Live Wire by Harlen Coben – a review


Back to the TOPCWFC and my latest book was Live Wire by Harlen Coben. I am sure that I have read books by him before however I have a pretty terrible memory so couldn’t remember them. Luckily I didn’t get half way through this one and then realise I’ve read it before as has often been the case in the past.

This book was based around the character of Myron who was a sports agent/detective, with a previous life as a super athlete (as we are told many times!) He is asked to help out pregnant former tennis star Suzze T who’s husband, a famous musician, has gone missing. Amongst this Myron also has to look for his sister in law and brother who have been missing for years, and track down a nephew who lives near an ice cream shop, which has a link to the partner of the famous musician mentioned previously who is, guess what, missing!

Now despite the black hole that obviously surrounded Myron’s family, I did quite like this book. It was most definitely written by a man, and I felt it was a bit like reading an action man comic with lots of guns and fight scenes and completely unrealistic escapes from brutal Mafioso types. However it was a fun and compelling read with some witty one liners between the main characters, although sadly I felt these were sometimes rather forced (This could of course be because I previously read Mark Billingham who is a master at the wit)

There were lots of characters in it, and I sensed it was the kind of book that if you started and then put down for a day you’d get lost so it was best to read it pretty quickly.  I felt the story was a bit far fetched, bordering on ridiculous but then it didn’t advertise itself as a ‘true crime’ book so it’s not a complaint, that’s one of the joys of fiction things don’t always have to be completely true to life.

My only issue was about the use of the word ‘blackberry’. Practically in every other sentence Myron used his blackberry, or told someone he was looking for his blackberry, or checking his blackberry. I realise I’m a product of the BBC and therefore have an inbuilt dislike of product placement (Remember how they used to have tomato sauce bottles with all the labels peeled off in the Eastenders café!) but there really was no need for such blatant advertising. Surely most people with a mobile phone simply say, I’ll just get my phone, not I’ll just check the james bond app on my Samsung Galaxy 2000. It really grated on me for some reason, but it is a minor point.

Overall I liked the book, and enjoyed the pace (although in my head there were a lot of batmanesque ‘Kapow’ signs popping up during the reading of some fight scenes) I think it would be a good series to read from the beginning in order to learn more about the main characters, and also to remind myself if I have actually read any of his previous books!



Filed under book review, Crime writing

2 responses to “Live Wire by Harlen Coben – a review

  1. The Mother

    You don’t get your bad memory from my side of the family, so it must be from your Dad’s side!!!!

  2. Mike

    I’ve just had a hilarious vision of you grimacing as the Kapow noises bounce around your head. It doesn’t so much make me want to read this book as laugh out loud. Mind you, the main character has good taste in mobile phones…

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