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LOCK EVERY DOOR . . . Between the covers

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LED coverIt could be said that fate has not treated Jules Larsen with kindness. Her family disintegrated. Sister Jane mysteriously went missing one night, last seen getting into a black VW Beetle, but never to be seen again. Her mother, literally crippled with cancer and her father, metaphorically so but by unpayable medical bills, perished in a disastrous fire. Jules paid her way through college and graduated with a qualification that secured her a non-job as a gopher and photocopying skivvy in an anonymous New York office. When they decided to ‘rationalise their human resources’ her job was one of the first to go. Ah well, at least Jules had her relationship with sweet, goofy, sexy Andrew, and their shared apartment. Until she came home one time and found lovely Andrew between the legs of some random girl. Andrew is the keyholder, and so adding homelessness to emotional injury, it’s Jules who has to go.

Jules ends up sleeping on the couch of her best college friend, Chloe. Down, definitely, and almost out. Until her daily scan of the situations vacant notices gives her a faint sniff of hope. Someone wants an apartment sitter. It’s not just any old apartment, though. The apartment is in one of New York’s most celebrated buildings – The Bartholomew. Neither as celebrated nor as notorious as The Dakota, The Bartholomew shares spectacular views over Central Park, is built with the same attention to German Gothic details, and is regarded with awe by passers-by as they gaze up at its pediments and gargoyles.

Not only does Jules get to stay in a luxury apartment, but she will be paid what is, to her, a ridiculously high salary. She feels totally intimidated by the interview with The Bartholomew’s expensively dressed agent, but she must have done something right, because she gets the gig.

There are one or two rules, however. She must never spend a night away from the building. On no account is she allowed visitors, day or night. And under no circumstances must she ever approach or bother any other the bona fide residents of the building, all of whom are madly wealthy, and some of whom are internationally well known.

Too good to be true? Of course it is! It’s not long before the century-old history the building begins to assert itself into Jules’s consciousness. What happened to the previous sitters in apartment 12A? Why did the building’s founder and leading light throw himself to his death from an upper storey while several of his staff were laid out in death, on stretchers lined up on the sidewalk below? Can anyone in the building be trusted? Charlie, the benevolent doorman? Nick, the solicitous and warm-hearted doctor from across the hallway? Greta Manville, the reclusive writer, author of a book which entranced Jules, and thousands of others in their teenage years?

pseudonymThis is a very clever thriller. Riley Sager (right), as he did in his previous novel Last Time I Lied, flips time sequences to keep us guessing as to precisely what is going on. His solution to the conspiracy which binds all The Bartholomew residents together is totally unexpected, and just about plausible. If you are a fan of claustrophobic Gothick thrillers where even the wallpaper in the bedroom has a sinister intent, and the dumb waiter creaks into view carrying a deadly threat, then you will love this. Lock Every Door is published by Ebury Press and will be available from 25th July.

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RUNAWAY . . . Between the covers

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This gripping thriller opens in New York’s Central Park. To be more precise, in Strawberry Fields, the section of the public space dedicated – perhaps by a city with an uneasy sense of guilt about providing the stage for the most infamous music death of all – to the man who took five hollow-point .38 bullets in his back, just across the way on 8th December 1980. Simon Greene, a wealthy investment advisor, sits on a bench listening to a busker, also committing murder (but this time the victim is only a song, All You Need Is Love)

“Simon’s eyes stayed locked on the panhandling girl mangling John Lennon’s legacy. Her hair was matted clumps. Her cheekbones were sunken. The girl was rail-thin, raggedy, dirty, damaged, homeless, lost.

She was also Simon’s daughter Paige.”

RunawayStart a 366 page book like that, and you might be making a rod for your own back, one that will whack you squarely between the shoulder blades if you don’t keep up the poetic intensity. Does Coben manage it? Of course he does – and with the stylish flourishes and narrative élan we have come to expect from one of the great crime writers of out time.

Simon Greene tries to embrace his fallen daughter, both literally and metaphorically, and he meets not only rejection but is sucked into a vortex of desperation and violence as he defies the good advice of his family, and tries to bring Paige home. Greene has three weapons: first, a borrowed handgun he has no idea how to use; second, a relatively inexhaustible supply of cash with which to bribe the grifters who he believes can lead him to his daughter; thirdly – and perhaps the most potent – a desperate desire to reclaim his ‘little girl’ and, perhaps, assuage the inevitable feelings of guilt any parent must feel when a child goes badly astray.

Pitting a mild-mannered financial advisor against a violent underclass of drug dealers and abusers might seem an obvious ploy, but Coben turns the narrative on its head by introducing another element into Simon Greene’s quest. Think Heart of Darkness, and imagine Greene as Conrad’s Marlow, but be prepared for the elusive Kurtz to be someone – and something – way, way different and far more disturbing and dangerous.

HCHarlan Coben (right) has thirty or so best selling crime thrillers behind him, but we must never, ever, take him for granted. There is no formula, no template, and no literary flat-pack easy-to-assemble ‘give-the-audience-what-it-wants’ sameness. He takes us to uncomfortable places and introduces us to people who are not stereotype heroes or villains. He is unafraid to give us a rough ride along roads traveled by complicated people who frequently confound our perceptions. Runaway is, quite simply, a brilliant read. It is published by Century and will be out in Kindle and hardback on 21st March. The paperback version is expected in the summer. You can check out other Fully Booked reviews of Harlan Coben’s novels by clicking the links below.

Don’t Let Go

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THE FORGOTTEN … A series re-evaluating forgotten authors. Part Two – Rex Stout (2)

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Fer-de-Lance was published in 1934 by Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. I doubt there will be any readers living for whom this novel was their introduction to the series. Most, like me, will have read one of the other 45 first. I mention this because it is astonishing how Stout brings the curtain up on the whole Wolfe household so that we feel we have known them for ever. Not for him the clumsy explanations or contrived insertion of the back-story. “Here they are”, he seems to say, “.. let’s get on with the story.”

Fer de LanceAnd what a story it is. A wealthy and highly regarded academic, Peter Oliver Barstow dies from an apparent heart attack while he is engaged in a foursome on a golf course. Meanwhile, an Italian metalworker, Carlo Maffei, has disappeared, but then turns up – as a corpse – murdered, if the knife embedded in his chest is anything to go by. As Wolfe uses his phenomenal intellect to link these cases, we learn that he is partial to a glass (or six) of beer. Bear in mind that Prohibition in America had only ended in 1933. Wolfe, perhaps disheartened by the lack of a decent drink, decides to cut down on his intake:

“I’m going to cut down to three quarts a day. Twelve bottles. A bottle doesn’t hold a pint. I am now going to bed.”

Archie is sent (because Wolfe rarely if ever leaves the house) to interrogate the residents of the house where Maffei lived. Archie Goodwin, remember, is the sole narrator of these stories. He sums up Anna Fiore:

“I went over and shook hands with her. She was a homely kid about twenty with skin like stale dough, and she looked like she’d been scared in the cradle and never got over it.”

 It turns out that Barstow was killed by a poison dart which was loaded into the specially prepared shaft of a golf club. The club’s shaft was adapted by the late Carlo Maffei to release its deadly projectile when the face of the club head made contact with the ball. Wolfe directs operations from the brownstone house, where he sits like a fat spider at the centre of a deadly web. When it emerges that Barstow was not the intended victim, and that the truth behind the killing implicates so many people, Wolfe pronounces:

“It is an admirable dilemma; I have rarely seen one with so many horns and all of them so sharp.”

Eventually, of course, after encounters with a deadly snake and a a scheming attorney, the mystery is solved, but not before Wolfe demonstrates that he is prepared to dispense his own rather harsh brand of justice. We are also treated to his own lordly – and almost Dickensian – use of language:

“I have just being explaining to Mr Anderson that the ingenious theory of the Barstow case which he is trying to embrace is an offence to truth and an outrage to justice, and since I cherish the one and am on speaking terms with the other, it is my duty to demonstrate its inadequacy.”

The relationship between Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe lies at the heart of these novels. There is a sense of servant and master, and Goodwin clearly worships the ground that Wolfe walks on, despite his frequent frustrations and occasional attempts to ruffle Wolfe’s imperious demeanour. In his own magisterial way, Wolfe treats Goodwin like a much-loved but slightly wayward son. This affection occasionally gives way to acerbic put-downs:

“Some day, Archie, when I decide you are no longer worth tolerating, you will have to marry a woman of very modest mental capacity to get an appropriate audience for your wretched sarcasms.”

 Stout always had a weather eye open for commercial opportunities, and he was able to arrange for an abbreviated version of this story to be re-hashed as a pulp short story re-named Point of Death – complete with illustrations.

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Fam_Affair_1stEd_fsAlmost the first thing which strikes you as you settle in to read A Family Affair (1975) is the sheer breadth of real life events straddled by the Nero Wolfe novels. When Fer de Lance was published America was in the dying throes of Prohibition, John Dillinger, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had only recently been shot dead, but Pretty Boy Floyd was still at large. By the time Stout’s final novel was published, America was still reeling from the Watergate scandal, Nixon had resigned, The Rocky Horror Show had opened on Broadway, and a man called Bill Gates was playing around with words which could describe his new micro software.

If you want a literally explosive opening to a novel, look no further. Late at night, Paul Ducos, a waiter from Wolfe’s favourite New York restaurant, rings the bell on the front door of the old brownstone, and beseeches Archie to let him speak to Wolfe. He says his life is in imminent danger. Fearful of waking his boss at such an inhospitable hour, Archie compromises, and allows the fearful Frenchman to stay the night in a spare room, with the promise of an audience with Wolfe in the morning.

As Archie prepares for bed, the house shakes and there is a terrible noise. The spare bedroom being bolted from the inside, he clambers in through the shattered window via the fire escape, and sees Ducos lying on the floor:

“He had no face left. I had never seen anything like it. It was about what you would get if you pressed a thick slab of pie dough on a man’s face and then squirted blood on the lower half.”

We learn fairly quickly that Ducos has been killed by a bomb he was inadvertently carrying. A doctored aluminium cigar tube had been planted in his jacket. He discovered it and, fatally, unscrewed the cap. Wolfe reacts to the death with barely suppressed fury. Ducos is dead, yes, but the real assault is on his sanctuary, his own home, the place he values so much that he rarely leaves it.

Archie – assisted by the usual supernumaries Saul Panzer, Fred Durkin and Ollie Cather – is turned loose to find out who killed Paul Ducos. One of the leads takes Archie to the dead man’s home which he shares with his father and daughter. The old man is wheelchair bound, and speaks no English, and the young woman is unwilling – or unable to help. Archie is unimpressed by the contents of her bookshelves and has something to say about Lucile Ducos’s espousal of the feminist agenda:

“All right, she’s a phony. A woman who has those books with her name in them wants men to stop making women sex symbols, and if she really wants them to stop she wouldn’t keep her skin like that, and her hair, and blow her hard-earned pay on a dress that sets her off. Of course she can’t help her legs. She’s a phony.”

 It becomes clear that Paul Ducos was a bit-player in a wide screen drama involving senior industrialists and lawyers, one of whom died the week before the waiter was killed. When Lucile Ducos is also killed, Archie and Wolfe find themselves not working alongside the local cops, but prime suspects, and they spend several uncomfortable hours under lock and key. When they are released, and despite the demands of the case, Wolfe does not lose his appetite, neither does master chef Fritz Brenner succumb to the pressure:

“He tasted his lunch, alright. First marrow dumplings, and then sweetbreads poached in white wine, dipped in crumbs and eggs, sautéed and then doused with almonds in brown butter.”

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This is one of the more serious and deadly episodes in the career of New York’s most celebrated private investigator, but there is still time for humour. Wolfe’s magisterial demeanour and studied delivery does not go un-noticed or unchecked by his right-hand man:

“’Whom did you hear say what?’
I have tried to talk him out of “whom”. Only grandstanders and schoolteachers say “whom”, and he knows it. It’s the mule in him.”

The Goodwin-Wolfe partnership has never come under such strain, and the servant comes within a couple of breaths of finally severing ties with his master but, thanks to a social link with Archie’s long-time lady friend. Lily Rowan, it dawns on all concerned that the villain of the piece is not one of the highly placed lawyers or politicians, but someone much closer to home. By the by, Archie’s admiration for Lily Rowan is unashamed, but he cannot resist a seasoning of irony:

“I’d buy a pedestal and put her on it if I thought she’d stay. She would either fall off or climb down. I don’t know which.”

 amer3Eventually, in a chilling and brutal conclusion, justice of a kind is served. Wolfe and Archie escape the clutches of the District Attorney and his officers, but there is a final knock on the door from an angry policeman. Fully aware of his machinations but frustrated by Wolfe’s ability to enforce his own law while remaining invulnerable to the laws of the city of New York, Inspector Cramer lashes out, bitterly, but his barb simply bounces off and rolls harmlessly into a dark corner of the office:

“He went and got his coat and put it on and came back, to the corner of Wolfe’s desk, and said, ‘I’m going home and try to get some sleep. You probably have never had to try to get some sleep. You probably never will.’”

This is the last episode in the long and illustrious career of the gargantuan, pompous – but eerily perceptive consulting detective. Of his origins we learn little, except that he is, by origin, a Montenegran, and that he has an aged mother living in Budapest to whom he sends money. It is tempting to ascribe elegiac qualities to Wolfe’s last bow. Rex Stout was to die in the same year as the novel was published. Wolfe had survived the greatest challenge – a challenge made from within his trusted family, and a challenge aimed at the high altar of his own church – the brownstone on West 35thStreet. That altar has been desecrated but, in the end, Wolfe clings to his certainties.

“When the sound came of the front door closing, Wolfe said,
‘Will you bring brandy, Archie?’”

The last word should go to Thomas Gifford (1937 – 2000) who was no slouch at crime writing himself.

“Through Wolfe and Archie, Stout shows you how people are supposed to behave. How grownups act when the pressure is on. So in the very best and wisest sense, and quite painlessly too, Stout shares his code with you, and you are improved a bit.. You would be hard pressed to find another popular writer of his era who more subtly and ably defined what it was to be civilised, to have standards.”

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PART ONE of our celebration of the Nero Wolfe novels is HERE

THE FORGOTTEN … A series re-evaluating forgotten authors. Part Two – Rex Stout (1)

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Rex Todhunter Stout (above) packed several lives into his 88 years on God’s earth. He was a publisher, a propagandist, a radio celebrity, a campaigner for author rights, inventor, husband and father – and the creator of one of the immortal crime fiction partnerships. The son of Quaker parents, Stout was born in Noblesville Indiana in 1886, and if the tale of him reading the Holy Bible from cover to cover twice by his fourth birthday is true, then he must have been an extremely precocious child.

After serving in the U.S. Navy and honing his writing skills with magazine articles and stories for pulp periodicals Stout achieved some level of financial independence in an unusual fashion. Had it been in the digital age, his achievement would probably be that he designed a piece of software, but this was 1916, and his creation was a banking system designed for school to keep track of cash paid in by children. Stout was clearly canny enough to demand royalties, and the income enabled him to travel widely, and to write what he wanted to write, rather than what paid.

ArchieFor all that Stout was an intellectual and a vigorous campaigner for what he believed in, his legacy remains the creation of Nero Wolfe. Wolfe is an obese, physically lazy but improbably intelligent detective who loves his food and alcohol, cultivates orchids, but never leaves his brownstone house on New York’s West 35th Street. Much of Wolfe’s crime solving is done from the comfort of his armchair, or while consuming fine food and drink. His mind can only achieve so much, however, and he needs access to the streets. This comes in the form of Archie Goodwin (pictured left in a period illustration). Archie would, in truth, have made a perfectly good PI on his own. He is physically fit, handsome, as sharp as a tack, and can handle himself when it comes to physical violence. He lives on another floor of Wolfe’s house, and according to a memo written from Rex Stout to a friend, Archie is:

“Height 6 feet. Weight 180 lbs. Age 32.”


The pair first appeared
in 1934 in Fer de Lance, published by the New York company Farrar & Rinehart. Re-reading it for the first time in many years, I was struck by how easily Stout introduces the Wolfe household, almost as if he is gently reminding us of old acquaintances of long standing. As well as Wolfe and Archie, we have Fritz Brenner the cook, and Theodore Horstmann the cantankerous expert who does the hard work up in the expertly-designed cultivation rooms where the precious and capricious orchids are pampered like dissolute and demanding princesses from a bygone era. When heavy lifting out on the tough streets of New York is needed, Saul Panzer, Fred Durkin and Ollie Cather can always be called upon to get their knuckles grazed.

It is little short of astonishing how Fer de Lance delivers the Nero Wolfe template complete and ready formed, almost as if Stout had already written all the books in one superhuman creative effort. A Family Affair (1975) was the 46th and final Nero Wolfe mystery, and it shows just how successfully Stout was able to keep the train chugging along on the same rails for over 40 years. Goodwin and Wolfe have, of course, not aged by a day, nor do their characteristics and personality quirks deviate by so much as the thickness of a cigarette paper. Wolfe still takes the lift up to his orchid rooms twice a day, while Fritz prepares the gourmet meals. Goodwin still likes the odd slug of whisky, but his drink of choice remains a glass of cold milk.

In Part Two of this feature, we will look in detail at both Fer de Lance and A Family Affair, while assessing Rex Stout’s legacy. To close, though. here’s a quote from the early chapters of Fer de Lance, where Goodwin gives us some idea of the sheer physical presence of his boss.

“Wolfe lifted his head. I mention that, because his head was so big that lifting it struck you as being quite a job. It was probably really bigger than it looked, for the rest of him was so large that any head on top of it but his own would have escaped your notice entirely.”

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THE WYLIE-HOFFERT CASE … August 28th 1963

The Biggest Murder Mystery Case of the Century

by Robert K. Tanenbaum
Author of Infamy: A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller


If I were asked to select one case in the history of our justice system that epitomized the essentials and professionalism of a ministry of justice in terms of tempestuous drama, personal anguish, garish confrontation, and, yes, divine intervention, unhesitatingly, I would answer: the Wylie-Hoffert rape murders. Here’s why:

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August 28, 1963, was a muggy summer day in New York City when Janice Wylie and Emily Hoffert were brutally raped and murdered in their apartment on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper East Side. Months passed as their families grieved the nightmarish unthinkable and a shaken city awaited answers. Finally, eight months later, the Brooklyn Police arrested George Whitmore, Jr., a nineteen-year-old with an I.Q. south of 70. His incarceration would ultimately entail a host of shocking law-enforcement missteps and cover-ups.

At the time of his arrest for the Wylie-Hoffert murders, the Brooklyn Police and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office (Brooklyn) also charged Whitmore with attempted rape and the murder of Minnie Edmonds, both of which occurred in Brooklyn one week apart.

roblesYet, Mel Glass, a young Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, not even assigned to the Homicide Bureau, was troubled by the investigation. With the blessing from legendary District Attorney, Frank Hogan, Glass tirelessly immersed himself in the case. So began an epic quest for justice, culminating in a courtroom showdown in which the Brooklyn arresting and interrogating cops refused to admit their flagrant missteps, providing a complete defense to the actual career criminal, vicious predator, murderer, Richard Robles.(pictured right)

The outcome would reach far beyond the individuals involved. Not only does the case reveal the extraordinary details of an enormously intense manhunt but it is also a classic and brilliant courtroom prosecution. The unjustly accused was exonerated and the depraved killer convicted. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court memorialized this case’s significance by citing it in the noteworthy Miranda decision, a monumental Fifth Amendment due process, fundamental fairness decision designed to safeguard a suspect’s rights against self-incrimination.

I served in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office during the tenure of District Attorney Frank Hogan, and was mentored by Mel Glass who asked me to write Echoes of My Soul which is a non-fiction account of the Wylie-Hoffert case.

hoganImportant to note that District Attorney Hogan (left) was truly a legend long before Wylie-Hoffert occurred. Once convinced that Mel Glass’ gut-instincts and subsequent investigation was legitimate and that George Whitmore, Jr., was wrongfully indicted for the most gruesome and sensationalized double-rape murders in the media’s radar, Mr. Hogan was prepared to admit his mistake, possibly fracture his career’s reputation, and exonerate an impoverished young man with a very low I.Q. And why? Simply and manifestly because it was right, justice demanded it.

© Robert K. Tanenbaum, author of Infamy: A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller 

Robert K. Tanenbaum
( pictured below) is the author of Infamy: A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller (Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster). He has authored thirty-one books—twenty-eight novels and three nonfiction books: The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer, Badge of the Assassin, and Echoes of My Soul. He is one of the most successful prosecuting attorneys, having never lost a felony trial and convicting hundreds of violent criminals. He was a special prosecution consultant on the Hillside strangler case in Los BL_21845_07.tifAngeles and defended Amy Grossberg in her sensationalized baby death case. He was Assistant District Attorney in New York County in the office of legendary District Attorney Frank Hogan, where he ran the Homicide Bureau, served as Chief of the Criminal Courts, and was in charge of the DA’s legal staff training program. He served as Deputy Chief counsel for the Congressional Committee investigation into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also served two terms as mayor of Beverly Hills and taught Advanced Criminal Procedure for four years at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and has conducted continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for practicing lawyers in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tanenbaum attended the University of California at Berkeley on a basketball scholarship, where he earned a B.A. He received his law degree (J.D.) from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. For more information, please visit http://www.RobertKTanenbaumBooks.com

HOME … Between the covers

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Coming new to an established series happens more often than you might think to book reviewers, and so it is with this book. It has taken me ten previous novels to catch up with Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar. You may have been there from the beginning, which was in 1995 with Deal Breaker, and if so, bear with me for a moment. Myron Bolitar is a forty-something former top basketball player, whose career was cut cruelly short when his knee was ruined in an on-court incident. He used his sporting fame to start up an agency representing sports stars, but later expanded his client base to include other celebrities.

Home starts with a metaphorical ‘bang’ in the form of a very literal ‘slash’. The as yet un-named narrator is in the insalubrious London district of King’s Cross and we know only that he is searching for two missing boys, abducted from their American home ten years since. They were six at the time, but our narrator has been given an anonymous tip that one of them is now working as a rent boy in London. The boy seems appears to be plying his trade in a city underpass, along with a variety of other bodies for sale. When the teenager is attacked by three street hoodlums, the narrator intervenes. With a cut-throat razor. The teenager, however, escapes into the hurly burly of King’s Cross railway station, complete with its Harry Potter and Hogwarts connection.

Three dead bodies, and a ‘phone call later, we learn that we have been listening to the voice of Windsor Horne Lockwood III, a billionaire playboy, with a psychotic streak. ‘Win’ is the long term best friend of Myron Bolitar, and related to one of the missing boys. We soon meet Myron himself, as he is recovering from a bout of energetic sex with his fiancée, Terese, in Win’s New York apartment, which is in none other than the celebrated Dakota building.

Patrick Moore and Rhys Baldwin were on a ‘playdate’ at Patrick’s home, in the care of the Moore’s Finnish au pair, when masked men burst into the house, overpowered and tied up the young woman, and made off with the two boys. That is the history. The present? Myron is summoned to London to add his investigative skills to Win’s savagery. After some spectacular rough and tumble involving a larger-than-life human monster called Fat Gandhi, Patrick Moore is rescued and brought back to New Jersey.

That, however is very far from that. Patrick is restored to something resembling the home he was snatched from a decade earlier, but what of Rhys? Win and Myron begin to smell a rather malodorous rat, and there are more questions than answers. What does Patrick remember of the fateful day? Is he actually Patrick, or is there some scarcely imaginable scam being carried out?

Myron finally learns the the truth about the the two boys, but you may well share the former basketball ace’s bafflement along the way. Eventually, Coben lets him into the secret with a dazzling and totally unexpected revelation, rather than having him painstakingly gather evidence. I didn’t see the solution coming, but when it did, it was like being hit by a train.

This is a brilliant tale, and will be all the more dazzling to anyone like myself who is new to the series. Having yin and yang partnerships is nothing new in crime fiction, but it can seldom have been more audaciously used as with Coben’s sweet and sour pair. Win provides an unlimited supply of violence to complement Myron’s empathy and compassion. The closest comparison I can think of is that of the wise-guy persona of Robert B Parker’s Spenser, and his lethal friendship with the implacable Hawk. Home is one of those books that may well grab you by the throat and keep you mesmerised until you have reached the last page. Dogs will go unwalked. Pans will boil over on the stove. ‘Phones will go unanswered. You have been warned.

Follow the link to see buying options for Home.

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