Daily Archives: August 27, 2012

Back Spin by Harlan Coben

Back Spin Reviewed by Allen Hott

Myron Bolitar, sports agent/private investigator, in one of his first cases as written by Harlan Coben. Bolitar and his group which includes Win, Esperanza, and Big Cyndi comprise MB Agency. And though they are a sports agency that represents athletes of all types some way or another their clients always end up in some sort of criminal mischief. Not always is it the athlete’s fault but still they are involved and thusly so is MB Agency.

Back Spin follows the problems that Myron encounters primarily on the Merion Golf Course during the playing of the U.S. Open. It involves the fellow who is leading the Open throughout the week and his family which turns out to be part of Win’s family also. It appears that Jack Coldren’s sixteen year old son has been kidnapped right prior to the Open. The family didn’t realize he was kidnapped as they believed he was at a buddy’s house.

For various reasons and especially since the kidnapper told them not to do it, the family decided not to tell the police. They opted to bring Myron into the case as he has built quite a reputation for solving problems. Because of some family problems in the past, Win, who has always worked as a big part of Myron’s investigative team, refuses to help Myron on this one.

Primarily using Esperanza’s assistance Myron begins digging into the background of the golfer’s family. The deeper they dig the stranger things seem to appear and the murkier the water gets.

Bad Blood by John Sandford

Bad Blood Reviewed by Allen Hott

Great start to a murder mystery! Farmer pulls up to grain elevator to unload his grain and the young man running the elevator kills him by hitting him in the head with a T-ball bat! He does his best to cover up the killing and phones in a “death” to the police.

Lee Coakley, the county sheriff, upon investigating finds the idea that the farmer accidentally met his death very hard to believe based on the evidence. She brings in Virgil Flowers, a criminal investigator for the state of Minnesota. And then she explains that after the boy was arrested and put in jail the on duty deputy found him hung in his cell. However because of the way the body was hung she has a hard time believing that he hung himself.

Since her suspicions point to one of her deputies she believed that she needed outside help to not only find out what was going on but to have the appropriate state law enforcement agency take over the situation from the locals if necessary.

Coakley and Flowers decide that he and two of her other deputies will question the on duty deputy. However when they arrive at his home they find him lying dead on his couch. It appears that he either committed suicide or was killed after some sort of sexual action had taken place as his fly was unzipped and his penis was out of his pants. The deputies immediately remember that the boy who was hanged also had his fly open when he was found.