Saturday 15 November 2014


Found by Harlan Coben (Orient/Hachette)
PB RRP $29.99
ISBN 978 1 4091 2452 8
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie
Following on from Shelter and Seconds Away, this new Mickey Bolitar novel continues Mickey's search to find out the truth about his dead father, and sets out to unravel other mysterious secrets including the identity of the Butcher of Lodz. Mickey and his high school friends, Spoon, Ema and Rachel are following in the footsteps of the secret society, Abeona Shelter, which rescues children from bad circumstances. But now Spoon is in hospital without the use of his legs having been shot, and the para-medic who told Mickey his father had died has tried to kill him in a house fire. Mickey now lives with his dad's brother, Uncle Myron because his mother in her grief turned to drugs and is in rehabilitation.
Mickey has further problems: As a talented basketballer, he is being given a hard time by the other players who have been team members for years. They are afraid Mickey will be chosen over one of them for the big competition, so resentment is high. Also, Spoon's mother has blamed him for her son's condition, and Rachel who he admires is ignoring him. Meanwhile Ema, his goth friend, is worried about her online boyfriend. He's suddenly stopped all contact. Mickey offers to help find him.
Mickey receives another request for help, this time from one of his chief tormentors in the basketball team, Troy Taylor. Ema is suspicious of his motives but Mickey is convinced that his change of attitude towards him is genuine.
The author is adept at building up tension in this thriller, but I question whether a morbid mix of murder, deceit, drugs, revenge and grief with very little positive input produces a balanced teenage read. However, a few highly improbable situations takes the story out of the realm of reality, thus somewhat reducing its negative impact. To Coben's credit, he has shown skill in portraying the emotions in play in relationships and his main characters are well rounded. There are also a lot of twists and turns to engage the reader. Perhaps the most impressive point made is Mickey's realisation that achieving a dream is not always as important as it first seems.
I found the conclusion somewhat abrupt but nevertheless satisfying with the resolution of one important issue in particular. A ray of hope at last glints through. Fans will be anxious for the Mickey Bolitar series to continue. 



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