Monday, 8 October 2018
HARLAN COBEN - HOME (2016)
The boy who had been missing for 10 years was right in front of him....
A decade ago kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced.
For 10 years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend, Win, believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for 10 years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?
Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family and the meaning of home.
It's been a year or two (actually five) since I read anything from Harlan Coben and while I enjoyed this, it's probably going to be a similar period before I pick up anything else by him. It was good, but not especially amazing. My wife enjoyed it as a beach read on our recent holiday, but even for her it wasn't the sort of book you immediately press into someone else's hands and keep pestering them to start it and then nagging them constantly as to where they were up to. I had mostly indifference from her when I cracked the spine.
We have two missing boys, Patrick and Rhys from ten years ago and one suddenly turns up in London. After a struggle - a fight and three deaths - a period of negotiation and another confrontation with a violent London pimp, one of the boys, Patrick is rescued. But where is Rhys?
Myron Bolitar is our main character. He's a retired sports agent and a famous almost basketball star and to be honest I'm not too sure what his job is now. Probably rich - I think he sold his sports agency and is now a bit of a busybody. One of the missing boys, Rhys was his best friend Win's cousin's child. Win, another rich dude apparently hasn't stopped looking for the boy in the intervening years.
I quite enjoyed the set-up and the riddle of what happened to the boys. There is frustration for Win and Myron, as Patrick's family don't want him troubled by questions about Rhys especially after the trauma of his lifestyle and the injuries he suffered in his rescue. The pair, then try and start at the beginning, re-looking into the investigation from the moment the boys went missing.
Family, conflict, secrets, a vanished au-pair, unresolved grief, marital difficulties, London rent boys and an underage sex business, siblings and friendships, support and understanding, some teenage help in the form of Myron's nephew - Mickey and cohorts, a scary cross-dresser and lots more.
Eventually we get answers and everything is resolved. The actual outcome is the only believable option really. I just didn't feel any particular emotion when we have our resolution. I was interested in what happened, but I wasn't happy/sad/elated/shaken (delete as necessary) at how things turned out.
An okay mystery, fairly fast-paced. I didn't mind Myron as a main character. He means well. We have his connection to his nephew and the love he shows for his parents and his fiancee. He's one of the good guys. His friend Win, I'm guessing has appeared in earlier books in the series - Home is the 11th. I didn't take to him at all. Coben strives to portray him as dark, enigmatic and mysterious. He doesn't like attachments and romantic entanglements and is aware that he's the loner type. He disappears from Myron's life for long periods at a time. I found him to be a massive tool frankly.
All in all - an okay read but not one that has me shouting from the rooftops for others to read. Does what is says on the tin.
3 from 5
I will read more from Coben in the future - I have a few on the pile and he is one of the few authors my wife enjoys.
No Second Chance , Play Dead, Hold Tight, Tell No One have been enjoyed to a greater or lesser extent in the past.
Read in October, 2018
Published - 2016
Page count - 416
Source - purchased copy
Format - paperback