Sunday, March 2, 2014

Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10)Live Wire by Harlan Coben
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

For once, I am happy that I occasionally suffer from insomnia. If I had to read Harlan Coben's "Live Wire" during my waking hours, it would be a waste of time. The novel suffers from the "n-th book in a series syndrome". It is a Myron Bolitar novel, featuring the usual "colorful" characters like Esperanza, Big Cyndi, and Win. If one does not know the previous books in the series, these characters make little sense. What's worse, if one does know the previous books, there is no point in reading this one. It is just a rehash of old and tired stuff.

One of Myron's clients, Suzze Trevantino, a retired tennis star, finds a disparaging comment on her Facebook page. Myron is trying to find who made this comment. The inquiry morphs into a major case that involves Myron's parents, his brother, his sister-in-law, his nephew, a reclusive rock star Gabriel Wire and his band partner and Myron's client, Lex Ryder, retired mobsters, and various other people. Several people die.

Having Win as Myron's helper is not a fair literary device. Win is infinitely rich, infinitely powerful, and can kill anybody at any time with a flick of his finger. Win is like God and Superman rolled into one. Even more, he is a good planner and organizer as well! Babes love him too.

The quality of Mr. Coben's prose is best illustrated by a running joke about Win's two girlfriends, Yu and Mee. Lame! Incongruously, there is one interesting sociological observation in "Live Wire" - that the reception of popular music is based on the visuals rather than sounds. True.

I have recently read and reviewed James Ellroy's "The Black Dahlia" and Denise Mina's newest book "Gods and Beasts". Regardless of various shortcomings of the two novels, it is insulting to these two authors to put their works in the same category of "detective fiction" as this piece of repetitive nothing from Harlan Coben.

One and a half star.

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