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Promise Me – As the school year winds down, Myron Bolitar is determined to help keep his friends’ children safe from the dangers of drinking and driving. So he makes two neighborhood girls promise him that if they are ever in a bind but are afraid to call their parents, they must call him. Several nights later, the call comes at two a.m.
The next day, a girl is missing and Myron is the last person who saw her. Racing to find her before she’s gone forever, Myron must outrun his own troubled past and decide once and for all who he is and what he will stand up for…
Praise for Promise Me
“Shows off the best of Mr. Coben’s plotting skills…an intricate, satisfying book.”—*The New York Times
“The reappearance of Myron Bolitar is welcome, indeed….This book has [page turning suspense] in spades.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Skillful pacing and truly surprising turns of plot.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Coben hits the ground running with the compelling Promise Me.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“It’s a blast.”—San Jose Mercury News
“Supersuspense maestro Coben has again given us an addictive page-turner with plenty of twists, turns, plots, and subplots.”—Forbes
“A hard-edged plot with yet more strands of suburban desperation…After finishing Promise Me, you realize that all the clues to the twists were evident, but you still didn’t see it coming.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A deftly written, well-plotted exploration of the tender underbelly of life in the New Jersey suburbs, where all is not as it seems.”—The Columbus Dispatch
Table of Contents
Review – Promise Me
One advantage to becoming a fan of Harlan Coben in just the last few years is I didn’t have to wait six long years in between Myron Bolitar novels. Of course that being said as of now (July 2014) it has over three since he has put one out… hmmm… of course we now have Mickey Bolitar novels. I must say this Bolitar story was among my favorites, it had all the familar aspects you come to expect from a Bolitar novel and a Coben mystery for that matter. Suspense, pacing, great storytelling and humor makes this novel a can’t miss.
Myron Bolitar has stopped being a hero… for six years he has lived his life and has saved no one but since he has stopped seeking trouble it has come to him. It started out innocently enough as he had two teenagers (one was the daughter of his current girlfriend and the other a daughter of a friend he went to high school with) make him a promise that they would never get into a car with anyone that had been drinking. A few night later one of them calls and he takes her to a friends house and at that point she vanishes. Now not only is he determined to find out what happen, he is actually on law enforcements radar himself as the last known person to see the girl. For fans of the Coben’s standalone novels one of the investigaters will be familar to you. Loren Muse is on the case. Myron Bolitar meets Loren Muse might be enough for a Coben fan to pick up this book. As the investigation untangles Coben has some twists and turns that you come to expect and will love.
CHAPTER 1 – Promise Me
The missing girl—there had been unceasing news reports, always flashing to that achingly ordinary school portrait of the vanished teen, you know the one, with the rainbow-swirl background, the girl’s hair too straight, her smile too self-conscious, then a quick cut to the worried parents on the front lawn, microphones surrounding them, Mom silently tearful, Dad reading a statement with quivering lip—that girl, that missing girl, had just walked past Edna Skylar. Edna froze. Stanley, her husband, took two more steps before realizing that his wife was no longer at his side. He turned around. “Edna?” They stood near the corner of Twenty-first Street and Eighth Avenue in New York City. Street traffic was light this Saturday morning. Foot traffic was heavy. The missing girl had been headed uptown. Stanley gave a world-weary sigh. “What now?” “Shh.” She needed to think. That high school portrait of the girl, the one with the rainbow-swirl background . . . Edna closed her eyes. She needed to conjure up the image in her head. Compare and contrast. In the photograph, the missing girl had long, mousy-brown hair. The woman who’d just walked by—woman, not girl, because the one who’d just walked by seemed older, but maybe the picture was old too—was a redhead with a shorter, wavy cut. The girl in the photograph did not wear glasses. The one who was heading north up Eighth Avenue had on a fashionable pair with dark, rectangular frames. Her clothes and makeup were both more—for a lack of a better word—adult. Studying faces was more than a hobby with Edna. She was sixty-three years old, one of the few female physicians in her age group who specialized in the field of genetics. Faces were her life. Part of her brain was always working, even when far away from her office. She couldn’t help it—Dr. Edna Skylar studied faces. Her friends and family were used to the probing stare, but strangers and new acquaintances found it disconcerting. So that was what Edna had been doing. Strolling down the street. Ignoring, as she often did, the sights and sounds. Lost in her own personal bliss of studying the faces of passersby. Noting cheek structure and mandibular depth, inter-eye distance and ear height, jaw contours and orbital spacing. And that was why, despite the new hair color and style, despite the fashionable glasses and adult makeup and clothing, Edna had recognized the missing girl. “She was walking with a man.” “What?” Edna hadn’t realized that she’d spoken out loud.
“The girl.” Stanley frowned. “What are you talking about, Edna?” That picture. That achingly ordinary school portrait. You’ve seen it a million times. You see it in a yearbook and the emotions start to churn. In one fell swoop, you see her past, you see her future. You feel the joy of youth, you feel the pain of growing up. You can see her potential there. You feel the pang of nostalgia. You see her years rush by, college maybe, marriage, kids, all that. But when that same photograph is flashed on your evening news, it skewers your heart with terror. You look at that face, at that tentative smile, at the droopy hair and slumped shoulders, and your mind goes to dark places it shouldn’t. How long had Katie—that was the name, Katie—how long had she been missing? Edna tried to remember. A month probably. Maybe six weeks. The story had only played locally and not for all that long. There were those who believed that she was a runaway. Katie Rochester had turned eighteen a few days before the disappearance—that made her an adult and thus lowered the priority a great deal. There was supposed trouble at home, especially with her strict albeit quivering-lipped father. Maybe Edna had been mistaken. Maybe it wasn’t her. One way to find out. “Hurry,” Edna said to Stanley. “What? Where are we going?” There was no time to reply. The girl was probably a block ahead by now. Stanley would follow. Stanley Rickenback, an ob-gyn, was Edna’s second husband.
Her first had been a whirlwind, a larger-than-life figure too handsome and too passionate and, oh yeah, an absolute ass. That probably wasn’t fair, but so what? The idea of marrying a doctor—this was forty years ago—had been a fun novelty for Husband One. The reality, however, had not sat as well with him. He had figured that Edna would outgrow the doc phase once they had children. Edna didn’t—just the opposite, in fact. The truth was —a truth that had not escaped her children—Edna loved doctoring more than motherhood. She rushed ahead. The sidewalks were crowded. She moved into the street, staying close to the curb, and sped up. Stanley tried to follow. “Edna?” “Just stay with me.” He caught up. “What are we doing?” Edna’s eyes searched for the red hair. There. Up ahead on the left. She needed to get a closer look. Edna broke into a full-fledged sprint now, a strange sight in most places, a nicely dressed woman in her mid-sixties sprinting down the street, but this was Manhattan. It barely registered a second glance. She circled in front of the woman, trying not to be too obvious, ducking behind taller people, and when she was in the right place, Edna spun around. The possible-Katie was walking toward her. Their eyes met for the briefest of moments, and Edna knew. It was her. Katie Rochester was with a dark-haired man, probably in his early thirties. They were holding hands. She did not seem too distressed. She seemed, in fact, up until the point where their eyes met anyway, pretty content. Of course that might not mean anything. Elizabeth Smart, that young girl who’d been kidnapped out in Utah, had been out in the open with her kidnapper and never tried to signal for help. Maybe something similar was playing here. Edna wasn’t buying it. The redheaded possible-Katie whispered something to the dark-haired man. They picked up their pace. Edna saw them veer right and down the subway stairs. The sign read c and e trains. Stanley caught up to Edna. He was about to say something, but he saw the look on her face and kept still. “Come on,” she said.
About the Author
With more than seventy million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels, including the Myron Bolitar series and a series aimed at young adults featuring Myron’s newphew, Mickey Bolitar. His books are published in forty-three languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries. The winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, he lives in New Jersey.
Biography – Promise Me
With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty one novels including RUN AWAY, FOOL ME ONCE, TELL NO ONE, NO SECOND CHANCE and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.
Harlan is the creator and executive producer for the Netflix television dramas SAFE starring Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot and Amanda Abbington, and THE FIVE starring Tom Cullen and OT Fagbenle. He is currently filming THE STRANGER, based on his novel, for Netflix starring Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Jennifer Saunders and Stephen Rea. Harlan was also showrunner and executive producer for two French TV mini-series, UNE CHANCE DE TROP (NO SECOND CHANCE) with Alexandra Lamy and JUST UN REGARD (JUST ONE LOOK) with Virginie Ledoyen. KEINE ZWEIT CHANCE, also based on Harlan’s novel, aired in Germany on Sat1.
Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONNE) was turned into the renowned French film, directed by Guillaume Canet and starring Francois Cluzet. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. The movie with subtitles is now available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVD/Blu-Ray.
Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
In his first books, Coben immersed himself in the exploits of sports agent Myron Bolitar. Critics loved the series, saying, “You race to turn pages…both suspenseful and often surprisingly funny” (People). After seven books Coben wanted to try something different. “I came up with a great idea that simply would not work for Myron,” says Coben. The result was the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller TELL NO ONE, which became the most decorated thriller of the year. Two books later, Bookspan, recognizing Coben’s broad international appeal, named NO SECOND CHANCE its first ever International Book of the Month in 2003 – the Main Selection in 15 different countries.
Harlan was the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the NEW YORK TIMES op-ed page. His Father’s Day short story, THE KEY TO MY FATHER, appeared June 15, 2003. His essays and columns have appeared in many top publications including the New York Times, Parade Magazine and Bloomberg Views.
Harlan has received an eclectic variety of honors from all over the world. In Paris, he was awarded the prestigious Vermeil Medal of Honor for contributions to culture and society by the Mayor of Paris. He was won the El Premio del Novela Negra RBA in Spain, the Grand Prix de Lectrices in France, and the CWA/ITV3 Bestseller Dagger for favorite crime novelist in England. On the other end of the spectrum, Little League Baseball inducted Harlan into their Hall of Excellence in 2013, and Harlan is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame from his playing days at Amherst College.
Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.