Young-adult offshoot continues the suspense

Once upon a time, I was a great fan of Harlan Coben's best-selling detective novels featuring the former basketball hero and sports agent Myron Bolitar.

Now, in Shelter (Indigo, pbk) the author is writing about a nephew called Mickey Bolitar and the book falls into the "young adult" category, with its background of American school life and adolescence generally.

But Coben still knows how to write a book that carries the reader along, providing mystery, suspense and thrills enough.

One of the mysteries seems to be the Bolivar family background itself, where Myron and his younger brother Brad have not spoken to each other for years. Mickey was introduced, I gather, in Live Wire, 10th book in the adult series but one I have yet to catch up on.

Now the 15-year-old lad is still grieving over the loss of his father in a car accident eight months earlier, when they decided to settle in California for the son to pursue basketball. His mother eased her pain with drugs and languishes in a rehab centre.

The wise Uncle Myron, as a rather mysterious guardian, has to play only a background role while Mickey faces nasty problems alone - apart from two well-drawn companions, the nerdy "Spoon" and the slightly overweight girl Ema, pierced and tattooed.

The main problem is the sudden disappearance of Mickey's girlfriend, Ashley, and how he can follow her trail into a seedy underworld. There is a sort of haunted house occupied by a woman called "the bat lady" by the kids.

You will enjoy reading it to find out more. And it is not too grisly.




Add a Comment