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Friday, May 14, 2004

Interview with the #1 Bestselling author in the UK 

And who would this person be? Why, none other than Harlan Coben, whose new standalone JUST ONE LOOK stormed up the charts all the way to the top. In this interview with the Independent, he talks about the new book, New Jersey, and oh yeah, some series characters he may or may not have left behind for good. It's actually a fairly thoughtful piece that puts the standalones in an interesting context (albeit one that, I suspect, might be more "meaningful" than they ought to be:)

One of the differences between Coben's early, slick thrillers about Myron Bolitar and these later ones is the age of their protagonists. Myron was a young man in the sense that he was hoping to settle down, whereas the lead characters of the New Jersey sequence are all people who have reached that level of personal maturity at which you have something serious to lose: the loved ones who are hostages to fortune. What they have in common with Myron is heart, a fundamental decency that means that he and they don't just knock down the ant hills of the lives around them for the sake of it. If they flounder in the course of finding the truth, they do so without malice aforethought. All of Coben's viewpoint characters have a sense of themselves as flawed that stops them acting out of self-righteousness even when they know they are being victimised. No one is more surprised than David Beck in Tell No One to find himself on the run: when he knocks down a policeman, he retains the good moral sense to be sorry for what was a necessity.


I do wonder if this kind of profile would ever be written for a US publication. Just goes to show how differently books--even standalone thrillers--are viewed on both sides of the pond.

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