|Harlan Coben: The Final Detail|
Press (Hardback), ISBN 0385323719
Sam Spade: As I always said, the cheaper the crook the gaudier the patter.
That unashamed re-rendering of a poignant phrase from an old favorite in many ways sums up Harlan Coben's The Final Detail. Myron Bolitar steps a quick investigative fandango with his sidekick Windsor Horne Lockwood, III. This combination of a sports agent possessing an unusually high sense of morality (Myron) and a sociopathic corporate billionaire (Win) makes for an interesting read.
Myron's cynical analyses of serious subjects like "Why are men obsessed with big bosoms" mix with fast paced action and quirky plot lines. Myron and Win attempt to prove that Esperanza Diaz, Myron's partner in the sports agency, did not murder Clu Haid, an aging pitcher who suffers from long-term drink and drug problems. To top it all, Myron, recovering from traumatic emotional damage of his own, must face a past incident he'd rather forget while untangling the muddled threads of Haid's death.
The investigation involves the rich and famous -- Sophie Mayor, current owner of the New York Yankees and Clu's last employer; and the rich and infamous F.J. Ache, business competitor and son of the local Bad Boys. To resolve the case Myron must confront his own -- and Clu Haid's -- past.
Overall, I wish I hadn't waited for book six before reading a Myron Bolitar mystery. The Final Detail's generally witty cynicisms occasionally grate with their frequency -- hence the lower rating. However, Myron's discussion on phantom penis cross-dressing almost makes reading this book a must. Almost.
The Final Detail does whet the appetite for more Myron Bolitar, provided you can live with constant sniping at the stupidity of life and love the nostalgia of a Bogart wannabe.
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