Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

In the last 18 months, I have devoured all the Reacher novels so I needed to start looking for a suitable replacement or be left as one of those sad souls who pine away for the release of the next installment standing in a drizzly rain outside a book shop.  No, that will never be me.  Well, maybe perhaps not ever.  But certainly not for Jack Reacher.

My search introduced me to Myron Bolitar, who isn't nearly as intimidating or good looking as Jack Reacher.  He is not ex military nor can he kill anyone with one strategically placed strike from his hands of retaliation.  Myron is not sexy.  Even is name is a bit of a damp squid.

In fact, most unlikely, Myron is a sports agent who repeatedly finds himself in the middle of murder scenes.  This sports agent business is far more dangerous than you might imagine.  And far more entertaining.

Deal Breaker is the first in the series and, similar to the Child series, these are easy to read, a bit like opening a packet of crisps and eating the whole bag in one sitting.  Christian Steele is a rookie quarterback (this is American football, people) and a big client for Myron's struggling business.  All the people around Christian keep disappearing or getting themselves killed.  In an attempt to salvage his client's career and secure his 10% commission, Myron swoops in to limit the damage to Steele's reputation and put an end to the killings.

Myron doesn't have the sex appeal of Jack Reacher but he does have some side kicks who provide some comic relief.  The good guys and the bad guys were a bit more clear cut than in a Reacher tale.  And Coben doesn't have as great a story to tell as Child.  His first novel was published when he was 26.  He's won numerous awards in his genre.  His novels tend to go straight in at number 1 on the New York Times best seller list.    I gotta be on to something good here, no?

I'm looking forward to reading some more books in the series and seeing how Myron develops as a character.  I may get bored very quickly with the whole sports angle but I'll give it a go.  I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars just for its originality in characterisation.

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