#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben exposes a different side of sports agent Myron Bolitar in this explosive thriller...
When former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, encounter an anonymous Facebook post questioning the paternity of their unborn child, Lex runs off. Suzze, who is eight months pregnant, asks their agent, Myron Bolitar, to save her marriage—and perhaps her husband’s life. But when Myron finds Lex, he also finds someone he wasn’t looking for: his sister-in-law, Kitty, who, along with Myron’s brother, abandoned the Bolitar family long ago.
As Myron races to locate his missing brother while their father clings to life, he must face the lies that led to the estrangement—including the ones told by Myron himself...
About the Author
With more than seventy million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels, including the Myron Bolitar series and a series aimed at young adults featuring Myron's newphew, Mickey Bolitar. His books are published in forty-three languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries. The winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, he lives in New Jersey.
Hometown:Ridgewood, New Jersey
Date of Birth:January 4, 1962
Place of Birth:Newark, New Jersey
Education:B.A. in political science, Amherst College, 1984
Read an Excerpt
Table of Contents
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ALSO BY HARLAN COBEN
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.); Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England; Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd); Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd); Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India; Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd); Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee
Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First printing, March 2011
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
has been applied for
Set in Sabon
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
For Anne, because the best is yet to come
The ugliest truth, a friend once told Myron, is still better than the prettiest of lies.
Myron thought about that now as he looked down at his father in the hospital bed. He flashed back sixteen years, to the last time he had lied to his father, the lie that caused so much heartbreak and devastation, a lie that started a tragic ripple that, finally, disastrously, would end here.
His father’s eyes remained closed, his breathing raspy and uneven. Tubes seemed to snake out from everywhere. Myron stared down at his father’s forearm. He remembered as a child visiting his dad in that Newark warehouse, the way his father sat at his oversized desk, his sleeves rolled up. The forearm had been powerful enough back then to strain the fabric, making the cuff work tourniquet-like against the muscle. Now the muscle looked spongy, deflated by age. The barrel chest that had made Myron feel so safe was still there, but it had grown brittle, as though a hand pressing down could snap the rib cage like dried twigs. His father’s unshaven face had gray splotches instead of his customary five o’clock shadow, the skin around his chin loose, sagging down like a cloak one size too big.
Myron’s mother—Al Bolitar’s wife for the past forty-three years—sat next to the bed. Her hand, shaking with Parkinson’s, held his. She too looked shockingly frail. In her youth, his mother had been an early feminist, burning her bra with Gloria Steinem, wearing T-shirts that read stuff like “A Woman’s Place Is in the House . . . and Senate.” Now, here they both were, Ellen and Al Bolitar (“We’re El-Al,” Mom always joked, “like the Israeli airline”) ravaged by age, hanging on, luckier by far than the vast majority of aging lovers—and yet this was what luck looked like in the end.
God has some sense of humor.
“So,” Mom said to Myron in a low voice. “We agree?”
Myron did not reply. The prettiest of lies versus the ugliest truth. Myron should have learned his lesson back then, sixteen years ago, with that last lie to this great man he loved like no other. But, no, it wasn’t so simple. The ugliest truth could be devastating. It could rock a world.
Or even kill.
So as his father’s eyes fluttered open, as this man Myron treasured like no other looked up at his oldest son with pleading, almost childlike confusion, Myron looked at his mother and slowly nodded. Then he bit back the tears and prepared to tell his father one final lie.
SIX DAYS EARLIER
Please, Myron, I need your help.”
This was, for Myron, a bit of a fantasy: a shapely, gorgeous damsel in distress sauntering into his office like something out of an old Bogey film—except, well, the saunter was more of a waddle and the shapeliness was coming from the fact that the gorgeous damsel was eight months pregnant, and really, sorry, that kind of killed the whole fantasy effect.
Her name was Suzze T, short for Trevantino, a retired tennis star. She had been the sexy bad girl of the tour, better known for her provocative outfits, piercings, and tattoos than for her actual game. Still Suzze won a major and made a ton in endorsements, most notably as the spokeswoman (Myron loved that euphemism) for La-La-Latte, a chain of topless coffee bars, where college boys loved to snicker for “extra milk.” Good times.
Myron spread his arms. “I’m here for you, Suzze, twenty-four/ seven—you know that.”
They were in his Park Avenue office, home of MB Reps, the M standing for Myron, the B for Bolitar, and the Reps because they represented athletes, actors, and writers. Literal-Monikers-R-Us.
“Just tell me what I can do.”
Suzze began to pace. “I’m not sure where to begin.” Myron was about to speak when she held up her hand. “And if you dare say, ‘Start at the beginning,’ I will rip off one of your testicles.”
“You’re engaged now. I’m thinking of your poor fiancée.”
The pace turned more into a stomp, picking up speed and intensity so that a small part of Myron feared that she might go into labor right here in his recently refurbished office.
“Uh, the carpet,” Myron said. “It’s new.”
She frowned, paced some more, started biting her exuberantly polished fingernails.
She stopped. Their eyes met.
“Tell me,” he said.
“You remember when we first met?”
Myron nodded. He was just a few months out of law school and starting up his fledgling firm. Back then, at the inception, MB Reps had been known as MB SportsReps. That was because initially Myron represented only athletes. When he started representing actors and writers and others in the field of the arts and celebrity, he dropped the Sports from the name, ergo, MB Reps.
Again with the literal.
“Of course,” he said.
“I was a mess, wasn’t I?”
“You were a great tennis talent.”
“And a mess. Don’t sugarcoat it.”
Myron put his palms toward the ceiling. “You were eighteen.”
“Seventeen, whatever.” Quick memory flash of Suzze in the sun: blond hair in a ponytail, a wicked grin on her face, her forehand whipping the ball as though it had offended her. “You’d just turned pro. Adolescent boys hung your poster in their bedrooms. You were supposed to beat legends right away. Your parents redefined pushy. It’s a miracle you stayed upright.”
“So what’s wrong?”
Suzze glanced down at her belly as though it had just appeared. “I’m pregnant.”
“Uh, yeah, I can see that.”
“Life is good, you know?” Her voice was soft now, wistful. “After all the years, when I was a mess . . . I found Lex. His music has never been better. The tennis academy is doing great. And, well, it’s just all so good now.”
Myron waited. Her eyes stayed on her belly, cradling it as though it were its contents, which, Myron surmised, it kind of was. To keep the conversation going, Myron asked, “Do you like being pregnant?”
“The actual physical act of carrying a child?”
She shrugged. “It’s not like I’m glowing or any of that. I mean, I’m so ready to deliver. It’s interesting though. Some women love being pregnant.”
“And you don’t?”
“It feels like someone parked a bulldozer on my bladder. I think the reason women like being pregnant is because it makes them feel special. Like they’re minor celebrities. Most women go through life without the attention, but when they’re pregnant, people make a fuss. This may sound uncharitable, but pregnant women like the applause. Do you know what I mean?”
“I think so.”
“I’ve already had my share of applause, I guess.” She moved toward the window and looked out for a moment. Then she turned back toward him. “By the way, did you notice how huge my boobs are?”
Myron said, “Um,” and decided to say no more.
“Come to think of it, I wonder whether you should contact La-La-Latte for a new photo shoot.”
“Strategically angled shots?”
“Exactly. Might be a great new campaign in these puppies.” She cupped them in case Myron wasn’t sure what puppies she was referencing. “What do you think?”
“I think,” Myron said, “that you’re stalling.”
Her eyes were wet now. “I’m so damned happy.”
“Yeah, well, I can see where that would be a problem.”
She smiled at that. “I put the demons to rest. I’ve even reconciled with my mother. Lex and I couldn’t be more ready to have the baby. I want those demons to stay away.”
Myron sat up. “You’re not using again?”
“God, no. Not that kind of demon. Lex and I are done with that.”
Lex Ryder, Suzze’s husband, was one half of the legendary band/ duo known as HorsePower—the much lesser half, to be frank, to the supernaturally charismatic front man, Gabriel Wire. Lex was a fine if troubled musician, but he would always be John Oates to Gabriel’s Daryl Hall, Andrew Ridgeley to Gabriel’s George Michael, the rest of the Pussycat Dolls next to Nicole Scherz-i-something.
“What kind of demons then?”
Suzze reached into her purse. She plucked out something that from across the desk looked as though it might be a photograph. She stared at it for a moment and then passed it to Myron. He took a quick glance and again tried to wait her out.
Finally, just to say something, he went with the obvious: “This is your baby’s sonogram.”
“Yep. Twenty-eight weeks old.”
More silence. Again Myron broke it. “Is there something wrong with the baby?”
“Nothing. He’s perfect.”
Suzze T smiled now. “Going to have my own little man.”
“That’s pretty cool.”
“Yeah. Oh, one of the reasons I’m here: Lex and I have been talking about it. We both want you to be the godfather.”
Myron said nothing.
Now it was Myron who had wet eyes. “I’d be honored.”
“Are you crying?”
Myron said nothing.
“You’re such a girl,” she said.
“What’s wrong, Suzze?”
“Maybe nothing.” Then: “I think someone is out to destroy me.”
Myron kept his eyes on the sonogram. “How?”
And then she showed him. She showed him two words that would echo dully in his heart for a very long time.
An hour later, Windsor Horne Lockwood III—known to those who fear him (and that was pretty much everyone) as Win—swaggered into Myron’s office. Win had a great swagger, like he should be wearing a black top hat and tails and twirling a walking stick. Instead he sported a pink-and-green Lilly Pulitzer tie, a blue blazer with some kind of crest on it, and khakis with a crease sharp enough to draw blood. He had loafers, no socks, and basically looked as though he’d just gone yachting on the SS Old Money.
“Suzze T just stopped by,” Myron said.
Win nodded, jaw jutted. “I saw her on the way out.”
“Did she look upset?”
“Didn’t notice,” Win said, taking a seat. Then: “Her breasts were engorged.”
“She has a problem,” Myron said.
Win leaned back, crossed his legs with his customary coiled ease. “Explain.”
Myron spun his computer monitor so Win could see. An hour ago, Suzze T had done something similar. He thought about those two small words. Harmless enough on their own, but life is about context. And in this context, those two words chilled the room.
Win squinted at the screen and reached into his inside breast pocket. He plucked out a pair of reading glasses. He’d gotten them about a month ago, and though Myron would have said it was impossible, they made Win look even more haughty and stuck-up. They also depressed the hell out of him. Win and he weren’t old—not by a long shot—but to use Win’s golf analogy when he had first unveiled the glasses: “We are officially on the back nine of life.”
“Is this a Facebook page?” Win asked.
“Yes. Suzze said she uses it to promote her tennis academy.”
Win leaned a little closer. “Is that her sonogram?”
“And how does a sonogram promote her tennis academy?”
“That’s what I asked. She said you need the personal touch. People don’t just want to read self-promotion.”
Win frowned. “So she posts a sonogram of a fetus?” He glanced up. “Does that make sense to you?”
In truth, it did not. And once again—with Win wearing reading glasses and the two of them whining about the new world of social networks—Myron felt old.
“Check out the picture comments,” Myron said.
Win gave him the flat eyes. “People comment on a sonogram?”
“Just read them.”
Win did. Myron waited. He had pretty much memorized the page. There were, he knew, twenty-six comments in all, mostly various good wishes. Suzze’s mother, the aging poster child for Evil Stage (Tennis) Mom, for example, had written: “I’m going to be a grandma, everyone! Yay!” Someone named Amy said, “Aww cute!!!” A jocular “Takes after his old man! ;)” came from a session drummer who used to work with HorsePower. A guy named Kelvin wrote, “Congrats!!” Tami asked, “When’s the baby due, sweetie?”
Win stopped three from the bottom. “Funny guy.”
“Some turdlike humanoid named Erik typed”—Win cleared his throat, leaned closer to the screen—“ ‘Your baby looks like a sea horse!’ ” and then Erik the Riot put the letters “LOL.”
“He’s not her problem.”
Win was not placated. “Old Erik still might be worth a visit.”
“Just keep going.”
“Fine.” Win’s facial expressions rarely changed. He had trained himself in both business and combat to show nothing. But a few seconds later, Myron saw something darken in his old friend’s eyes. Win looked up. Myron nodded. Because now Myron knew that Win had found the two words.
They were there, at the bottom of the page. The two words were in a comment made by “Abeona S,” a name that meant nothing to him. The profile picture was some sort of symbol, maybe Chinese lettering. And there, all in caps, no punctuation, were the two simple yet wrenching words:
Then Win said, “Yowza.”
Win took off his glasses. “Need I ask the obvious question?”
“Is it true?”
“Suzze swears that it’s Lex’s.”
“Do we believe her?”
“We do,” Myron said. “Does it matter?”
“Not on a moral basis, no. My theory? This is the work of some neutered crank.”
Myron nodded. “The great thing about the Internet: It gives everyone a voice. The bad thing about the Internet: It gives everyone a voice.”
“The great bastion for the cowardly and anonymous,” Win agreed. “Suzze should probably delete it before Lex sees it.”
“Too late. That’s part of the problem. Lex has sort of run off.”
“I see,” Win said. “So she wants us to find him?”
“And bring him home, yes.”
“Shouldn’t be too difficult to find a famous rock star,” Win said. “And the other part of the problem?”
“She wants to know who wrote this.”
“The true identity of Mr. Neutered Crank?”
“Suzze thinks it’s something bigger. That someone is truly out to get her.”
Win shook his head. “It’s a neutered crank.”
“Come on. Typing ‘Not his’? That’s pretty sick.”
“A sick neutered crank. Do you ever read the nonsense on this Internet? Go to any news story anywhere and look at the racist, homophobic, paranoid ‘comments.’ ” He made quote marks with his fingers. “It will make you howl at the moon.”
“I know, but I promised I’d look into it.”
Win sighed, put the glasses back on, leaned toward the screen. “The person who posted it is one Abeona S. Is it safe to assume that’s a pseudonym?”
“Yep. Abeona is the name of a Roman goddess. No idea what the S stands for.”
“And what about the profile photograph? What’s this symbol?”
“I don’t know.”
“You asked Suzze?”
“Yep. She said she had no idea. It looks almost like Chinese lettering.”
“Perhaps we can find someone to translate it.” Win sat back and re-steepled the fingers. “Did you notice the time the comment was posted?”
Myron nodded. “Three seventeen A.M.”
“That’s what I was thinking,” Myron said. “This could just be the social-networking equivalent of drunk texting.”
“An ex with issues,” Win said.
“Is there any other kind?”
“And if I recall Suzze’s rambunctious youth, there could be—conservatively speaking—several candidates.”
“But none that she imagines doing something like this.”
Win continued to stare at the screen. “So what’s our first step?”
Myron moved around his renovated office. Gone were the posters of Broadway plays and Batman memorabilia. They’d been taken down during the paint job, and Myron wasn’t really sure if he wanted to put them back up. Gone too were all his old trophies and awards from his playing days—his NCAA championship rings, his Parade All-American certificates, his College Player of the Year award—with one exception. Right before his first professional game as a Boston Celtic, as his dream was finally coming true, Myron had seriously injured his knee. Sports Illustrated put him on the cover with the tagline, IS HE DONE? and while they don’t answer the question, it ended up being a big fat YUP! Why he kept the framed cover up he wasn’t quite sure. If asked, he said that it was a warning to any “superstar” entering his office how quickly it can all go away, but Myron somehow suspected it went deeper than that.
“That’s not your usual modus operandi,” Myron said.
“Oh, do tell.”
“This is usually the part where you tell me that I’m an agent, not a private eye, and that you don’t see any purpose in doing this because there is no financial benefit to the firm.”
Win said nothing.
“Then you usually complain that I have a hero complex and always need to rescue someone in order to feel complete. And lastly—or I should say, most recently—you tell me how my interfering has actually done more harm than good, that I’ve ended up hurting and even killing maybe more than I’ve saved.”
Win yawned. “Is there a point?”
“I thought it was pretty obvious but here it is: Why suddenly are you willing—enthusiastic even—about taking on this particular rescue mission when in the past—”
“In the past,” Win interrupted, “I always helped out, didn’t I?”
“For the most part, yes.”
Win looked up, tapped his chin with his index finger. “How to explain this?” He stopped, thought, nodded. “We have a tendency to believe good things will last forever. It is in our nature. The Beatles, for example. Oh, they’ll be around forever. The Sopranos—that show will always be on the air. Philip Roth’s Zuckerman series. Springsteen concerts. Good things are rare. They are to be cherished because they always leave us too soon.”
Win rose, started for the door. Before he left the room, he looked back.
“Doing this stuff with you,” Win said, “is one of those good things.”
It did not take much to track down Lex Ryder.
Esperanza Diaz, Myron’s business partner at MB Reps, called him at eleven P.M. and said, “Lex just used his credit card at Three Downing.”
Myron was staying, as he often did, at Win’s co-op in the legendary Dakota building, overlooking Central Park West on the corner of Seventy-second Street. Win had a spare bedroom or three. The Dakota dates back to 1884 and it looks it. The fortresslike structure was beautiful and dark and somehow wonderfully depressing. It’s a hodgepodge of gables, balconies, finials, pediments, balustrades, half domes, cast iron, archways, ornate railing, stepped dormers—a bizarre blend that was somehow seamless, hauntingly perfect rather than overwhelming.
“What’s that?” Myron asked.
“You don’t know Three Downing?” Esperanza asked.
“It’s probably the hippest bar in the city right now. Diddy, supermodels, the fashionista, that crowd. It’s in Chelsea.”
“It’s a little disappointing,” Esperanza said.
“That a playah of your magnitude doesn’t know all the trendy spots.”
“When Diddy and I go clubbing, we take the white Hummer stretch and use underground entrances. The names blur.”
“Or being engaged is cramping your style,” Esperanza said. “So do you want to head over there and pick him up?”
“I’m in my pajamas.”
“Yep, a playah. Do the pajamas have feetsies?”
Myron checked his watch again. He could be downtown before midnight. “I’m on my way.”
“Is Win there?” Esperanza asked.
“No, he’s still out.”
“So you’re going down alone?”
“You’re worried about a tasty morsel like me in a nightclub on my own?”
“I’m worried you won’t get in. I’ll meet you there. Half hour. Seventeenth Street entrance. Dress to impress.”
Esperanza hung up. This surprised Myron. Since becoming a mother, Esperanza, former all-night, bisexual party girl, never went out late anymore. She had always taken her job seriously—she now owned 49 percent of MB Reps and with Myron’s strange travels of late had really carried the load. But after a decade-plus of leading a night lifestyle so hedonistic it would have made Caligula envious, Esperanza had stopped cold, gotten married to the uber-straight Tom, and had a son named Hector. She went from Lindsay Lohan to Carol Brady in four-point-five seconds.
Myron looked in his closet and wondered what to wear to a trendy nightspot. Esperanza had said dress to impress, so he went with his tried and true—jeans-blue-blazer-expensive-loafer look—Mr. Casual Chic—mostly because that was all he owned that fit the bill. There was really little in his closet between jeansblazer and all-out suit, unless you wanted to look like the sales guy at an electronics store.
He grabbed a cab on Central Park West. The cliché of Manhattan taxi drivers is that they are all foreign and barely speak English. The cliché may be true, but it had been at least five years since Myron had actually spoken to one. Despite recent laws, every single cabdriver in New York City wore a mobile-phone Bluetooth in his ear, twenty-four/seven, quietly talking in his native tongue to whoever was on the other end. Manners aside, Myron always wondered whom they had in their lives that wanted to talk to them all day. In this sense, one could argue that these were very lucky men.
Myron figured that he’d see a long line, a velvet rope, something, but as they approached the Seventeenth Street address, there was no sign of any nightclub. Finally he realized that the “Three” stood for the third floor and that “Downing” was the name of the quasi-high-rise in front of him. Someone went to the MB Reps School of Literal Business Naming.
The elevator arrived on the third floor. As soon as the doors slid open, Myron could feel the music’s deep bass in his chest. The long queue of desperate wanna-enters started immediately. Purportedly, people went to clubs like this to have a good time, but the truth was, most stood on a line and ended up with a sharp reminder that they still weren’t cool enough to sit at the popular kids’ lunch table. VIPs walked right past them with nary a glance and somehow that made them want to go in more. There was a velvet rope, of course, signaling their lower status, and it was guarded by three steroid-stuffed bouncers with shaved heads and practiced scowls.
Myron approached with his best Win-like swagger. “Hey, fellas.”
The bouncers ignored him. The biggest of the three wore a black suit with no shirt. None. Suit jacket, no shirt. His chest was nicely waxed, displaying impressive metrosexual cleavage. He was currently dealing with a group of four maybe-twenty-one-year-old girls. They all wore ridiculously high heels—heels were definitely in this year—so that they teetered more than strutted. Their dresses were skimpy enough for a citation, but really, that was nothing new.
The bouncer was examining them cattle-call style. The girls posed and smiled. Myron half expected them to open their mouths so he could examine their teeth.
“You three are okay,” Cleavage told them. “But your friend here is too chunky.”
The chunky girl, who was maybe a size eight, started to cry. Her three waiflike friends gathered in a circle and debated if they should go in without her. The chunky girl ran off in sobs. The friends shrugged and entered. The three bouncers smirked.
Myron said, “Classy.”
The smirks turned his way. Cleavage met Myron’s eyes, offering up a challenge. Myron met his gaze and did not look away. Cleavage looked Myron up and down and clearly found him wanting.
“Nice outfit,” Cleavage said. “You on your way to fight a parking ticket in traffic court?”
His two compadres, both sporting tourniquet-tight Ed Hardy T-shirts, liked that one.
“Right,” Myron said, pointing at the cleavage. “I should have left my shirt at home.”
The bouncer on Cleavage’s left made a surprised O with his mouth.
Cleavage stuck out his thumb, umpire-style. “End of the line, pal. Or better yet, just head out.”
“I’m here to see Lex Ryder.”
“Who says he’s here?”
“And you are?”
Excerpted from "Live Wire"
Copyright © 2013 Harlan Coben.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
“A master storyteller.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Luanne Rice
“Quite simply, Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. His books have it all: nail-biting suspense, roller-coaster plots, relevant social issues, and pitch-perfect characters.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah
“Rich and compelling.”—The Associated Press
“Mr. Coben spares his reader no emotional extreme...a fast-moving action tale.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Live Wire is a stunning achievement in all respects—everything a thriller, and a novel, is supposed to be.”—The Providence Journal
“Delivers a deceptively complex plot and illustrates why Myron is such an intriguing character…Coben…deftly shows that he has more stories to tell about his long-running character.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“One of Coben’s most exciting and multidimensional tales yet…Gripping.”—The Columbus Dispatch
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Okay, seriously. Harlan Coben doesn't set the price, the publishers do. The man worked hard to write the book, and the book critics have already been singing its praises and calling it his best book. Those are big words, considering the success he's had. The rating system is for the book itself, to give prospective customers an idea if it's any good. Don't throw up 1 and 2 star ratings because you think it's too expensive. I agree, the ebook does seem overpriced, but come on, use your heads! I got an advanced copy and must say it was great. Classic Harlan Coben/Myron Bolitar. I'm recommending it to all my friends. Readers -- Don't be turned off by all the people who want to rate a book based on it's price.
Former tennis star Suzze Tervantino visits MB Reps to ask her agent Myron Bolitar for help. Eight months pregnant, Suzze is hysterical as her husband rock star husband Lex Ryder, also a client of Myron, has vanished. She shows Bolitar an entry on Facebook claiming the child she carries is not sired by Ryder. Although other inline innuendos make the same proclamation, Suzze T swears to Bolitar that Ryder he is the dad (thanks to Maury). Bolivar has family issues so he feels for his client. With Windsor "Win" Horne Lockwood III at his side, he begins the search for Ryder at a time his father is dying and wants to see his estranged other son Brad. The inquiry into finding Brad leads Myron to his abandoned sister-in-law Kitty and his fifteen years old nephew Mickey whom he never met. Neither wants him in their lives. Live Wire is an exciting investigative thriller in which Bolitar works two family oriented cases. The insight into his past enhances what long time fans know of his first and second quarters of his life while the Suzze T inquiry forces the agent to look into her family's darkest secrets. With Win causing havoc, a great late twist, and a powerful look at family, fans will see a different compassionate side to the wise cracking agent. Harriet Klausner
Myron Bolitar is an agent who represents both former tennis star Suzze Tervantino and her rock star husband Lex Ryder. Suzze, who is about to give birth, asks Myron to locate her missing husband. Lex has vanished when a posting on Facebook says that the Suzze's child is not his. While searching for Lex, he sees the wife of his long estranged brother. Myron certainly has his plate full with not only dealing with his clients and the secrets they keep but with also his family and the hopeful reconciliation with his brother. This novel investigates family dynamics and the painful struggle we all face. I enjoyed the suspenseful searches and the exciting characters that a part of Myron's team. I will have to read more of these stories.
We first met Myron Bolitar back in 1995 in the book Deal Breaker. He was an athlete knocked out of the game by an injury right before his first professional start so he became a Sports Agent to keep him in the game if only from the sidelines. But he was more than an agent, he was a friend, a confidant, a problem solver, and a guy with an enormous heart that to protect his clients he also eventually becomes a private eye. With the help of his friends, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win), and two gals who were a former tag team with the Fabulous Ladies Of Wrestling (FLOW), MB Reps has grown into a firm that not only handles athletes, but authors, actors, artists, and musicians. In this book we learn more about Myron's family and his past as he is forced to deal with some family issues. He is also trying to help former tennis star Suzze T (Trevantino) and rock star husband Lex get to the bottom of a paternity issue being posed about their unborn child on a Facebook page. Myron also learns that his family issues and these baby issues are intertwined in a way that leads him down a very dangerous path as he tries to find the truth that has been hidden for more than 15 years. I LOVED IT!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!! If you have read the previous 9 Myron Bolitar novels and you think you know Myron Bolitar you will realize early into this book that you didn't know him at all. Harlan Coben is by far the best author ever of the suspense thriller. He grabs you from the first word and like the title of one of his previous novels HOLD(s on) TIGHT until the very last word and leaves you wanting more. The difference between this novel and others in this series is than we learn more about Myron Bolitar than we ever have before and Coben ties it into the latest mystery brilliantly. What starts out as a simple question of who posted the anonymous Facebook comment builds into the thriller Coben is famous for, and brings to light the things Bolitar has kept hidden or to himself in the other books. This is definitely a book you will want to read in one sitting, so plan accordingly and be prepared for a few surprises. This book proves than even Harlan Coben still has plenty up his sleeve to thrill and entertain us. Coben himself is the LIVE WIRE!!! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Dutton, A Division of the Penguin Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I loved this book. I read this book in two days. I could not put it down. Talk about being shock and plot twisting. The ending will really shock and suprise you. Also very touching. What a bunch of great charchters in this book. This is my favoirte book in the series. This is a must read!
Obviously I didn't get the free advance copy, nor did I buy the ebook. The old-fashioned, paid for hardcover suits me just fine. And so did Live Wire, a suspenseful story about interesting people full of twists and turns. It's so hard to imagine anyone not liking this novel.
could not put it down. between yu and mee, this was the best myron yet!
On a plus side it is a very fast paced and makes you trying to get to the end as quick as possible ( as good thriller should do). On a negative side, it suffers from using the same characters (Myron Bolitar, et al) for so long. I love Bolitar and Win characters but I don't remember any mention in previous novels of Bolitar's brother. Bringing this subject now - especially when it's supposed to affect Boplitar's family so much - made me cringe a bit. It definitely broke the mood of this novel for me.
What Hercule Poirot was to Agatha Christie, what Sherlock Holmes was to Conan Doyle, so is Myron Bolitar to Harlan Coben and Harlan, following in their esteemed footsteps, seems to have grown tired of his beloved sleuth and although Bolitar shows no evidence of wanting to become a bee-keeper or an avenging slayer, it seems Live Wire will be his final outing. While investigating a problem for one of his clients, Myron runs into his sister-in-law Kitty: since she is the cause of his decades-long estrangement from his brother, he is naturally anxious to talk to her. Before long Myron is emeshed in a maelstrom of madness and needs the combined efforts of his team, Win, Esperanza and, of course, Big Cyndi, to rescue him and his new-found nephew. The book ends with Myron's retirment: the business is sold, Esperanza - en-route to a divorce and showing signs of returning to her lady-loving ways - will run waht's left of it with Big Cyndi's help, Myron's parents, El and Al, will return to Florida, the New Jersey house sold, leaving him free to go to Angola to join fiance Terese. We are warned of a new series of books for young adults featuring nephew Mike [real name Myron] who has taken after his uncle in many ways - not only the name and smart mouth but also the supurb basketball skills. So perhaps Myron Bolitar, super agent and superslueth, is not completely lost to readers. Through Mike we will, hopefully, keep au fait with his doings, those of Esperanza and lovable Big Cyndi and, of course, everyone's favourite sociopath, the urbane and blue blooded homocidal maniac Win.
An enjoyable read in the Bolitar series, the characters are back on track and some events in this version really leave some what will become of the characters in your head.Also a really smart segway into the Mickey Bolitar series
Hurray! A new author to pursue! I picked this audio book up reluctantly, since I am not a big fan of sports. However, I found so much more in this story. The main character Myron, an agent for sports figures and celebrities, is far from perfect. He tries to fix everything for his clients; but when he starts on a simple road to figure out who posted something hateful on Facebook, his good intentions soon have events and his friends spiraling out of control. The mystery is a good one, with several layers to it. There is nice humor and background between Myron and those he works with.I listened to the audio version of this, and I'm thinking Steven Weber may be the best narrator I've heard yet. He did many voices and accents flawlessly, even females.
When you get a good one of this ilk you realize what skill it takes to write a throw away novel. Live Wire will never be confused with Crime and Punishment. What it will do is bring you several hours of entertainment with characters that you really care about. Lately I've read so much bad popular fiction that it really made me appreciate Mr. Coben. This one is not that different from his others. Myron gets involved in some kind of predicament involving one of his sports agent clients. Win supplies the muscle and we enjoy the ride. Like Dolly Parton used to say, its hard wok looking this cheap. Another solid entry from Harlen Coben
Coben back at the top of his game. Plot twists abound in another mystery featuring Myron Bolitar. One of his best page turners.
I love, love, love this series I wait and wait until Coben comes out with a new book and then I gobble it up as if I've been starving. This book was no exception. Fantastic!
Myron Bolivar and the one-of-a-kind Windsor (Win) Horne Lockwood III are two of my favorite characters in fiction today. In Live Wire, Harlan Coben again brings them to life in all their glory.What do you get when you mix a brother and sister-in-law who have been out of touch for 15 years, a pregnant ex-tennis star and her rocker husband, and modern day gangsters?...A great story!I literally could not put this book down¿I tore through it in one day.This is definitely at the top of my list of recommended reads.
LIVE WIRE by Harlan Coben is the tenth book in his Myron Bolitar series.A few years ago I went to a Harlan Coben event in St. Joseph, Michigan. At that time he mentioned that he was considering ending this series. I spoke out from the audience to say, please don¿t. He¿s written two Myron Bolitar (with his indispensable friend Win) novels since then, so I guess he was listening.But is this the last in the series?As a former basketball great and now co-owner of an agency that represents sports and entertainment personalities, Myron is visited by a client, Suzze, former tennis star. She wants Myron to find her husband, Lex, rock star and also Myron¿s client. Lex ran out on Suzze, pregnant and all, when he saw an anonymous post on Suzze¿s Facebook page: ¿NOT HIS.¿Right off the bat this book disappoints. Who would take seriously an anonymous post on the Internet? Everyone knows that anyone can say anything on the Internet.But if you just go with it and not think about that, LIVE WIRE does have Coben¿s typical plot and subplot, twists and turns, and Win. So Myron Bolitar fans can count on that even if the book doesn't quite measure up to Coben's others.Myron, who can¿t help but become involved in his clients¿ lives, finds Lex in a nightclub and, coincidentally, also finds his long-lost sister-in-law, Kitty. Or is it a coincidence?Kitty, another former tennis star, is now a mess. She's a heroin junkie so far gone she¿ll do anything, I mean ANYTHING, to get a fix. And she¿s at this nightclub without Myron¿s (also long-lost) brother, Brad. Where is he?Myron¿s father wants him to find out. One thing we love about Myron Bolitar is that he loves his parents. So Myron, in spite of great danger, finds out. After all, he has Win.While Myron looks for Brad, Myron finds his 15-year-old nephew, Mickey. And, wouldn¿t you know it, Mickey is tall like Myron and a basketball player.Does this introduction to Mickey signal the end of the Myron series? Is Myron now retiring? Clues seem to indicate that.I love Myron, and I love that he¿s getting older just like me. But could his age be reason to retire him?Lots of readers have loved this series, and I think they should read this. It¿s not Coben¿s best, but they¿ll want to know what happening with Myron. I think they, like me, will not be happy that Myron might be banished to the sidelines in favor of a teenager.
Best-selling writer Harlan Coben, author of close to two dozen superb, exciting, well-written crime novels, wrote two such books in 2011. This one is for his usual readers staring Myron Bolitar and featuring his zany friends: Big Cynti, the grossly overweight ever-helpful ex-wrestler with zany makeup; Esperanza, the beautiful sometime lesbian expert with computers, who is Myron's partner; and, of course Wyn, his devoted friend, multi millionaire, with a frightening ability to hurt people, which he enjoys, who has two oriental girlfriends Yu and Mee. The second novel called Shelter, which should be read after this one, is focused toward young readers, Coben's first such novel, which can be enjoyed by adults.The two books describe different incidences that occur at about the same time. This mystery is called Live Wire because this is the name of a musical band that plays a major part in this tale. Six foot four ex-basketball player Myron is an agent for entertainment people but he frequently stumbles upon situations where people need help and like a sensitive white knight he rides in to help despite the threat of personal danger. Myron's younger brother Brad who he loves dearly goes missing. Myron hasn't seen him for about fifteen years. The two very close siblings got into a fight about Kitty whom Brad was determined to and did marry. Where was Brad? Was he still alive? Why does Kitty refuse to tell him where Bad is?Kitty has become a drug addict. Myron sees a tape showing her committing degrading sex to obtain drugs. She is scared of something and runs. She and Brad have a son Mickey Bolivar, the hero of Shelter. Although Mickey is only fifteen years old, he is also six foot four, confronts his uncle Myron, and insists that Myron leave him and his mother alone. What is he hiding? Can't he realize that his mother needs help? Can't he understand that he can't handle all the problems he is facing by himself?Myron's client, ex-tennis star, and wife of one member of Live Wire is eight months pregnant. She receives a message on her facebook page that her baby is "Not His," meaning not her husband's. The message is signed with an unusual word and there is a strange symbol next to it. She insists that the child is her husband's. Her husband sees the posting and disappears. What does the name and symbol signify? What's going on with her husband? Myron soon realizes that the current events are tied to the apparent murder of a girl by Gabriel Wire, the band lead singer, about a dozen years ago. Soon there are many thrilling events traveling at car chase speed, including other deaths and Myron being attacked and Win taking brutal revenge. Readers will enjoy the book.
This was a good mystery and the first book in the Myron Bolitar series that I have read. The story was good and the characters were interesting. Overall an enjoyable story.
I read a lot. I've found some good writers and not so good writers. Harlan Coben is one of the best. As soon as I picked up Live Wire, I was engaged in the story. I like the characters; even Win and I look forward to HC's next book. The reasoning that some would give this less than 5 stars because they were afraid this would be his last book in the series escapes me. I realize that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, but why an author would end a great series also escapes me. We just went through this with Lee Child and Jack Reacher. Of course, if they allow Tom Cruise to play the part of Jack Reacher, that alone may very well end the series for me. The same for Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum. I sometimes think it's better to leave a book as a book. Making a movie out of a great character is about picking the right actor to play that part. You're never going to please all of us. I see Live Wire as a new beginning for Myron and I'm wondering how the relationship between Myron and Win is going to change. Too much to write. No time for the series to end. Relax everyone. They'll be back.
A mystery book that revolves around great hero's that exist as sports agents in New York. Myron Bolitar was a great basketball player who had promise for a professional career until he blew out his knee. His best friend Windsor Horne Lockwood III is a rich blue blood from the right side of the tracks and self described Rake. He owns the Dakota building where their office is located. His family has memberships to all the best clubs and he knows all the important people. Most importantly, Myron and Win love each other and would do anything to help and protect each other. They are also young, big, athletic and dangerous (especially Win). Coban is an author who tells an engaging story and peoples it with characters that are easy to visualize and either love or hate. The office receptionist, Big Cindy, is a tall large women who having been an intercontinental Women's Wrestling Federation Tag Team member can pull off wearing a shimmering purple Bat Girl costume while following someone through the streets of New York and (in her words), blending in. Her former team mate is now a recently law school graduate, 49% partner in the Sports Agency and was an extremely hot, compact foil for Big Cindy who went by the moniker, Pocahontas during her wrestling days. Coban also describes the physical attributes of the area his characters are occupying, with enough detail to make you feel if you are there. His descriptions also lend an atmosphere that contributes to the joy, fear, tenseness or other emotional content of the scene. The action never drags and the family warmth makes you want to join Myron's extended family (all of his clients he treats as family, interested in their lives and concerned for their welfare, he is loyal to them and they in return respect him for his attitude and loyalty). The story has lots of twists with characters that range from really evil mobsters to hormone enhanced muscle who love to be bullies. Myron and Win deal with either with equal aplomb. The running dialog is humorous and entertaining. Watching the extremes his players are subjected to and the endless drama they bring upon themselves and others, makes you glad to be a reader and not a player. Harlan Coben is an author who has come into his own and ranks among the very best. Reward yourself by spending time with one of his books!
Many readers have come to know Harlan Coben through the stand alone thrillers he writes - most of which are bestsellers. And really really good. But he also writes a great series featuring recurring character Myron Bolitar - a sports and entertainment rep who is also a lawyer - and his sidekick the enigmatic Win.hi Win is a very dapper, very wealthy, very scary kind of guy.Live Wire finds Myron dealing with problems much closer to home than ever before. His estranged brother's wife ends up on a video in a club, showing her shooting up and more. When Myron approaches her she runs. Two of his high profile clients - Lex, a musician and Suzze, a tennis star. are expecting their first child. But Lex has disappeared and online postings insist the child isn't Lex's. As he digs deeper, he finds an unlikely connection between the two mysteries.This is a fun series. The witty banter between Win and Myron is amusing. It's an unusual pairing that really works. Myron's ability to get himself in (and sometimes out) of problems using his silver tongue is always entertaining. The cases themselves are well plotted and move quickly. In Live Wire though, we get to see beneath the shiny surface of Myron and see some emotional underbelly.A great set of recurring characters to get hooked on.
Live Wire was a rare, successful story of murder with delightful sprinkles of sarcastic humor. The more I read from Harlan Coben, the more impressed I become. His characters are the type I usually eschew, the tough guy investigator: rich, handsome, perfect. What's interesting about that? But these guys are actually, well, guys who have depth beyond their profile. Its their personal history, the glimpses of sadness and regret that I identify with, that pulls me through the story. It is also a fresh storyline, with impossible twists. I can acceptt that, though, because the overall experience is all so very entertaining.
Another excellent Harlan Coben read. Read this one, then read Shelter. Although Shelter is classified as YA, it gives you the next step in the story. Highly recommend both books
I read this after Shelter. That's the wrong order. But it's not important. The stories are independent enough (and aimed at different audiences) to be read in reverse order. Somehow, Live Wire didn't seem up to the standards I expect from Coben. Don't ask me why - I'm not that smart. But that changed at the end of the book. In my opinion, a better than average ending managed to set up more than one book to follow, sequels for both Shelter and Live Wire. Coben's a pretty clever guy. Too bad he's not working on the national debt or something equally as complex.