cover image The Final Detail: A Myron Bolitar Novel

The Final Detail: A Myron Bolitar Novel

Harlan Coben. Delacorte Press, $24 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32371-0

You know things are getting tough for Myron Bolitar when the crime-solving sports agent finds that his favorite tipple--the chocolate drink Yoo-Hoo--has lost its kick. At a particularly harrowing point in his latest Bolitar book (after One False Move), Coben reveals that his hero actually ""craved a venti-size skim iced latte with a splash of vanilla."" Despite being a former pro basketball star and Harvard Law School grad, Myron remains a touching everyman, a guy who still looks forward to dinner with his parents and can even cry in the bathroom after his father admits to some recent chest pains. In this case, Myron probes the murder of one of his clients, a troubled baseball player named Clu Haid, who was apparently shot by Myron's sports-agency partner, Esperanza Diaz. Esperanza is hiding something, but Myron isn't sure if it has to do with business or with her bisexuality. His search for the truth takes him to a bar called Take a Guess (""It's About Ambiguity, Not Androgyny""), where he falls for a Julie Newmar/Catwoman look-alike who may or may not be female, and to the front offices at Yankee Stadium. Ultimately, the trail leads him to revisit a 12-year-old mystery about a missing girl as well as a shabby incident in his own past. Along the way, Coben works in poignant scenes, such as an interview with a mother who wallpapers her house with family photographs. Myron relies less on the lethal powers of his rich, blond, preppy friend Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III) than in previous adventures. The change makes for the strongest entry yet in a series that deftly balances realism with excitement, while refusing to fall back on genre clich s. Major ad/promo; author tour. (June)