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Download Reading Deal BreakerAuthor Harlan Coben –

I ve read many books in the Myron Bolitar series but never read this first one until now Myron Bolitar was a basketball phenomenon in high school and college and an early draft pick for the NBA Unfortunately he was severely injured in his first exhibition game and had to quit basketball Instead Myron got a law degree and became a sports representative Now in his early thirties Myron represents a small stable of players, including football player Christian Steele a star college quarterback who s just been drafted by the Titans Myron is a master of wisecracks and sarcastic remarks and is endlessly amusing to himself and probably many readers He reminds me of Robert B Parker s Spenser and Rex Stout s Archie in the Nero Wolfe books.In any case, Myron is having trouble negotiating Christian s contract because the thuggish owner of the Titans, wanting to knock down the pay package, says Christian has a public relations problem His beautiful girlfriend Kathy Culver disappeared 18 months ago and Christian was suspected of being involved And Kathy or her body has never been found Just before training camp begins Christian, in a highly agitated state, calls Myron Someone has sent him the latest edition of Nips Magazine, a soft porn rag that contains ads for phone sex Shockingly, one of the ads features a nude picture of Kathy Moreover Christian received a phone call from someone who sounds like his missing girlfriend.At about the same time Myron s drop dead gorgeous ex girlfriend Jessica Culver Kathy s older sister shows up Dr Culver, her pathologist father, was just killed by a mugger and Jessica thinks this might be connected to Kathy s vanishing Since Myron has known investigative skills, Jessica asks him to look into it So Myron investigates, with the help of his old college roommate Windsor Horne Lockwood III Win is a rich, blonde, handsome, American aristocrat but his dapper, dandyish appearance is misleading Win is a sixth degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do, handy with guns, and perfectly happy to maim and kill his or Myron s enemies if necessary In fact, Win is a sociopath but a lovable one if he s on your side.As Myron does the dual jobs of working out Christian s contract and looking into the Nips and Kathy situation he comes across various thugs and shady characters as well as a college dean, a seductive married woman, a detective, Dr Culver s best friend, a porn magazine publisher, a porn photographer, Kathy s mother, former college football players, andMost of the male characters are flat and blur together, so I had a problem remembering who was who We do get to meet a regular in the series, Myron s assistant Esperanza a Latin fireball who used to wrestle under the moniker Little Pocahontas Esperanza is always an entertaining senorita.The first two thirds or so of the book moves along pretty smoothly Then, when Myron starts to figure out the truth about Kathy s disapperance, the story gets convoluted, confusing, and frankly not believable Another irritant in the book is Myron s constant gushing about how beautiful his ex girlfriend Jessica is He mentions this on about every third or fourth page At one point Jessica walks past an elegant society party and the jaws of ALL the men in the room drop as they turn to stare at her Come on Really It feels like, in this first book, Harlen Coben hasn t found his Myron Bolitar legs yet The book reminds me of the pilot episode of a TV series that starts out shaky but gets better later on Overall I d mildly recommend this book to mystery fans not for the story but for a first meeting with characters that might just become favorites over time.You can follow my reviews at Deal breaker by Harlan Coben is a 2006 Delacorte Press publication.I recently discovered a new Myron Bolitar book is on its way, in September 2016 , which has me feeling stoked, since I always like this series But, it got me thinking about how long it s been since I read a book in this series, since I have been sticking with Coben s stand alone novels for the most part I was pretty sure I had read the first few books in the series, but I see I didn t get this first one reviewed, and frankly my memory needed a refresher course So, I checked this one out of the library, and took the time to do one of my very rare re reads Originally published back in 1995, this story introduces us to sports agent Myron Bolitar, a former basketball star whose career came to an abrupt halt, due to injury.He is now representing a superstar football player who is about to burst out onto the professional field But, there are a few hitches, one of which is that his client has a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head, due to the disappearance of his fianc , with foul play suspected Not only that, the fianc in question is the sister of Myron s former girlfriend, Jessica, a woman he still carries a torch for To put the cherry on the cake, new information has begun to circulate suggesting the missing girl might be alive It s in Myron s best interest to clear his client s name and try to bring peace to Jessica s family But, he never anticipated the Pandora s box he was about to open.I love Myron s comical quips, which is the reason I found this series so appealing and because of the colorful cast of characters that keep things lively I don t know if this was one of Coben s very first efforts, or not, but it is a little rough around the edges, especially towards the end, because everything got slapped together in a pretty sloppy way But, overall, this is still a solid crime story, plus it was fun going back to the very beginning of the series and seeing how everything has changed It is a little dated, with references to VCR tapes and answering machines, for example, but that only gives the story a nostalgic feel If you start this series thinking it is something along the lines of Tell No One , be warned, this series doesn t have that level of intensity, nor does it have some of the darker tones of his other stand alone novels However, these stories do delve into the underbelly of humanity, but is offset by the humor and emotional connections between the characters The series does improve over time as Coben s writing tightened up and developed, although the first couple of installments were a bit rocky I ve skipped around in the series over the years, picking the books I had access to or was able to find in the library or used book store, and while it s not one of those series I have tripped all over myself trying to keep up with, it is actually a little addictive Now that I ve got my appetite whetted, I think I ll try to work some of the titles I missed into my reading schedule before the new installment is released Should be fun I do recommend this series, as it developed into a very solid and entertaining crime series 3.5 stars Sports Agent Myron Bolitar Is Poised On The Edge Of The Big Time So Is Christian Steele, A Rookie Quarterback And Myron S Prized Client But When Christian Gets A Phone Call From A Former Girlfriend, A Woman Who Everyone, Including The Police, Believes Is Dead, The Deal Starts To Go Sour Trying To Unravel The Truth About A Family S Tragedy, A Woman S Secret, And A Man S Lies, Myron Is Up Against The Dark Side Of His Business Where Image And Talent Make You Rich, But The Truth Can Get You KilledIn 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 And Engaging And Unpredictable With Each Page Turning Appearance Very entertaining Glad I started this series and I will definitely be readingI was fun trying to figure out the mystery along with the characters And, the fact that it was hilarious helped a lot, too I ve been aware of Harlan Coben s series of crime mystery novels starring a sports agent named Myron Bolitar for some time but never read one because I thought it d be something like Jerry Maguire crossed with Murder She Wrote I figured Myron would always be tripping over dead baseball players killed by pitching machines or discovering the bodies of basketball players hanging from rims What I should have realized sooner is that modern sports can offer a great backdrop for a gritty mystery You ve got an industry with huge amounts of money involved with famous personalities always getting caught up in gambling scandals, dog fighting, rape accusations, domestic violence, drug abuse, manslaughter and the occasional player shooting someone else or themselves so sports is the perfect environment to set a crime novel.Myron was once a college basketball star with Duke Boo Duke before a knee injury ruined his chances for a pro career Myron went on to get a law degree from Harvard, worked as some kind of secret undercover agent for the FBI, and now has taken up being a sports agent One assumes that he ll also be a cowboy and an astronaut someday, too.Christian Steele is Myron s biggest client A talented, clean cut quarterback who looks to be the next Aaron Rodgers, Steele is every agent s dream Myron is in the midst of negotiations with a tough and unscrupulous NFL owner over Christian s first contract when the player gets a shocking piece of mail Christian s girlfriend, Kathy, had disappeared a year ago from their college campus and everyone assumes the worst Christian receives a pornographic magazine with a nude photo of Kathy in a phone sex ad Fearing scandal or some kind of set up that will ruin Christian s NFL chances, Myron begins checking into the ad and what happened to Kathy Things are complicated because Myron s ex girlfriend, Jessica, was Kathy s sister, and their father was recently murdered If that isn t enough, Myron has to deal with another sleazy agent and his gangster pal who are trying to strong arm one of his clients into leaving Myron for them.Fortunately, like most heroes of a crime series, Myron has a bad ass friend he can count on for help Windsor Win Horne Lockwood III seems like the kind of preppy who would make Niles Crane look tough, but Win is Myron s former FBI partner and a ruthless killer when need be Plus, he uses his financial business to advise Myron s clients so he can get your portfolio squared away in between ass kickings.The whole premise for this is obviously far fetched, but Corben gets it grounded enough to make the story enjoyable Myron is a likeable smart ass with a wry sense of humor, and Win is hilarious I also liked how Corben built up the idea that Myron s skills as a lawyer and former detective are also valuable as a sports agent and vice versa In one scene, Myron deals with a brutal negotiation with the NFL owner and in another he s working out a deal with a vicious gangster There s precious little difference between the two.This book also has a big time warp element since it was written in 1995 Like Michael Connelly s The Poet, I found some of the things like car phones and print pornography to be almost quaint now But the biggest laugh is that Corben named the team that Christian is going to play pro football for the Titans I assumed this meant the Tennessee Titans, but then the story describes their facilities at the Meadowlands in New Jersey It was only then that I realized that the Tennessee Titans were still the Houston Oilers in 1995, and that Corben had invented a fictional team at the time but later that name would be used for real It was a tad confusing for a minute There s a few too many coincidence for my taste, and I could have lived without the backstory between Myron and Jessica, but overall I still enjoyed this one The sports stuff gives it a fresh angle, but you don t have to be a big sports fan to enjoy it Plus, I thought Win was a great addition to the ranks of bad ass friends in crime fiction like Hawk, Mick Ballou, Bubba Rogowski, Mouse, Joe Pike, etc I ll be revisiting Myron s series again sometime soon. Fantastic, my favourite Coben book yet Myron Bolitar is a great character The writing has its own unique feel due to the tone of Bolitars constant sarcasm and wit His back and forth with Win are also very well done.I loved the pace of this, it was non stop and the chapter size really help you to fly through this I might look back and change my rating to five stars, it s a close one I ll definitely be continuing the series Myron Bolitar was once a very promising NBA rookie out of Duke, where his team won two NCAA national championships But a freak accident early in his rookie year abruptly ended his basketball career and changed the course of his life He went to law school, then did a brief stint with the F.B.I., and has just embarked on a new career as a sports agent.Thus far, Myron has a small and fairly insignificant client list But his prospects are brightened considerably when he signs quarterback Christian Steele, the number one NFL draft pick Christian is not only a star athlete but also a good kid who has overcome a lot of obstacles to reach this point in his life Among the tragedies in his young life was the disappearance of his college sweetheart, Kathy Culver, who has been missing and presumed dead for a year and a half Kathy was the younger sister of Myron s former girlfriend, Jessica Culver, hence the connection between Myron and Christian.Myron is in the process of negotiating Christian s first NFL contact, and the process is proving difficult Then Myron gets a panicked call from Christian Someone has sent him a pornographic magazine, and in the magazine is a picture of Kathy Culver, suggesting strongly that she may still be alive.The photo raises any number of questions Is Kathy still alive if so, why hasn t she contacted Christian or her family Why would her picture appear in this disgusting magazine, and why has some anonymous person sent the magazine to the young quarterback Myron attempts to answer these questions and quickly finds himself ensnared in a very complex mystery with a lot of unreliable and dangerous characters lurking about Fortunately, Myron is assisted by his secretary, the gorgeous Esperanza, who used to wrestle under the name Little Pocahontas Myron s main sidekick is his best friend and former college roommate, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, or Win Win is super rich, super attractive, super smart, and super dangerous all in all, a good man to have at your back.The resulting story is an engrossing tale with snappy dialogue and humorous moments that do not seem out of place in a book where a lot of truly nasty things are happening Coben has a deft touch in this regard, unlike some authors who are totally unable to pull off the mix of humor and gritty violence The story requires some suspension of disbelief, especially with regard to the character of Win who is a bit over the top as the super sidekick who is able to magically bail Myron out of any confrontation But he s fun to watch, and the relationship between Myron and Win is one of the better such relationships in contemporary crime fiction.I have a slight quibble with the book in that the climax seemedthan a bit implausible, as if the author had painted himself into a corner and couldn t quite figure out how to end the book But this is a minor complaint, and Deal Breaker is a very good first entry in what has become a fairly long running series. I used to read a lot of mystery thrillers way back before goodreads days so I d forgotten how much fun they can be But I don t ever remember them having as much cheeky humour in them I liked Myron despite the tragic name He added a lot of witty sarcasm and kept this from being a humdrum story It left me definitely wanting I listened to the audio version of Deal Breaker Myron with his witty sense of humor and sarcasm had me laughing and cringing at the same time It is an easy, fun and entertaining book Just what I needed. 3.54I laugh in the face of death,Myron repliedWell, maybe not laugh More like a snicker A quiet snicker Jesus, you re a lunatic And I wouldn t do it directly in death s face So it slike a quiet snicker behind his backHe s not a lunatic, but his pal Win might be Myron Bolitar, who has never forgiven his parents for his name, he says , is a sports agent on a quest to get his star football player signed up with the best contract possible Myron was a star basketball player himself with a promising professional future until an injury put him in a wheelchair long enough to kill his career His college roommate, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, is a well connected, wealthy WASP from an old family, and the two have stayed friends Myron rents an office in one of Win s buildings, and he now shares his current dilemmas with Win First is the contract issue is the rookie, Christian, already committed to some shady characters who signed him illegally when he was a minor Second is that Christian s ex girlfriend, Kathy, disappearedthan a year ago, presumed dead murdered , and Christian has just received some strange information in the mail that indicates maybe Kathy s alive Just another thing to upset the talented rookie.Third, Myron s own ex girlfriend, Jessica, has reappeared after 4 years, and she s as irresistible as ever, but oh yes, she presents another couple of problems She is Kathy s sister and now their father has just been murdered She s convinced it was not a robbery but is connected to Kathy s disappearance.There s enough to keep Myron and Win and assorted other characters busy for the rest of the book Myron is a likeable guy, Win s a scary off sider a little psychotic , and the story takes them into questionable places with evenquestionable people No, not questionable, because there s no question that they are scary dudes The opening conversation above, about snickering in the face of death, was prefaced with thisThey want to kill you They re putting a contract out on your headSo it s all pretty serious, this negotiating sports contracts, even for a guy who stands 6 4 and is a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do Incidentally, Win is a sixth degree black belt and has studied it since he was seven In college, when he was once attacked for his wimpish, blonde, pretty boy looks by five big football players, he went into full martial arts mode Simply put, the football team had a poor season that year Too many guys on the injured list I read this because it s Coben s first book, and I figured I d start at the beginning because he s so popular I thought I should let him introduce his people to me instead of relying on other readers do it.There is some nice catchy dialogue, and for a first effort, it s an entertaining read with a complicated enough plot to be satisfying.I m sure I ll read another to see where he takes Myron I don t know if I need to read them in order or not and would appreciate any advice