reading experience.
The story is that Jack Coldren, a journeyman pro golfer, had blown his chance to win the U.S. Open twenty-three years ago and hasn't really won much since. But now the tournament is being played on his home course once again and, suddenly and surprisingly, he has what seems like an insurmountable lead. His wife, Linda, is also a pro golfer but, in contrast to Jack's career, she is number one among women golfers. They have a sixteen-year-old son, Chad.
Someone, it seems, wants to sabotage Jack's chances of winning the tournament because Chad is kidnapped in an apparent attempt to throw him off his game.
As it happens, sports agent Myron Bolitar was pursuing the Coldrens in an effort to sign them up for his agency. He and his sidekick Win were attending the tournament, but Win, as usual, was going his own way. In an unexpected twist, Myron learns that Win is actually a cousin to Linda. He is totally estranged from his family and wants nothing to do with them. As Myron becomes involved in trying to find the kidnapped Chad without bringing in the police, Win will not help. He's on his own.
The Coldrens are a family with many dark secrets and, in the course of Myron's investigation, they will begin to be revealed.
Myron also finally learns why Win is estranged from his family. It's a tawdry and commonplace story that does not, in my opinion, explain or excuse the psycho that Win has become, but at least one can begin to have the tiniest bit of compassion for him.
Myron, on the other hand, continues to be an engaging character, one who seems to have grown a bit since the first book. He has a tenderhearted side which tends to balance the more sadistic Win. Actually, we don't see much of Win in this book and maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much.
Myron's other cohort and friend, Esperanza, is a much more interesting character. She's about to finish law school and is asking to be made a partner in the sports agency. Maybe we'll see how that turns out in the next book.
Meantime, Back Spin left me with a good vibe. I won't wait more than a year before I pick up another Harlan Coben novel.
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