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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Darkest Fear by Harlan Coben

Myron Bolitar is one of my favorite characters. The series has a fine sense of humor laced with a good mystery. The beginning starts off well with Myron trying to be nice to his mother, a lawyer who never, ever cooks, but who has just turned out a pastry that Myron thinks tastes just like urinal cakes.

In this novel, Coben mixes the serious with levity. He is contacted by an ex-girlfriend who had ultimately married his arch rival on the basketball court and whom he blames for his career-destroying knee injury. It seems her son has a life-threatening disease that can only be cured with a bone marrow transplant and the one match in the registry has disappeared. She wants Myron to find the donor and save her son’s life. From there it gets really complicated mixing a serial killer with a discredited journalist whose being staked out by the FBI and a very rich family who has a secret they refuse to reveal.

Coben ties it together very nicely, but I sometimes wonder if the excellent narration by Jonathan Marosz doesn’t make the difference between 3 and 4 stars.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Extreme Prey by John Sandford

Sandford is in top form and Ferrone again reads magnificently in this politically-based story. No longer a police procedural, Lucas has resigned as the top BCI cop and is working on his cabin when he is called by the governor’s staff to come help out with a thorny problem. Henderson, womanizer that he is, is running for Veep and has been approached by several weird people all conveying the message that he needs to move to the center in case something happens to Bowdin (the woman running for president whose VP he would like to be.) As with many thrillers, some suspension of reality is required, as Lucas, hyper-observant as usual, is soon on the track of some old radicals with an agenda that’s not quite clear and may be related to an older unsolved crime.

Many of the other Sandford series protagonists make cameo appearances in the book: Virgil Flowers (my favorite series) and Kidd (also a great series but very dated now) to name but a couple. The last chapter portends an interesting new track for Lucas Davenport. I think it has promise.