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Back Spin [Mass Market Paperback]

Harlan Coben
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback CDN $11.69  
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Book Description

July 7 1997 Myron Bolitar Mysteries
Kidnappers have snatched the teenage son of super-star golfer Linda Coldren and her husband, Jack, an aging pro, at the height of the U.S. Open. To help get the boy back, sports agent Myron Bolitar goes charging after clues and suspects from the Main Line mansions to a downtown cheaters' motel--and back in time to a U.S. Open twenty-three years ago, when Jack Coldren should have won, but didn't. Suddenly Myron finds him self surrounded by blue bloods, criminals, and liars. And as one family's darkest secrets explode into murder, Myron finds out just how rough this game can get.

In novels that crackle with wit and suspense, Edgar Award winner Harlan Coben has created one of the most fascinating and complex heroes in suspense fiction--Myron Bolitar--a hotheaded, tenderhearted sports agent who grows more and more engaging and unpredictable with each page-turning appearance.

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Review

"Another winner...Pungent observations, indelibly drawn characters and a twisting, surprise-laden plot."—Atlanta Journal and Constitution

"Sharp plotting and emotional density, as well as nonstop wisecracks."—Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher

"Another winner...Pungent observations, indelibly drawn characters and a twisting, surprise-laden plot."
--The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

"Sharp plotting and emotional density, as well as nonstop wisecracks."
--Publishers Weekly


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Myron Bolitar used a cardboard periscope to look over the suffocating throngs of ridiculously clad spectators. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorest of the series May 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book ranks as the poorest in a series of otherwise enjoyable books. Why? I think the main reason is that Win has very little to do with this novel. Early on, Win makes it clear to Myron that he will not help him with this case because Win hates his mother and, by association, the rest of his family. Because the person Myron is helping is Win's cousin and his mother's nephew, Win refuses to offer his services.
I'm not sure what was going through Coben's mind when he decided NOT to use the most interesting (and by far, the most likeable) character in his series in this installment. I consider myself a fan of the MB series, but that is purely because of Win's presence. I believe Myron to be totally annoying, and I will only tolerate him because he and Win usually go hand in hand. Not this time.
So if, like me, you read this series because of Windsor Horne Lockwood III, this one is not for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the only disappointing book in the series May 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Back Spin, for me, only got going way late in the book. Perhaps it was my utter indifference towards the plot, which was not nearly as interesting as Coben's previous novel in the series, "Fade Away". Plus the humor just wasn't there as it was in the other Myron books. Perhaps it was due to Win's absence in most of the novel. The "twists" were only okay too.
I recommend that people read the Myron Bolitar series in order, starting with Deal Breaker, but to skip Back Spin. Fade Away was Coben's best MB book. Gone for Good is his best stand-alone.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
If ever a thriller failed to excite, this surely is it. Riddled with forced (and not particularly funny) "humor" this book grates from the first page to the last.
Where the humor in Robert Crais' Elvis Cole series works and works brilliantly, it utterly fails in Coben's work. The difference is that Coben has written Backspin in the third person, whereas Crais writes in first person. When using the third person, the commentary is given far too much attribution to the author, the opinions of which have no business being stated in any work. When an author needs to express an opinion, it must only be done through the words and actions of the characters, and not the narrative. This is a basic tenet of writing (and, I feel one of many) that Coben has either never learned or chosen to ignore.
There is also a huge difference in the skills of the Crais and Coben. At one stage I was wondering if Coben could possibly write a single paragraph without using the word "almost" - someone needs to instruct Coben that to "almost" acheive something is to fail. The difference that correct word usage - to say nothing of the occassional simile or metaphor - would make to Coben's work would not render a silk purse from his sow's ear, but it would at least result in something worth reading.
This book shows no evidence of an editor's touch, nor even of the author performing a re-write. It is that raw.
There is little or no background given to the main character, other than him being an agent for sportsmen and women. There are allusions to his having had a different career path, but this is not made clear by the middle of the book, and by then it is too late: I had given up wondering, determined to finish the book only because I had bought it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coben Sinks This One, And That's No "Lie" May 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Yes, I couldn't resist all of the golf puns in my review title. Needless to say, this book is a lot better than my title.
Once again, Myron Bolitar, the college basketball superstar turned FBI agent turned sports' agent, and his wonderful supporting cast are back once again in another fast-paced book. Jack Coldren, has a large lead in the U.S. Open on the same course he choked on 23 years ago. His wife, Linda, is the number one player on the women's golf tour, and they become Myron's lastest clients, when he agrees to help them find their son, Chad, who has been kidnapped.
Myron wonders through the darkest parts of Philadelphia, running into all kinds of seedy individuals along the way. The ride is one of non-stop twists and turns, and to make matters worse, the Coldrens are part Win's, Myron's best friend, family. Myron has to solve this case alone.
Most of the regular characters are back for this novel, as well as a few more. Win and Esperanza are the perfect compliments to Myron, and as always in Coben books, all of the characters are well-developed. The storyline is chock full of surprises, which makes for an enjoyable page-turning adventure. Coben uses a literary witty dialogue between his characters, peppered with humorous observations, that helps the book flow so well.
This fourth book in the Myron Bolitar series lives up to its reputation. It is entertaining and humorously suspensful. BACK SPIN in one unpredictable, exciting book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Complicated April 19 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read "Drop Shot" and absolutely loved it, so I picked up "Back Spin" hoping it would be of the same quality. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. The plot is simply TOO complicated--twists and turns are fun, but this book read as if Mr. Coben made it up the night before it was due. Some of the character's motivations are murky, even at the end of the novel, when Myron does a little bit too much "explaining" (to me, it's always a sign of bad writing when a detective has to "explain" a bunch of stuff away at the end of a mystery), and Mr. Coben asks us to accept some pretty improbable coincidences. I guess my willing suspension of disbelief just wasn't working the day I read "Back Spin."
Also, one important plot mechanism just doesn't ring true--that is, we're asked to believe that a professional golfer could possibly mistake an eight-iron for a six-iron. I'm about a 24-handicap, but even I can tell the difference between the two clubs. I'm sure a professional golfer, who hits thousands of balls a week and knows to the yard how long each club carries, could tell the difference.
Anyway, I still think "Drop Shot" was great and look forward to reading other Myron Bolitar books because he is such an engaging character. But "Back Spin" has all the signs of a book produced under the pressure of an impending deadline.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good at all.
What does an author with nothing interesting to say do? Start the story with a serious event - Kidnapping. Cut out a main character - Win. Read more
Published 19 months ago by J Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot Spins and Spins Taking You on the Ultimate Adventure
Myron Bolitar, MB Sports Rep returns for another fast paced can't put down adventure with so many twists in the ending you feel like you're in a backspin. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by James N Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I am a fan of Mr Coban & M. Bolitar, Eaq., but I liked this book less than the 5 I've read previously. The reason is that the plot is way too convoluted. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by John Schowalter
5.0 out of 5 stars Read a Harlan Coben - any one
Some months back, I went to a bookshop in New Delhi & found one copy of each of the Myron Bolitair series. I bought two titles as they seemed interesting. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Vikram Seth
5.0 out of 5 stars Read a Harlan Coben - any one
Some months back, I went to a bookshop in New Delhi & found one copy of each of the Myron Bolitair series. I bought two titles as they seemed interesting. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Vikram Seth
5.0 out of 5 stars Read a Harlan Coben - any one
Some months back, I went to a bookshop in New Delhi & found one copy of each of the Myron Bolitair series. I bought two titles as they seemed interesting. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Vikram Seth
5.0 out of 5 stars Read a Harlan Coben - any one
Some months back, I went to a bookshop in New Delhi & found one copy of each of the Myron Bolitair series. I bought two titles as they seemed interesting. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Vikram Seth
5.0 out of 5 stars Read a Harlan Coben - any one
Some months back, I went to a bookshop in New Delhi & found one copy of each of the Myron Bolitair series. I bought two titles as they seemed interesting. Read more
Published on March 8 2003 by Vikram Seth
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