Book review: One False Move

Harlan CobenA strapline across the top of the front cover says ‘A Myron Bolitar novel’. It meant nothing to me. I have never heard of Myron Bolitar. I have heard of Harlan Coben though, but know nothing about him except that he writes crime books and is extremely popular. His name sounds Scandinavian, but this is US crime not Scandi-crime. The book’s been sitting on my bookshelf for ages, a charity shop purchase, waiting for the battery of my Kindle to flicker and die. It died, so I picked up One False Move and read it in two days.

Mr Coben sure knows how to make you turn the pages.

He nails a character description in a few sparse lines: “Norm Zuckerman was approaching seventy and as CEO of Zoom, a megasize sports manufacturing conglomerate, he had more money than Trump. He looked, however, like a beatnik trapped in a bad acid trip… Che Guevara lives and gets a perm.” So we have Norm’s name, job, professional standing, age, physical description, financial worth and personal style – in three sentences.

Bolivar is a sports agent. There seemed to be all sorts of back story going on which meant nothing to me and didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. Next time my Kindle flickers and dies, I will pick up another book by Harlan Coben. Bolivar’s new client runs into trouble – it reminded me of my father who used to watch the opening titles of The Rockford Files, the one where Jim’s answerphone clicks on a leaves a message saying there’d been a murder or someone had disappeared. Dad used to say, “It is dangerous being a friend of Rockford, everyone he knows gets murdered.” It seems that everyone Myron Bolitar knows runs into trouble too.

The fact that the context of the story is basketball wasn’t what drew me to the book, but the sport didn’t matter. I wanted to know what happened to the characters.

This is a roundabout way of saying, I enjoyed One False Move.

To visit Harlan Coben’s website, click here.
To listen to the answerphone messages as part of the opening titles to The Rockford Files, click here.

If you like ‘One False Move’, try these other detective novels:-
‘Snow White Must Die’ by Nele Neuhaus
‘Jellyfish’ by Lev D Lewis
‘Dead Simple’ by Peter James

‘One False Move’ by Harlan Coben [UK: Orion] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
ONE FALSE MOVE by @HarlanCoben #bookreview via @SandraDanby


  1. Sounds interesting! I’ve been meaning to read Harlan Coben for ages, since I enjoyed the film version of Tell No One. This wouldn’t have appealed (sports, ugh) but you’ve convinced me otherwise 🙂

    • I admit to knowing none of his other books, but will certainly explore them now. I don’t know the film of Tell No One either! 🙂 SD

  2. I like the Myron Bolitar series a lot, although I prefer his stand alone thrillers. You’re right, Coben has a knack of giving you all the info you need in the shortest space of time and his skill in giving every chapter a little mini cliffhanger makes you want to keep reading.