Edward Hahn, August 2, 2011 (view all comments by Edward Hahn)
There are two levels to Coben's writing. Level one is the Myron Bolitar Series which is maybe too much like any series in which the author is trying out his wings and ultimately gets bored and boring. Also Bolitar and Win seem to me to be a pale imitation of Robert P. Parker's Spenser and Hawk.
Level two was when he tried another genre which he did with "Tell No One" (5 stars), "No Second Chance" (5 stars) and "Gone for Good" (5 stars). "Promise Me" involves Coben coming back to Myron Bolitar after six years but at a higher level of writing. The first 50-100 pages are slow but then it takes off like a runaway train.
The final outcome is a little too neat and strains credibility a bit but surprising nevertheless.
As Coben continues to write in the thriller genre, I will continue to read his books.
CopyCat, September 7, 2007 (view all comments by CopyCat)
Coben weaves a true suspense thriller in "Promise Me". The main character finds himself an unwilling accomplice in the "kidnapping" of his friend's daughter. Throughout the headlong tumble of events, a challenging internal dialogue proceeds as to the value of personal integrity and a man's duty to fulfill his promises to others. Comparable to a fast paced basketball game, the author fakes to the left, passes around the opposition, fakes to the right, and then slam dunks. Don't give up on the ending too soon, though, or you'll miss the amazing three pointer at the very end that wins the "game".
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Last seen in bestseller Coben's Darkest Fear (2000), Myron Bolitar, former basketball star (Boston Celtics) turned sports and entertainment agent and occasional knight in shining armor, is back in fighting form in his action-packed eighth thriller. For the past six years Myron has been leading a quiet life, much of it at his parents' old house in Livingston, N.J. A new girlfriend, Ali Wilder, a 9/11 widow, is helping to bring him out of his shell. Concerned that Ali's teenage daughter, Erin, and Erin's friend, Aimee Biel, might fall in with the wrong crowd, Myron gives them his contact information in case either of them feels she needs help. Aimee later calls him in the middle of the night for a lift to a friend's house, on condition that her request remain a secret. When Aimee turns up missing in circumstances mirroring those surrounding another vanished girl, Bolitar himself becomes a suspect in her disappearance and must use his wits and martial arts skills to uncover the truth. Coben fans will find much to enjoy in this well-crafted suspense novel, which has a startling final twist." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"[A] fascinating hybrid thriller....Coben's resurrection of Bolitar works superbly: the melding of high suspense and high technology with a somewhat battered, very canny, questing hero is sure to produce another major hit for the way-hot Coben."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"As usual, Coben piles on the plot twists, false leads, violent set pieces and climactic surprises with the unfocused intensity that have made his thrillers such a hot ticket."
by South Florida Sun-Sentinel,
"Coben hits the ground running with the compelling Promise Me....The author also delivers enough twists to keep Myron — and the reader — on their toes."
by Philadelphia Inquirer,
"After finishing Promise Me, you realize that all the clues to the twist were evident, but you still didn't see it coming. It's fun to have Myron back..."
by St. Petersburg Times,
"Coben can still write a fine wisecrack, and he can write a well-executed scene. But Promise Me feels a little phoned in....Promise Me has holes in its plot big enough to throw a dog through, and a lot of them."
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"Mr. Coben is in particularly good form this time....Promise Me shows off the best of Mr. Coben's plotting skills....This time he's got it just right: the story is tricky enough to be exciting but not tricky enough to cause whiplash."
The school year is almost over. In these last pressure cooker months of high school, some kids will make the all too common and all too dangerous mistake of drinking and driving. But Myron is determined to help keep his friends’ children safe, and so he makes two neighborhood girls promise him that if they are ever in a bind but are afraid to call their parents, they will call him. Several nights later, the call comes at two a.m. The next day, a girl is missing, and Myron is the last person who saw her. Desperate to fulfill a well-intentioned promise turned horribly wrong, Myron races to find her before she’s gone forever.
In the past six years, none of entertainment agent Myron Bolitar's clients have been murdered--a real positive for his business. But all that is about to change when a well-intentioned promise goes nightmarishly wrong, and Bolitar must become a hero again to save a young girl's life in this follow-up to "Darkest Fear."
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