Fade Away - Harlan Coben
Fade Away is Coben’s third entry into the Myron Bolitar series. In this book we learn a lot more about Myron’s past and what makes him the man he is today. The premise is centered around Myron being recruited to find missing basketball star Greg Downing. The problem is Myron and Greg used to know each other very well. They were both rising stars and had built up a strong rivalry. Where Myron’s career ended, Greg’s went on to have all the success the sport could bring.
Myron takes on the job and as you can imagine, it is not quite as straight forward as it seems.
I cannot praise this book enough. It has everything you would expect from a Coben thriller, plot twists galore, red herrings, quick, sarcastic humour and of course I’ll favourite team of at MB Sportsrep.
The great thing about the book is that it is so much more than your average mystery. As each new snippet of evidence is uncovered it becomes more personal to Myron. We learn how painful it was for him to suffer the tragic accident that cost him his NBA career and also the effect it has on those closest to him.
The ever lovable Win also takes a more prominent role in the book. Whereas in the past he has been a silent partner (silent being the operative word), in this novel he has a lot more to say from himself and his bond and care for Myron is brought to the fore.
The same can be said about Esperanza, Myron’s secretary. She now develops a stronger personality then in the first two novels and starts demonstrating her own value to Myron.
The strongest aspect of the book though is Harlan’s ability to unravel the mystery whilst still allowing the reader to keep up with the plot. No author I read has more complicated plots than Harlan yet where as I have sometimes had difficulty in following parts of other plots such as minor characters not reappearing after 100’s of pages, Harlan manages to avoid such confusion.
He pulls this off by using a very effective technique. Every so often, Myron will pause and talk over the case with someone such as Win or Jessica. He will recap what has occurred and look at it from all angles. I have seen this technique used in other books and it can comes across as patronising to the reader, but with Harlan it never comes across as unnatural or forced. You feel you are actually part of the theorizing yourself. It also serves as a great way to mislead the reader.
Although I guessed parts of the ending (well the killer) it is highly satisfactory. There are many more facets that blew me away and every plot threat was completely wrapped up. My rating. 9.1