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Harlan Coben’s name has become nearly synonymous with that of his creation, Myron Bolitar. After a couple of well-done stand-alone works, his competent sports agent with the multiple skill sets is back in a globe-crossing thriller that may be his most intense work to date.

Did I say “intense”? “Intense” may not quite entirely cover things. One reason is the more-than-welcome return of Windsor Horne Lockwood III, better known for obvious reasons as “Win.” HOME starts off with Win at what he hopes is the end of a very long search for two boys who went missing a decade before. At six years old, Patrick Moore and Rhys Baldwin disappeared while in the care of their au pair. A couple of ransom messages were received by Rhys’ parents, both of which turned out to be dead ends. Win initially became involved in the search as the result of Rhys’ mother, Brooke, being Win’s cousin. As Win notes in the book’s early pages, Win was all but certain the boys were dead, but nonetheless has kept looking for them.

"There are secrets, twists and turns, and a couple of red herrings that make their way through the pages of HOME --- so many that the book is all but impossible to put down once started."

When Win receives a mysterious communication indicating that the boys are still alive (though 10 years older and very, very different from when they were abducted), he goes to a seedy area of a London park and very narrowly misses retrieving Patrick after fighting off a violent attack. Win calls in Myron, and the grim repartee between the two close friends serves as a bit of a counterbalance to the darkness of the quest as they follow a vague trail into London’s criminal underworld. They are ultimately successful in recovering Patrick. Rhys, however, remains missing, and Patrick, still suffering from trauma, is all but uncommunicative. Thus the one person apparently able to aid in the search for Rhys cannot do so. Myron, in New Jersey, and Win, globetrotting across the world, try in their own respective ways to locate Rhys, making explosive discoveries that begin detonating about halfway through the book and continue practically up to the last page.

There are secrets, twists and turns, and a couple of red herrings that make their way through the pages of HOME --- so many that the book is all but impossible to put down once started. Though narrated mostly in the third person, Win’s first person voice is heard occasionally, and to good effect, so much so that at times he all but hijacks the book. That is just one of its many assets, which also include a crackling, startling mystery, a number of character studies, and what amounts to a cliffhanger of a conclusion. Not only will HOME more than satisfy Coben’s legion of longtime fans, newcomers will have no problem catching up while simultaneously getting hooked on these thrillers. And the ending? It will affect the series for some time to come. Hopefully.

Buy the book, turn the chapters, and see what I mean as you enjoy what may well be Coben’s finest effort to date.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on September 23, 2016

by Harlan Coben

  • Publication Date: September 20, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • ISBN-10: 0525955100
  • ISBN-13: 9780525955108