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Back Spin by Harlan Coben

Back Spin Reviewed by Allen Hott

Myron Bolitar, sports agent/private investigator, in one of his first cases as written by Harlan Coben. Bolitar and his group which includes Win, Esperanza, and Big Cyndi comprise MB Agency. And though they are a sports agency that represents athletes of all types some way or another their clients always end up in some sort of criminal mischief. Not always is it the athlete’s fault but still they are involved and thusly so is MB Agency.

Back Spin follows the problems that Myron encounters primarily on the Merion Golf Course during the playing of the U.S. Open. It involves the fellow who is leading the Open throughout the week and his family which turns out to be part of Win’s family also. It appears that Jack Coldren’s sixteen year old son has been kidnapped right prior to the Open. The family didn’t realize he was kidnapped as they believed he was at a buddy’s house.

For various reasons and especially since the kidnapper told them not to do it, the family decided not to tell the police. They opted to bring Myron into the case as he has built quite a reputation for solving problems. Because of some family problems in the past, Win, who has always worked as a big part of Myron’s investigative team, refuses to help Myron on this one.

Primarily using Esperanza’s assistance Myron begins digging into the background of the golfer’s family. The deeper they dig the stranger things seem to appear and the murkier the water gets.

The problems involve not only the family but another representative agency that works with both Jack Coldren and his wife (also a very good professional golfer). Most of the problems seem to center around extra marital affairs, possible homosexual affairs, and even possible blackmail situations from not only the present but the past.

As is his norm, Harlan Coben has really put together an interesting book whether or not the reader is a golfer. (Myron himself is not much of a golfer although he is a former pro basketball player). Coben does a great job of writing about sexual happenings without ever really getting into discussing the down and dirty parts of the happenings. He is also very capable of moving the story line along quickly with meaningful dialogue that wraps well around his descriptive narration.

This being one of the first Myron Bolitar novels, Coben did a great job of making a perfect character to build a long running series around. Once you read one of them you are very quickly pulled into looking into the rest and enjoying each of them.

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