BOOKS: BASKET CASE; ONE FALSE MOVE by HARLAN COBEN (Orion, Pounds 12.99)

The Mirror (London, England), December 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

BOOKS: BASKET CASE; ONE FALSE MOVE by HARLAN COBEN (Orion, Pounds 12.99)


Byline: ANDREA HENRY

Myron Bolitar, an heroic sports agent, takes a beautiful black basketball star under his protective wing and they fall in love... No, it's not a Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner movie, it's the plot of Harlan Coben's latest novel.

Brenda Slaughter's violent and threatening father Horace has gone missing. Years back, he was Myron's basketball mentor. Horace treated him like a son and taught him how to jump like a black man. These days, Brenda's sick of looking over her shoulder for her troublesome pa, so Myron's employed to get a crick on her behalf.

Thirtysomething Myron's finally got himself a live-in girlfriend, but - cue Whitney - it's not long before he realises Brenda has well and truly dunked his basket.

Thanks to the colour of Brenda's skin, this burgeoning love affair is a big deal. In 21st-century America, interracial relationships are still frowned upon. Even the cosmopolitan Myron has to wonder about the implications of dating a black woman.

Brenda's got other things on her mind. Twenty years ago, her gorgeous mother Anita abandoned the family home. One missing parent was bad enough, two is too much. While Myron's on the case of the missing father, he may as well try to find the long-lost mother at the same time.

His enquiries open up a large can of 20-year-old worms. As a maid in the home of the Bradfords - New Jersey's equivalent of the Kennedys - Anita discovered the body of Arthur Bradford's wife after a little "accident" from a third floor balcony, and took off shortly afterwards. Arthur's now running for New Jersey governor and it's not a good time for questions to be asked about the circumstances of his wife's death.

What did Anita Slaughter see that made her run so fast and so far she left her five-year-old daughter behind? …

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