Home By Harlan Coben Book Review

Home By Harlan Coben Book Review

What is this about?: The search for two boys comes to half a conclusion when one is found. But, as Myron and Win continue to investigate, they realise some things don’t add up in regards to the kidnapping 10 years ago.

What else is this about?: Myron and Win and their friendship. This is book 11 in a series, but this was a reconnection of sorts between Myron and Win — best friends and investigators through 10 books, but who have kept their distance because of events in book 10 (which don’t matter in the grand scheme of this book). Their reconnection is a chance to (re-) discover who they are, and I genuinely didn’t feel like there were things I was missing out on.

Stars: 4/5. Readdddd it!

Blurb: A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked Home – well, kind of in a way. It’s book 11 in an established series from Harlan Coben, so I figured that I’d miss some references. And I thought this was a thriller of sorts, a frantic search for a missing boy, which it wasn’t, exactly.

As it turns out, this book was a surprise on both counts. I did miss some references, but I didn’t feel like I was missing something important. The narrative I was reading told me all that I needed to know and second, it was less a thriller, but an intricate mystery, with excellent characterisation. Which to be fair, is the kind of thing I live for in my mysteries.

Myron Bolitar is a former sports agent, who when the book opens, has been missing his friend Win for about a year now. Checking out Goodreads reviews tells me that Win had to go in hiding because of bad guys in the last book, but really, that’s about all you need to know about the last book. But, Win is back and searching for his cousin, Rhys who was kidnapped along with his best friend Patrick 10 years ago. So begins a continental chase for answers, with a fast-paced narrative that never seemed to let up even in its quietest moments.

The book however is absolutely MADE by the relationship between Myron and Win. Spanning school and 11 books, including this one, they reconnect here after a year apart, and even reading this as a newbie, it’s pretty clear that they pick up their relationship like they just saw each other yesterday. In that time Win has been searching for Rhys, while Myron has been falling in love (again) and proposing to Therese, who admittedly is a bit of an enigma in this, but adores them both.

The dialogue between Myron and Win, and yes in general, is electric, very dry and made me laugh out loud more than once. If all books could have dialogue so sharp and still filled with affection on the part of Myron and Win for each other, I’d be happy. It’s just that good and compelling. You know how Danny and Rusty were in the first Ocean 11’s movie? Like that, but … better, to be honest.

But, I should probably talk about the plot instead of waxing lyrical about these two: Win gets an anonymous email telling him where Patrick, one of the missing boys, will be in London. He calls Myron for help, and while they rescue Patrick, they can’t rescue or even find Rhys. Myron returns with Patrick to the US, while Win continues his search into the underbelly of Europe, of prostitution rings and trafficking, and meeting the most eclectic bunch of friends and experts ever. Win, I found, is lethal – bloodthirsty when those closest to him are threatened and he has no qualms doing what he has to do for those he loves, like Rhys’ mum, Brooke. They’re family, and the book throws in a little bit of history about them that fills out his character nicely, even though it’s book 11.

In the meantime though, Myron has returned with Patrick to the US, and soon finds himself wondering if this is indeed Patrick. There are too many inconsistencies and too many questions that leave him wondering about the identity of the boy he rescued. What’s interesting, is that a healthy part of this includes Myron’s parents and his nephew, Mickey, all another unexpected part of the book. But, the narrative at large is always pushing forward, and even during scenes of family, there’s never a lull as such – Patrick and the search for Rhys is always present. Which as I’m doing a report a manuscript that has severe pacing issues, I’m so grateful for this narrative that is always pushing forward. These chapters bring home (heh) how important family is to this book – to the ones the main characters are born into and the ones they make themselves.

Harlan Coben pushes forward to an unexpected conclusion in this book – and I’d still bet what you’re thinking right now doesn’t come close to how it ends. I started to read Home because I thought the tale of two kidnapped boys would be utterly compelling, and instead found a compelling mystery, and excellent characterisation in a series I intend to follow closely.

Now, here’s the question: do I go back to book 1 and start reading, or do I cut my losses and just wait for the next one?  Decisions and decisions!


  • Lily B says:

    heh tricky isn’t it when it comes to starting a book series so late, it’s awesome that you enjoyed it. You could always give book 1 a shot anyway, cannot hurt. I’ve done it with a series I read late and was glad I did

    • Verushka says:

      I think I might go back to book 1 yeah — just to experience the relationship between Win and Myron — it’s so so good Lily, SO good!!

  • That’s good you were able to enjoy this one, having not read the previous in the series. I do like when books like these can be read as stand alones. Especially since this one sounds really awesome – I think I might need to try it out.

    • Verushka says:

      I was surprised too that I enjoyed it so much! And that it was a standalone — I wasn’t expecting it to be, so I was lucky on ths one!

  • Kelly says:

    It’s amazing that you can pick up book 11 in a series and still able to invest in it and actually enjoy it. I don’t know of any other series where you could probably do that actually. It sounds marvellous. I’m a fan of mysteries and wouldn’t mind giving this one a read seeing I don’t have to invest in the previous books. I think if you go back and read book 1, you might run the risk of not enjoying it. Sounds like it’s worth the risk though. So glad you enjoyed this one Verushka and as always, a brilliant review! <3

    • Verushka says:

      Thank you Kelly! I was so surprised and happy by the end of this and it’s a great example of how to write a standalone in a long series — with excellent characterisation. I feel like not many series are like this any more.

  • I have wanted to pick up a Harlan Coben book for ages now. I am glad that you don’t need to have read the others in the series to read this one. I love good mysteries so I will have to check out. Great review!

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