Advanced reader copy received from publisher (Orion) via NetGalley.
Release date (UK): 11th September 2014.
I didn’t realised when I got this book that it was part of Harlan Coben’s young adult series – I didn’t even know that he’d turned his writing to the ever-growing young adult genre. I saw that it was number 3 in a series but often crime books have a group of recurring characters throughout the books, but still work as standalone series. With the Mickey Bolitar series, I quickly realised, it’s quite important to read them in order and I did start off feeling a little lost.
I thought I would get stuck in anyway, and whilst I felt a little guilty reading a book which was clearly catering to a younger audience than myself, I couldn’t help but get sucked into the crazy world of Mickey Bolitar.
Micky’s life is more hectic and surreal than any other teenager I know and this book kind of reads like Harlan Coben, but on steroids – or some other performance enhancing drug. The plot moves fast.
The story opens with Mickey exhuming his father after burying him just eight months earlier. Things move quickly from there; not only is Mickey dealing with trying to find out the truth behind his father’s apparent death, he’s dealing with bullies on the basketball team and his friend’s Ema’s concerns about her internet boyfriend going missing.
It all sounds absolutely bonkers and moves at an astounding rate – at Mickey’s age, I really don’t understand how he copes with it all. But in true Coben style, each seemingly disparate part of the tale begins to come together as the story moves along. The interconnecting thread which links the various parts of the story together is a mysterious group called Abeona. It’s a concept I don’t entirely understand having not read the first two books; but they seem to be some sort of team of vigilantes who search for and rescue vulnerable children.
The mystery of Mickey’s father’s death, the basketball bully who claims he has been wrongly accused of taking steroids and Ema’s missing boyfriend all link back to the Abeona rescue team and take Mickey and his friends on a journey to a mysterious island. And, I have to admit, it’s exciting. Whilst there are some slightly ridiculous moments, and I’d still say I prefer Coben’s adult work, I had fun with this book.