It could happen to you. Whatever horrible tragedy you could think of – kidnapping, extortion, even murder (especially murder) – you always assume it will happen to the other guy. Not Harlan Coben. Coben firmly believes we’re all the other guy, and that at any time, in the most mundane of circumstances, our normal, suburban lives can be turned upside down in an instant.
That’s because Coben himself is, first and foremost, a normal guy, just your typical devoted suburban dad (he and his pediatrician wife, Anne, have four kids under the age of 11). The family lives in the same type of tranquil New Jersey community that many of his protagonists call home. “I write about people like you and me who are just living their lives and yet wrong still seems to find them,” Coben revealed in an interview with CBS News.
The author of a string of best-sellers, Coben first came to mystery lovers’ attention in 1995 with his critically-acclaimed series starring an unorthodox investigator with the equally unorthodox name of Myron Bolitar. Bolitar is a sports-agent/attorney/private eye who, along with his college roommate, the patrician-but-psychotic Windsor Horne Lockwood, become involved with his high-profile athletes as they manage to involve themselves in some dangerous, and often deadly, situations.
The chemistry between Myron and Win is all shtick – their droll repartee is laugh-out-loud-funny – that stands in stark contrast to the heinous crimes they investigate and the sociopathic lowlife characters they encounter. Armchair Detective magazine’s critic Ronald C. Miller extols Coben’s “fast-paced plot, witty dialogue, and a you’ll-never-guess-whodunit denouement” adding that Coben “brings a new and exciting rib-tickling voice to the mystery novel.”
The Bolitar series is that rarest-of-rare combination of rib-tickling humor and riveting suspense. When Coben announced in 2000 that he was taking a break from Bolitar, his fans went into mourning. A short story tacked onto the end of Coben’s most recent novel, The Innocent, boldly announces that “Bolitar Is Back!” Can a full-length Bolitar novel really be far behind??
When he stopped writing about Bolitar, Coben turned his attentions to that tantalizing “what if” question, writing stand-alone novels about normal people faced with abnormal situations. Beginning with Tell No One, and followed by Gone For Good, No Second Chance, Just One Look, and the recently published, The Innocent, Coben is winning a whole new group of mystery fans.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1962, Coben received a B. A. in political science from Amherst College. Coben has won numerous awards, including the Mystery Writers of America “Edgar Allan Poe” award, the “Anthony Award” at the World Mystery Conference, and the “Shamus” award from the Private Eye Writers of America. His novels have been selected by People magazine for their “Page-Turners of the Week” showcase, and Coben was the first writer in more than a decade who was invited to write a piece of fiction for the New York Times op-ed page (a short story entitled “The Key to My Father” in celebration of Father’s Day, 2003).
Myron Bolitar Series
Deal Breaker (1995)
Dropshot (1996) *
Fade Away (1996) *
Back Spin (1997) ***
One False Move (1997)
The Final Detail (2000) ***
Darkest Fear (2000) LP
Play Dead (1990)
Miracle Cure (1991)
Tell No One (2001) **, ***, LP
Gone for Good (2002) **, LP
No Second Chance (2003) **, ***
Just One Look (2004) **, ***, LP
The Innocent (2005) **, ***
* Please request at the Information Services Desk.
** Also available as CD audio book
*** Also available as cassette audio book
LP Also available in Large Print