Back Spin (Myron Bolitar Series #4)

Back Spin (Myron Bolitar Series #4)

by Harlan Coben

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“Another winner . . . Pungent observations, indelibly drawn characters and a twisting, surprise-laden plot.”—Atlanta Journal and Constitution

Kidnappers have snatched the teenage son of super-star golfer Linda Coldren and her husband, Jack, an aging pro, at the height of the U.S. Open. To help get the boy back, sports agent Myron Bolitar goes charging after clues and suspects from the Main Line mansions to a downtown cheaters’ motel—and back in time to a U.S. Open twenty-three years ago, when Jack Coldren should have won, but didn't. Suddenly Myron finds him self surrounded by blue bloods, criminals, and liars. And as one family's darkest secrets explode into murder, Myron finds out just how rough this game can get.

In novels that crackle with wit and suspense, Edgar Award winner Harlan Coben has created one of the most fascinating and complex heroes in suspense fiction—Myron Bolitar—a hotheaded, tenderhearted sports agent who grows more and more engaging and unpredictable with each page-turning appearance.

“Sharp plotting and emotional density, as well as nonstop wisecracks.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307567161
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/22/2009
Series: Myron Bolitar Series , #4
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 11,107
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Harlan Coben is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. His critically acclaimed novels have been published in forty-one languages around the world and have been number one bestsellers in more than half a dozen countries. In addition to the Myron Bolitar series (Deal Breaker, Drop Shot, Fade Away, Back Spin, One False Move, The Final Detail, Darkest Fear, Promise Me, Long Lost, andLive Wire), Coben is also the author of the young adult Mickey Bolitar series including Shelter and Seconds Away, and of Miracle Cure, Play Dead, Tell No One, Gone for Good, No Second Chance, Just One Look, The Innocent, The Woods, Hold TightCaught, and Stay Close.


Ridgewood, New Jersey

Date of Birth:

January 4, 1962

Place of Birth:

Newark, New Jersey


B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984

Read an Excerpt

Myron Bolitar used a cardboard periscope to look over the suffocating throngs of ridiculously clad spectators. He tried to recall the last time he'd actually used a toy periscope, and an image of sending in proof-of-purchase seals from a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal flickered in front him like headache-inducing sunspots.

Through the mirrored reflection, Myron watched a man dressed in knickers--knickers, for crying out loud--stand over a tiny white sphere. The ridiculously clad spectators mumbled excitedly. Myron stifled a yawn. The knickered man crouched. The ridiculously clad spectators jostled and then settled into an eerie silence. Sheer stillness followed, as if even the trees and shrubs and well-coiffed blades of grass were holding their collective breath.

Then the knickered man whacked the white sphere with a stick.

The crowd began to murmur in the indistinguishable syllables of backstage banter. As the ball ascended, so did the volume of the murmurs. Words could be made out. Then phrases. "Lovely golf stroke." "Super golf shot." "Beautiful golf shot." "Truly fine golf stroke." They always said golf stroke, like someone might mistake it for a swim stroke, or--as Myron was currently contemplating in this blazing heat--a sunstroke.

"Mr. Bolitar?"

Myron took the periscope away from his eyes. He was tempted to yell "Up periscope," but feared some at stately, snooty Merion Golf Club would view the act immature. Especially during the U.S. Open. He looked down at a ruddy-faced man of about seventy.

"Your pants," Myron said.

"Pardon me?"

"You're afraid of getting hit by a golf cart, right?" They were orange and yellow in a hue slightly more luminous than a bursting supernova. To be fair, the man's clothing hardly stood out. Most in the crowd seemed to have woken up wondering what apparel they possessed that would clash with, say, the free world. Orange and green tints found exclusively in several of your tackiest neon signs adorned many. Yellow and some strange shades of purple were also quite big--usually together--like a color scheme rejected by a Midwest high school cheerleading squad. It was as if being surrounded by all this God-given natural beauty made one want to do all in his power to offset it. Or maybe there was something else at work here. Maybe the ugly clothes had a more functional origin. Maybe in the old days, when animals roamed free, golfers dressed this way to ward off dangerous wildlife.

Good theory.

"I need to speak with you," the elderly man whispered. "It's urgent."

The rounded, jovial cheeks belied his pleading eyes He suddenly gripped Myron's forearm. "Please," he added.

"What's this about?" Myron asked.

The man made a movement with his neck, like his collar was on too tight. "You're a sports agent, right?"

"Yes. "

"You're here to find clients?"

Myron narrowed his eyes. "How do you know I'm not here to witness the enthralling spectacle of grown men taking a walk?"

The old man did not smile, but then again, golfers were not known for their sense of humor. He craned his neck again and moved closer. His whisper was hoarse. "Do you know the name Jack Coldren?" he asked.

"Sure," Myron said.

If the old man had asked the same question yesterday, Myron wouldn't have had a clue. He didn't follow golf that closely (or at all), and Jack Coldren had been little more than a journeyman over the past twenty years or so. But Coldren had been the surprise leader after the U.S. Open's first day, and now, with just a few holes remaining in the second round, Coldren was up by a commanding eight strokes. "What about him?"

"And Linda Coldren?" the man asked. "Do you know who she is?"

This one was easier. Linda Coldren was Jack's wife and far and away the top female golfer of the past decade. "Yeah, I know who she is," Myron said.

The man leaned in closer and did the neck thing again. Seriously annoying--not to mention contagious. Myron found himself fighting off the desire to mimic the movement. "They're in deep trouble," the old man whispered. "If you help them, you'll have two new clients."

"What sort of trouble?"

The old man looked around. "Please," he said. "There are too many people. Come with me."

Myron shrugged. No reason not to go. The old man was the only lead he'd unearthed since his friend and business associate Windsor Horne Lockwood III--Win, for short--had dragged his sorry butt down here. Being that the U.S. Open was at Merion--home course of the Lockwood family for something like a billion years--Win had felt it would be a great opportunity for Myron to land a few choice clients. Myron wasn't quite so sure. As near as he could tell, the major component separating him from the hordes of other locust-like agents swarming the green meadows of Merion Golf Club was his naked aversion for golf. Probably not a key selling point to the faithful.

Myron Bolitar ran MB SportsReps, a sports representation firm located on Park Avenue in New York City. He rented the space from his former college roommate, Win, a Waspy, old-money, big-time investment banker whose family owned Lock-Home Securities on the same Park Avenue in New York. Myron handled the negotiations while Win, one of the country's most respected brokers, handled the investments and finances. The other member of the MB team, Esperanza Diaz, handled everything else. Three branches with checks and balances Just like the American government. Very patriotic.

Slogan: MB SportsReps--the other guys are commie pinkos.

As the old man ushered Myron through the crowd, several men in green blazers--another look sported mostly at golf courses, perhaps to camouflage oneself against the grass--greeted him with whispered, "How do, Bucky," or "Looking good, Buckster," or "Fine day for golf, Buckaroo." They all had the accent of the rich and preppy, the kind of inflection where mommy is pronounced "mummy" and summer and winter are verbs. Myron was about to comment on a grown man being called Bucky, but when your name is Myron, well, glass houses and stones and all that;

Like every other sporting event in the free world, the actual playing area looked more like a giant billboard than a field of competition. The leader board was sponsored by IBM. Canon handed out the periscopes. American Airlines employees worked the food stands (an airline handling food--what think tank came up with that one?). Corporate Row was jam-packed with companies who shelled out over one hundred grand a pop to set up a tent for a few days, mostly so that company executives had an excuse to go. Travelers Group, Mass Mutual, Aetna (golfers must like insurance), Canon, Heublein. Heublein. What the hell was a Heublein? They looked like a nice company. Myron would probably buy a Heublein if he knew what one was.

The funny thing was, the U.S. Open was actually less commercialized than most tourneys. At least they hadn't sold their name yet. Other tournaments were named for sponsors and the names had gotten a little silly. Who could get up for winning the JC Penney Open or the Michelob Open or even the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge?

Table of Contents

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Back Spin (Myron Bolitar Series #4) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 129 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the BEST series I've ever read! His stand alone books are great also.
Anonymous 28 days ago
I was not as interested in this book
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Up to Coben's usual high standard of plotting, humour and dialogue. In this story Myron finds himself at the US Open and aims a fell well-chosen barbs at the golf world.
klarusu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This Myron Bolitar novel is set in the world of professional golf. Not going to say too much and give the end away! I enjoyed it, but then I like this kind of thing for a bit of light relief! I find, as with all of the Bolitar books, I can pretty much dispense with them in 24 hours. Kind of like a good mystery movie! Like the characters, find the story engaging and always want to know who did it and this is no exception.
riverwillow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like Myron and Harlan Coben I enjoy golf 'about as much as sticking' my 'tongue in a fan' but despite all that still managed to enjoy this book. Win is around, but is not helping Myron because the investigation involves his family, but it does mean that eventually learn a little more about him. Esperanza steps into the breach, which is good because Myron isn't that great on his own. Coben's trademarks are all here and there is an exellent twist at the end.
irinka87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The 4th book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. Myron is one of those characters you just fall in love with more with each book you read. Always suspenseful and the pages turn themselve!
teeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
another great harlan Coben novel. This Myron bolitar book was about a golfer whose son was kidnapped while he was playing the US Open. this book had lots of twist and turns as usual.
andsoitgoes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good read with some great plot twists. Didn't like the reason why Win hasn't talked to his mother in forever, very trite.
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An older Myron Bolitar novel, in which the sports agent gets caught up in the apparent kidnapping of the son of a golfer who is on the verge of winning his first major tournament. His best friend, the guy usually in charge of protecting his physical safety, has a personal connection to the golfer and refuses to help, so Myron gets in over his head. Not as polished as more recent Coben novels, but also not as reliant on coincidence and elaborate conspiracy; the seeds are there, but as seeds they¿re more plausible.
she_climber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great Myron Bolitar series book. This one kept me guessing. I missed that Win wasn't as involved in this one, but I loved some of the other characters. Several laugh out loud passages.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
#4 in the Myron Bolitar series.Up to now, at least, each book in the series revolves around a different sport. For Back Spin, that sport is professional golf. Coben admits up front in his Acknowledgements page that he enjoys golf "about as much as sticking his tongue in a fan". And thus his protagonist, Myron.Still and all, Myron has a business to run, a sports representation agency. So, despite his aversion, he is attending the U.S. Open, trolling for potential clients. This year, the tournament is being held at Merion, home course of Windsor Lockwood III (known to many of us as Win the Sociopath); Myron is staying with Win.To his surprise, he is asked by one of Win's family friends to aid the top woman golfer in the WPGA, Linda Coldren, whose husband Jack leads the pack for the tournament. Their son Chad has disappeared, and Linda fears kidnapping or worse.With a promise to represent Linda if he can help, Myron begins an investigation. To his bewilderment, Win refuses to help; the Coldrens are neighbors, Win has known Jack since childhood, but he remains adamant without explanation. And so Myron more or less blunders along without the aid of his efficient and deadly backup/sidekick. Two murders later.....The plot is good with enough twists and turns to satisfy old fans; Coben's writing carries it along handsomely. Coben's particular brand of bizarre wit is very present, but somehow not as biting without Win. Characterization is typically Coben/Bollitar--slightly off-beat but believable. The world of professional golf is mildly interesting but since neither Coben nor Myron is involved emotionally in the sport, it remains exactly that--mildly interesting but not terribly revealing.A good story, but we miss Win.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Molitar series. Just started reading Harlen Coben books and I am hooked and have so many to get caught up on. Very exited to have this stash of books to enjoy.
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Meshel963 More than 1 year ago
This is another great book by Harlan Coben. A friend has been begging me for years to read him and I'm so thrilled I finally gave in. Read these in order, very important to get the back history on the characters.
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