Posts Tagged ‘Harlan Coben’

Home, Myron Bolivar, Harlan Coben

Home the new thriller from Harlan Coben

Al Bolitar swilled rocks of ice in his Chivas 12. Television roar filling the room now, with the Mets bottom of the ninth against the Phillies. Pundit chatter, as the game cut to yet another break.

“So how did you like your trip to Europe son?”

“Not so much. London is kind of dangerous these days—gangs of rampaging Cockney chimney sweeps roaming everywhere, kidnapping children and selling them into slavery.”

His father frowned, gave him a hard look.

“The red busses were nice,” continued Myron happily, “and the London Eye of course. The queues for ice-creams are very long though.” Myron beamed with the easily relatable touristic memories, then added quickly, “Win says the child kidnappers are being controlled by an overweight nerd known as Pranjeet the Portly Punjabi, a criminal mastermind, who is part Fagin, part Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Although he looks a little more like a fat Dr. Evil if you ask me.”

Win: Windsor Horne Lockwood III. Of course Win would be involved. Al Bolitar sighed, swilled the rocks of ice around his glass. “How’s the job hunt going?”

Myron pulled a face. “I got to stay home with you and mom, pops. You are getting older now. I need to be home to look out for you, in case you need me to go out to the shops or something. Besides, with the injured knee that ruined my promising career with the Celtics, I cannot begin to think about full time work, maybe just a little part-time sleuthing once a year, when Win needs me.”

Again Win. Al Bolitar frowned. “Win was in London with you?”

“Yes,” admitted Myron, reluctantly.

His father frowned harder. “You ask me, that Win is nothing but trouble. Every time you hang out with him someone tangentially connected with the neighborhood gets murdered or kidnapped.” Al Bolitar gave his son a hard look. “Win didn’t have that rocket launcher of his with him did he?”

“No, of course he didn’t.” Myron let the easy lie roll off his tongue. The words came a little too quick. He saw his father’s eyes rolling to the heavens.”

“I don’t like you hanging out with Win, Myron. His shoes are a little too smart, his hair just a little too sharply parted, and he has effete eyebrows. I suppose you have noticed that, Mr. Detective?” His father slugged Whiskey. “ Say the word and I’ll have my teamster buddies score you a job at the airport. Not the schmancy kind of gig you are used to, but it is good honest labor. The kind of work that will help you move out of the basement into a place of your own.”

Myron sat forward in his seat, his heart leaping out of his chest. “Move out of the basement; but what about my childhood memories: my Sports Illustrated collection, and my posters of Burt Ward and Adam West, the greatest crime-fighters the world has ever seen? And who would tend my shrine to Farrah Fawcett, have you even thought about that?”

His father frowned. “It smells like moldy gym socks down there. Besides, you are fifty years old, son. Maybe it is time you made an honest woman out of that girl of yours. What’s her name, Terese? You wheel ’em in and out of her so goddamn fast, it is hard to keep track.”

Myron clutched at his fathers arm.

“I cannot move out of the basement, not with my ruined knee. I need to be home, with you and mom. I belong here, don’t you see?”

His father winced, moved his whiskey out of range of his son’s clutching fingers. “Here’s the thing son—me and your mom, we got things we like to do. We got our sky diving lessons, then we got ourselves another anthropological trip to the Amazon rain forest, and ever since you Mom got into EDM, we got a whole bunch of festivals lined up too: Coachella, Burning Man and Electric Daisy.”

“But who is going to make my dinners?”

“We will stock up the freezer with frozen lasagna and hungry-man ready meals, same as usual.”

“I don’t like ready meals,” sniffed Myron, his voice sulky.

Al Bolitar double slugged his scotch and banged the glass down on the coffee table. “You should have thought about that before you passed up the chance to be the next Jerry Maguire shouldn’t you jackass? You could have been lording it on the upper east side now, with your own apartment and a stable full of millionaire sports celebrities at your beck and call—all of them cutting you a big fat pay check every month. But oh-no, you and your injured knee had to throw it all away didn’t you? You ask me, you should have never sold the agency.”

The agency is in the past, just like my career with the Celtics. All I have to look forward to now is the pain of my ruined knee and the solace of my closest fiends. Sleuthing is my life. I want to solve mysteries pops, can’t you understand that?”

Al Bolitar held his hands to the heavens. “Mystery solving? Where’s the percentage in that? That kind of thing is a young mans game. Why only last week I caught some show on TV about an ex LAPD detective: Hieronymus Harry Haller. I remember thrilling to his adventures back in the day, when he was young and full of vim. But these days, since he went in the nursing home, and is taking his food through tubes—well, lets just say I am not digging his adventures quite as much as I used to. I am warning you son, you don’t snap yourself together, get your life back on track, that could happen to you!”

Myron sniffed, his bottom lip trembling, his eyes growing wide with uncertainty. “Are you saying I should throw away everything I have ever believed in, to a world of ‘standalone’ mysteries? I won’t let it happen. I swear I won’t! I will go see Win’s friend, Harlan Coben—he is so tall and wise and handsome. He is an unerringly talented mystery writer to boot—he will know what to do—most surely he will!”

His father sighed. “Don’t be bothering the neighbors again Myron. We talked about this already!”

Myron rose from his seat “I will got to the city and talk to him now. Mr. Coben will know the answers!”

Al Bolitar shot his son a doubtful look. “This time of night? Those local government assholes have got the George Washington Bridge closed off again.”

“Then I will take Jones Road to Riverside Drive!”

“You got a job at the airport, you could change that POS Taurus out for a proper car you know that don’t you?”

Myron’s fists grew tight. “I will never sell the Taurus, never!”

Just then, Myron’s mom peered around the door of the den. “Who wants chocolate Yoo-Hoo and fresh-baked cookies for their supper?”

Myron stood there for a long moment, his game knee twitching with the unbearable tension. Finally, he raised his hand. “Me please mom.”

His mother smiled. “It’s nice to have you home son, you sit right there on the couch for your cookies. You want that I should fetch your blanky? I got it warming nice and cozy for you!”

Myron felt the warm tears of love and happiness welling from his eyes. He sank back onto the couch. “Thanks mom. You are the greatest. Can we all sit together and watch Jeopardy together when the game is done?”

His mother beamed back at him, her heart full of unending love. “Of course dear. I am sure the modern mystery reading demographic would be delighted, and we would too, wouldn’t we father?”

Al Bolitar made a horrible snorting noise, pouring another generous snort of Chivas 12 over the top of the glistening ice cubes, as the Mets game came live again.


Harlan Coben hams it up on CBS Morning show: Hot hand indeed…and even hotter tie

As Crimezine was enjoying a delicious glass of breakfast cognac this morning, our poolside cocktail wrangler Consuela assailed us, with the kind of shrieking hysterics normally reserved for her favorite daily telenovela Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal. Turns out the poor, dear woman had just seen Harlan Coben’s appearance on the CBS Morning Show.

After much fanning with a well used copy of True Detective magazine, it turned out that Consuela had confused Coben’s hairless cranium with that of real life Crime Super Villain Doctor Evil, as portrayed by Saturday Night Live ‘funny man’ Mike Myers, in the ‘hilarious’ comedy spoof Austin Powers. An understandable error, as Coben does bear more than a passing resemblance to the aforementioned Doctor Evil.

Naturally Cobie hammed it up with Gayle King and Nora O’Donnell for the required five hot minutes, talking about his ‘must read’ Young Adult novel Seconds Away and other topics, such as always having to play third on the bill, after  Bruce Springsteen and Chris ‘who ate all the pies’ Christie, for the title of most popular Jersey Boy. [Surely BonJovi beats him too?—Crimezine Editor]

Full credit to Cobie though, for explaining Christie was a ‘childhood friend’ and that he ‘rides the subway’ just like the rest of us… Chortle.

James Patterson,crimezine

Patterson fields a Player

Following Crimezines recent revelations regarding Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly’s prowess at put-put golf. Bazillionaire golfer and sometime crime writer Jimbo Patterson sent Crimezine this picture of his back yard.

Frankly Crimeziners, we are impressed that Jimbo has managed to hack his hundred acre patch of primo Floridian mangrove swamp into such marvelous shape. Apparently, very few servants or landscape gardeners were eaten by Alligators, or giant flying insects in the process. Hurrah!

A big debt of thanks must go to the Great Pattersonis head gardener Pablo. Eagle eyed Crimeziners might just be able to see Pablo’s humble groundsman’s cottage on the far side of Alligator inlet.

Naturally we assumed this candid snap of the Patterson Estate featured Pablo on the left clutching his masters shoulder supportively, But no! Shockerooo! The fine figure of manhood standing next to Jimbo is actually Grand Slamming Golf Legend Gary Player. If Jimbo has a golf coach like this, Golf neophytes Coben and Connelly would be best advised to take up another sport—table tennis for example. See you at the nineteenth hole Crimeziners.

Crimezine Connelly Coben

Hope some one is wearing their factor fifty?

Crimezine chums Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly have been slacking off their pounding work schedules off late to team up for a round of golf.

So who won? The two chums are being tight lipped but Crimezine’s money is on Conners. Crimezines favorite Floridian is well known to be fast friends with crime fiction’s very own Jack Nicklaus, the golf-tastic Jimbo Patterson.

Patterson, a renowned golf bore is well known for his prowess on the fairway, he is in addition to this a close neighbor and publishing stable mate of Conners. Crimezine has learned that great Pattersoni has imparted much Yoda like wisdom to the Conners game over the years, Authors beware spoiler!!!!!!!

Still, Coben and Conners are back at it in front of the word processor, which is more than can be said of Patterson, whose elves have churned out at least a dozen Patterson branded products this week alone.

Back to the mystery writers PGA tour though and one wag on the Twitterverse who allegedly witnessed this mighty meeting of golfing prowess, wryly commented, ‘As golfers go they are great writers.’

So is a golf thriller in the works? We hear you wonder—surely this is the oxymoron to end all oxymorons. Not even Ian Fleming could make golf sound exciting and by god he tried.

John Grisham Theodore Boone

Teddy Boone: The Accused

Call us curmudgeonly but kiddie crime books? You have got to be kidding right? [chortle] Sadly Crimeziners we are not kidding, it appears crime hero’s everywhere are being deluged by long lost naughty nephews and nieces, and that means hi-jinx aplenty for crime obsessed youngsters. Hurrah for the half holidays!

John Grisham is the latest to diversify into the world of children’s publishing, with his fatuously named Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer. Really? Young Teddy will be clocking up billable hours and haranguing judges between Math homework and a marathon session on the Playstation? Sounds like every kids dream. The Accused the latest Theodore Boone read is available now.

Meanwhile to Crimezines great surprise, Mickey Bolitar, Harlan Coben’s kiddie character is going from strength to strength and a sequel to Shelter entitled Seconds Away is slated for release in August 2012. Coben teasingly revealed to Crimezine that Uncle Myron Bolitar, the East Coast’s most Sleuthsome sports Agent will have a larger role than before. Which suits us. Crimezine loves Coben and Bolitar too, lets hope young Mickey doesn’t have his naughty cousins Donald, Goofy and Pluto over to play, or all hell will break loose, especially If Bolitar cohort Windsor Horne Lockwood III is babysitting.

Marketing behemoth and sometime crime writer Big Jim Patterson has never been shy of brand diversification. It is no surprise then that the great man tuned into the literary needs of the Hairy Potter generation at an early stage. Patterson has now published literally zillions of Patterson branded kiddie products: Witches and Wizards, Daniel X, Middle School and probably a dozen more co-authored treats by the time you read this. No Jimmy Cross— Junior Detective yet, but give it time.

To his credit the great Pattersoni has dreamed up the worthwhile, if somewhat patronizingly monikered Read Kiddo Read, a scheme aimed at encouraging young readers The scheme recommends books such as Chomp By Carl Hiaasen and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye as well as the expected Patterson output.

So who else will be next to hawk a kiddie book? Crimezine would have placed long odds against Lee Child, but after reading his short story Second Son in which a teenaged Jack Reacher duffs up the school bully with a home made knuckle duster, and extracts his Marine Corps Pops from career ending shitola with his sleuthing skills, we are not so sure.

At this rate, it is only a matter of time before hard-bitten Detective Harry Bosch gets a knock on his door and discovers a wide-eyed infant child clutching a junior, fingerprinting kit in one hand and a HK P7 in the other. Or maybe Bosch sproglet Maddie will start up her own Detective Agency? Work the gig like the Rockford files, but with Old Man Bosch playing the rambunctious oldster, Harry is getting pretty long in the tooth after all… Watch this space Crimeziners.

Post script: If the idea of a Rockford Files remake has your salivary juices flowing, the word on Hollyweird Boulevard is that googly faced “funny man” Vince  Vaughn will be starring in a remake of the hit Seventies crime show… Leave your name, number and message and we’ll get back to you buddy.


Harlan Coben and Lucy the elephant

Crimeziners who have read the latest Harlan Coben best-seller, Stay Close, will no doubt  remember that much of the novel is located in the charming locale of Atlantic City,  New Jersey. Judging from Coben’s dark and mysterious description of the place, it is the kind of holiday location where a big coat and a Glock seventeen would come in useful. Coben sent Crimezine this picture however, which contradicts  the described gloominess in the book.

Turns out Atlantic City is a regular Disneyland on Sea, with rides for the kiddies and everything. No doubt Coben chum and NJ Governor Chris guess my weight Christie, persuasively asked America’s greatest Mystery writer to set the record straight regarding the many fun-packed frolics to be had on the Jersey shoreline, that do not involve tanning, the gym, or doing the laundry.

So behold, a picture of Lucy the Elephant, the location where Cobies housewife protagonist hooked up with her former squeeze in the aforementioned pulse raiser Stay Close. Crimezine pictured a rusting hulk that resembled the wreck of doomed cruise liner The Titanic: How wrong we were Crimeziners, how wrong we were.

Eagle eyed Crimeziners may be able to spot the pin sized figures of Coben and his young sproglet astride the saddle of this gaily coloured creature, proof positive that the fun never ends out East.

Stay-Close- Harlan-Coben

Scariest cover of the year?

Harlan Coben, the New Jersey master of mystery has just released his block-busting end of aisle crowd pleaser Stay Close.

As Crimeziners and regular readers of the Coben oeuvre are sure to know, the big man is a master of the lost love/family values gone awry mystery. He alternates these so called, standalone tales, with his Myron Bolitar Sports Agent/Detective series, which Crimezine love, love, loves.

Stay Close features the story of dark-secret soccer mom Megan Peirce and her desire to catch up with her stripper past, on the seedy side of Atlantic City. Poor Megan, her life is fluffier than a cable-knit sweater that grandma made, and still she isn’t happy.

Natch, when she returns to her former stomping ground, she gets pulled into an unresolved murder case that gets ugly and quick. Worse, her former fling, drink sodden snapper Ray Levine is embroiled in the nefarious goings on too.

Will Megan’s marriage to Dull Dave, the faithful, but unexciting father of her two lovely children be left in the lurch? Let’s hope not shoppers…

Fear not however Crimeziners, the astonishingly slow-witted but unremittingly nice detective Broome is on the case, and after close to four hundred pages the nice Det. Broome manages to sweep up the loose ends quite nicely.

But what of the characteristic Coben wit I hear you ask. Usually his one-off efforts are far more restrained than his Bolitar mysteries. He was unable to restrain himself here however, and there are a number of delicious comedy moments that Cobie fans will treasure. Crimezine was particularly fond of the His ‘n’ Hers hit team called Ken and Barbie [Chortle] who delight in torture and Christian summer camp—we kid you not Crimeziners!

What Crimezine enjoyed less, was the fluffy bunny characterization thickly layered throughout this book. We realize the dark yang of serial killer subculture needs a frothy ying topping of frappuccino family values—end of aisle soccer moms would be barfing up their breakfast bagels otherwise. But please, let’s get real, we are talking suburbia here—it’s not a Sunday supplement advertorial for glossy happy-family-dom.

On the plus side, the denouments of Stay Close are typically twisted for Coben and they will no doubt have feminists everywhere cheering in the aisles, which is a real turn-up for a sick-puppy serial killer book.

Crimezine has therefore resolved to stay clear of Ralph’s bestseller section for the foreseeable future. Mercifully our white picket fence offers a small level of protection, but we know it won’t hold for long.

Harlan Coben-Stay close-Crimezine

Tony Soprano, Jack, Fester

America’s leading mystery writer Harlan Coben is schmoozing it up big time this week. The reason for this gluttonous levity? The release of his latest stand-alone mystery puzzler, Stay Close.

Now Crimezine is still busy nosing through our vellum bound advanced copy of this eagerly awaited tome, but even at this early stage we can confirm it is another winner—we are up to chapter five already and have absolutely no frickin’ idea what is goin’ on! Hurrah!

What we can exclusively reveal however is the name of one of the novels most striking characters thus far, a tall, looming bald guy by the name of Fester. Now we know that Harlan is an eager reader of Crimezine, but we are concerned that the gentle giant might have been subject to a degree of name calling by local children, after our recent separated at birth feature that compared Cobie to the Adams families spookiest uncle.

Speaking of local children, Crimezine was recently sent the above picture of Mulholland Drive’s local  neighborhood grouch, Jack Nicholson, hanging out with Cobie and corpulent Soprano’s look-alike Chris Christie—the part time New Jersey Governor and full time presidential tease. Christie looks happier than a man who has won a life-times admittance to all you can eat Tuesdays at Deli-meat Joes. Harlan meanwhile can be seen looming in on Jack’s left, like a particularly spooky nightclub bouncer.

Jack told Crimezine later—I was only in town to see the Yankees, when this guy asks me if I wanna hook up with a basketball dude called Cobie, Naturally I thought they were talking about Kobe Bryant from the Lakers, so I went along, when I got there there was some giant dude looked like uncle Fester. He had a tie on that looked like he had puked on it.

Crimezine naturally made comforting noises and offered Jack a soothing milky drink, after reassuring him that the giant Uncle Fester look alike had almost certainly borrowed the tie from Michael Connelly.


L-R: Nyuk, Coben-Crimetastic. Nyuk, Curly-Comedic. Nyuk, Fester-fiendish

Harlan Coben recently contacted Crimezine HQ gushing forth excitedly about an alleged appearance he has made in the new Three Stooges movie. At last my kids think I am cool he whooped. News flash buddy: you are the old guy who makes the payroll. Those kids will never think you are cool, no matter what you do, besides, it is Christmas week, you think it is coincidence those little demons are buttering you up big guy?

Still, Crimezine perused the Three Stooges trailer at length, even sliding through the eye-poking high jinx on a frame-by-frame basis, searching for signs, no matter how fleeting, of Crime Fiction’s tallest author. Nothing.

It is not as if Harlan is hard to spot, he is a giant, bald-pated behemoth, bigger than an NBA big man. The dude would stand out at a tall persons convention.

Can it be that America’s greatest mystery writer is some how envious of George Feta Cheese Pellecanos’ awesome product placement coup in the Three Stooges trailer, in which we see Coben’s New Jersey neighbor Snooki ‘reading’ the latest Pellecanos best seller The Cut?

Crimezine would like to offer a quite different thesis to this Chandleresque mystery.

We believe that America’s #1 Mystery writer is simply attempting to guide us towards the undeniable similarities between himself and his movie doppelganger Curly Joe.

Doh! We should have realized when we saw The Addams Family movie. Have you ever seen Harlan Coben, Uncle Fester and everyones favorite stooge Curly in the same place? No. Separated at birth, or one and the same person? We leave it to the conscience of the individual Crimeziner… Have a Crimetastic Christmas everyone!


Scorsese: I want a carrot nose and twigs for arms…

We kid you not Crimeziners legendary Director Martin Scorsese is returning to the crime genre with an adaptation of Thriller The Snowman by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. The Snowman is the seventh book in the fijord fancying writers hardboiled Harry Hole series.

Hole is a Maverick cop tasked with catching a fiendish serial killer, who leaves a snowman at crime scenes. We know, it’s not exactly Goodfella’s is it Crimeziners? Are we to expect cable knit sweaters and fijord flavored hot fondue too?

Scorsese has made comment recently regarding his disappointment that his young kids cannot see his films, hence the mucho out of character Hugo. Perhaps the Snowman idea will follow in this vein?

Kidult entertainment is the next big thing after all. Even Harlan Coben has come out with a Kidult crime book recently. His new book Shelter features the adventures of Myron Bolitar’s naughty nephew Mickey. Crimezine hasn’t found the opportunity to read it loud at bedtime however, as we know the bloodthirsty kidults of our acquaintance are eagerly awaiting the video game.

Still we digress. Jo Nesbø is the latest Scandanavian writer to break big, in what is rapidly becoming a crime wave tsunami of fijordish crime fiction, there is also Karin Fossum, Henning Mankell and of course Girl with the Dragon Tattoo creator Steig Larsson.

The word on Hollyweird Boulevard is that Mathew Michael Carnahan is writing The Snowman script, hot on the heels of his work on Zombie flick World War Z featuring Brad Pitt. Though how much actual script writing was needed on this picture, one has to wonder…

Still, Scorsese is the man as far as Crimezine is concerned and we look forward with baited breath, to the emergence of his new crime masterpiece. We know it will have Crimeziners everywhere—walking in the air—chortle.