Golf? Though I am an ardent sports fan and a happy spectator at almost any contest, I have never understood the thrill of watching a game where grown men or women walk around a course for hours, smacking a small, white ball while crowds of people on the sidelines ooh and ahh ever so quietly so as not to interfere with the ambiance. Thus, it is with some trepidation that I approach Back Spin, set at the US Open at the famed Merion Golf Club.
Protaganist Myron Bolitar, sports agent extraordinaire and occasional detective, shares my aversion to the sport and approaches his visit to the tournament with the same sense of impending boredom. Both of us are in for a surprise. Bolitar, at the suggestion of his good friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, is attending in pursuit of some new clients for his sports agency; however, the top female golfer quickly engages him to help locate her son, whom it appears has been kidnapped. Her husband, Jack Coldren, is currently at the top of the leader board and the kidnapping may be an attempt to undermine his game.
There is much more than meets the eye in this scenario and Myron is at his sly, witty best as he follows the leads and digs beneath the stuffy exterior of pro golf to find the usual human frailties. A subplot involving Lockwood offers the first glimpse into the soul of Bolitar's friend, a man so enigmatic that not even Myron can comprehend his behavior.
Back Spin is a worthy fourth novel in the Myron Bolitar series and Harlen Coben once again delivers a clever thriller that not only provides suspense but also plenty of good laughs along the way. Am I likely to take up a spot in the gallery of fans at a golf tournament as a result of reading Back Spin? No. Am I likely to read every Harlen Coben book I can get my hands on? You bet!
Recommended by Carol Brannock