The latest thriller from Harlan Coben (The Innocent, The Final Detail, One False Move) has him bringing back favorite character Myron Bolitar after a six-year hiatus. Last seen in Coben’s 2000 novel Darkest Fear, the former Boston Celtics basketball star-turned-sports agent (he agents everyone from actors to athletes now) is dating Ali Wilder, a 9/11 widow, and for the last six years, he has been leading a quiet life in his parent’s old home in Livingston, New Jersey. Myron overhears Ali’s teenaged daughter, Erin, and her friend Aimee Biel talking about getting into a car with a drunk driver. It is here that Myron steps in and makes the statement: “Promise me.” The promise is to never get into a car with a drunk driver. Myron gives them his business card and makes a strong impression on them that no matter what time of night or day, no matter what the circumstances, they should call him and he will pick them up – no questions asked.
Ironically, after a night out with Ali for a few drinks is when Myron gets a phone call from Aimee, saying she needs a lift at a little past two in the morning. Myron heads out to midtown Manhattan where Aimee is waiting for him. Myron finds her, but Aimee is adamant that this whole thing stay a secret. This time the “promise me” is turned around on Myron as Aimee implores him to never tell; Myron begrudgingly agrees. The action kicks into high gear when Aimee goes missing under circumstances similar to a girl who vanished five years ago. Bolitar becomes a suspect, and he must use all his skills to uncover the truth and clear his name.
Fans who’ve waited six years for another Myron Bolitar book will be satisfied; those who have picked up Coben’s other non-Myron Bolitar thrillers might find this a big departure from what they are used to. Overall, the story moves at a fairly good clip, but the audio performance (it is read by the author) is only marginal at best. I’m a firm believer in letting professionals who have the voice-acting chops to perform audio books.