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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 5, 2015
This is an intricate mystery, revolving around missing persons, and involving evil rich people, mobsters, corrupt cops, blood-chilling enforcers, and a talented black basketball player named Brenda Slaughter.

Myron becomes Brenda's sports agent and is warned to look out for her, since she's in some sort of danger. The problem is that Myron and Brenda fall in love, despite the fact that Myron has been in love with another woman for years.

So in the midst of a complex investigation that stirs up all sorts of trouble and leaves behind a trail of dead and injured, Myron is struggling with romantic complications.

In this book Myron has started drinking gourmet coffee, after drinking nothing but Yoo-Hoo in the four previous books. Perhaps this sudden leap of sophistication is a tip off that his emotional life is about to become more complex, with some innocence lost along the way.

But don't worry, there's still plenty of humor in these pages, lots of goofy quips from Myron and funny scenes with insincere politicians. And Myron's friend, aristocratic Win, continues to be Myron's loyal and deadly supporter in violent confrontations with bad guys and other aggressors. And there are tense scenes of violence aplenty.

All in all, One False Move is up to the usual high standards of this series, with a new element of poignancy mixed in. Highly recommended, but do read the earlier books first.
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on March 16, 2014
I previously read one of Harlan Coben's books and was not that impressed for some reason, but something also told me to give him another try and I was certainly glad that I did. Harlan Coben is clearly one of the top tier/premier mystery writers for several reasons which are evident in this book as well as all of his Myron Bolitar books. Firstly, his style of writing makes the reading flow - it is not at all tedious. Secondly, his plots are intricate and interesting without being overly complex or bewildering. Thirdly, his characters are highly entertaining - Myron Bolitar is the sports rep/investigator/detective, and Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III - for those who are into formalities) is the muscle - Win is incredibly wealthy, is not overtly threatening due to the fact that he is only five feet ten inches or thereabout, very fastidious and preppy in his appearance, but he is totally lethal - he lives in a world of black and white, no gray areas, and when warranted, acts first and asks questions or contemplates later - if ever. Myron and Win are very similar to Spenser and Hawk of Robert B. Parker as well as Elvis Cole and Joe Pike of Robert Crais. Very much like Spenser and Hawk, the repartee between Myron and Win is very entertaining. This book, in particular, also had a very intricate plot where you do not really know the killer until very near the end. Highly recommended.
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on November 25, 2013
Brenda Slaughter is the preeminent star of a new women's professional basketball league scheduled to make its debut. Sports agent Myron Bolitar is asked to watch her, as she may be subject to threats related to her father Horace, whom she has fired as her agent, and who taught Myron, a former star hoopster himself, how to play the game. Brenda is black, smart, funny, independent, and at the same time she is about to embark on a pro career, studying to be a doctor.

Horace, who had a physical confrontation with his daughter when he was terminated is suddenly missing. But there is a larger family issue. Brenda's mother, Anita, had abandoned her daughter and Horace twenty years ago, several months after finding the body of Elizabeth Bradford, the late wife of a current candidate for Governor, Arthur Bradford. The woman slipped or fell off a balcony early one morning. Anita worked for the Bradford's as a maid, and when she disappeared, the drop dead beautiful domestic cleaned out Horace's life savings of just over five figures. Horace never found anyone else. The only person Anita has spoken to in all these years is her sister-in-law Mabel, and only then a couple of times.

While second generation money, Arthur Bradford plays rough. And the family has over the years, put cops in their pocket and thugs on their payroll. There is a coverup of something somewhere. This becomes apparent when Brenda's dormitory room is ransacked and letters from her mother are stolen, Myron takes it upon themself to find both of her parents, and unravel the complicated intertwining of families seemingly so disparate they would hardly be entangled so deeply.

There is additional motivation for Myron beyond getting the opportunity to represent a budding star. He finds himself incredibly attracted to Brenda, his heart leaping skyward whenever he is with her. That of course puts him in turmoil, for he is not the cheating kind, and lives with his girlfriend Jessica, beautiful and talented, but selfish in ways that Brenda could never be. Myron is oriented towards family, Jessica is jaundiced in that regard, not growing up ijn a stable, loving environment.

Those familiar with Myron Bolitar will recognize that he is different from the usual cop or private investigator. Myron does not keep his emotions within himself, he displays them openly to his friends, the strangely cold and violence-prone investment counselor Win, his colleague and best buddy Esperanza Diaz, and to his girlfriend, whom he loves but cannot get to stay in one place.

Harlan Coben seems to have seized the banner first raised by Ross MacDonald in the Lew Archer mysteries. Tangled and tattered families and deep secrets immersed in bloodlines from years past are at the root of the Bolitar mysteries. In One False Move, there is even a link between Myron's own father and the Bradfords, one that put Myron in danger when he was a child. Moral complexity and ambiguity hover over the story, as Myron has to deal with his feelings, many of them uncertain, on race, love, family, loyalty and personal ideals. And different from MacDonald, Coben creates characters, that are sharply witty as well. Only Bolitar could stick a sharp verbal needle into a thug who threatens him, even when the lout has a clear advantage.

Coben is a superior talent who keeps making Bolitar more interesting all the time.
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on May 11, 2017
There were some unexpected twists in the storyline. I've read enough Coben to recognize the pattern in his writing. Someone is missing and the protagonist is trying to figure out what happened . I find the Bolitar character's sarcasm amusing but I am not sure I like him very much. Still I am drawn to reading another story featuring him.
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VINE VOICEon August 29, 2006
My favorite fictional sports agent, Myron Bolitar, returns to the world of professional basketball - this time representing the star of a new women's professional league. A mob-backed rival league threatens to ruin the debut of Brenda Slaughter (Coben chooses wonderful names for his characters!) and her teammates. Myron is called in to deal with the disappearance of Brenda's father, to provide protection for the star athlete, and ultimately to find the answer to the disappearance of her mother - twenty years ago. New Jersey politics provides some added spice to the story line. The patriarch of one of the state's richest families iproves himself willing to do anything to ensure that well-concealed family skeletons remain hidden in the closet. Throw in a dash of police corruption and cover-up, and you have the recipe for another zesty Coben concoction.

The usual cast of characters - Myron, Win, Esperanza, Big Cindy - manage to involve themselves, and ultimately extricate themselves, from a dizzying array of crises and dilemmas. Coben simultaneously apes and then laughs at the Kevin Costner - Whitney Houston plot line in this story. Myron is chronically challenged when it comes to his love life, and in this book, those challenges take on a different hue.

One of Coben's recurring leitmotifs that recur in each novel in this series is the theme of the depth and breadth of the pain of family dysfunction - passed from generation to generation. "The sins of the fathers . . ."

As usual, Coben did not make any false moves when he penned this gripping novel: "One False Move."


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I have not yet read all of the Myron Bolitar books, but I've read several handfulls and this is the best of a very strong set. The characters are engaging, the plot complex but transparent and easily followed. This is the most craftsmanlike of the Bolitar novels, a finely-polished piece of fiction that would make any mystery writer proud. Read it anywhere; it will hold your attention and help you shut out the white noise.

My only criticism is that when justice is meted out to the baddies it happens too quickly and too painlessly. Coben has introduced and developed these characters at length and instilled in the reader a white hot desire for justice. It comes, but its manner is not commensurate with the desire he has carefully built. Mickey Spillane (RIP, Mickey, who just left us) would have hit them until they bubbled and then kicked them until they stopped. And we would have been cheering all the while.
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on December 24, 2016
Hard to put a Coben book down once you start reading. Such intrigue and believable characters. Brenda wants help finding her father and later her mother. Eventually you meet more of her family members and friends who make important contributions to the story line. If you're a basketball officianado you will enjoy its references although not overdone. I felt the story line was well developed but the ending seemed to be too rapid. After three books in a row I'm giving myself a little break but I will be back for more. He is not only a prolific writer but an interesting storyteller as well.
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First of all, I strongly suggest reading the Myron Bolitar series in order.

I like Coben's stand-alone books better than the Myron Bolitar series, and I think the Bolitar series is very good - they appear to be more of Coben's alter ego with the wisecracks, who really drinks Yoo-Hoo, the former female wrestlers, etc. This book is what we have come to expect from Harlan Coben - a mystery that wrenches in your guts, the good guys unfortunately dies, and just when you think you have the whole thing figured out he cuts a hard left that rolls you over into a new direction. Coben is one of those authors who snares you pretty fast and has you thinking about the book even while you're not reading it.
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VINE VOICEon June 8, 2003
This is the fifth book in the Myron Bolitar series. While having read only three of the other six to this point, it is not possible to say with certainty that this one is the best of all seven. But "One False Move" has more in-depth personal interactions than the others that I have read, drawing the reader a little closer to Myron than is sometimes the case. For those unfamiliar with Bolitar, he runs MB SportsRep. But his circuitous journey to this point, after his budding basketball career was abruptly ended due to a serious on-court injury, gives Myron a dimension far beyond the typical sports agent.
The book is, as usual with Coben, fast-paced with Myron and Win, his quirky, lethal, and blue-blood partner, encountering all manner of sleaze-balls and people with something to hide. Brenda Slaughter, the girl that the new WPBA basketball league is featuring, should be on top of the world. But her father has gone missing after she filed assault charges against him, not to mention the fact that her long-lost mother of twenty years has been on her mind all of that time. Enter Myron; the league needs its investment protected. But the assignment gets more complicated and riskier by the day.
Some reviewers find the Coben books humorous. And they are. But the dialogue is more edgy than funny. Of course, the new office worker Cyndi, the spikey ex-pro female wrestler, is captivating and hilarious.
There are some good twists in this book. I missed the one at the end - well actually I missed all of them. See if you can get it (them). Meanwhile I'm starting another Myron Bolitar book.
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on October 29, 2017
Bought the book Thursday evening and finished it Saturday evening. Every time I tried to put the book down Coban put a detail at the end of the chapter that I just had to know the answer to. Before I knew it my honey do list went unfinished and the book was read.
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