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As a huge Harlan Coben fan for many years I have read every book he has written and in particular I loved the Myron Bolitar series so I was a little apprehensive about Shelter, Coben's first novel for young adults.
The young adult part didn't put me off so much as the fact that Shelter is about Mickey Bolitar, Myron's nephew. As a Myron fan I didn't like the idea, but I wanted a good book to read so I gave it a shot and I was pretty surprised to find that I could not put this book down!
Although Shelter is aimed at a younger audience than Coben's other novels, it does not really read as such. Yes Mickey is in high school and, yes he makes new friends with a goth girl and a nerd named Spoon (he's no Win to say the least) which all sounds a little too sweet valley high for me but once you get over that there is a pretty great story line developing. It's also pretty cool to see Myron through Mickey's eyes as the annoying uncle as compared to the novels about Myron himself.
As with every novel Coben writes, the plot is fairly complex with lots of twists to keep you guessing. What always struck me about his novels compared to other crime fiction or thrillers is that I never know what's going to happen or the "who done it" of the story. The fact that Coben can write and keep you in the dark about the who, what and where of a story in my opinion shows a true storyteller and Shelter is another great example of his writing style.
If the idea of reading a young adult novel is putting you off then you should know that apart from Mickey and his friends being younger than Myron and Win, there is very little difference in the type of events in the book. Mickey has just started a new school and he's a bit on the anti social side but manages to find himself a pretty girl to date and everything is looking pretty good for a teenager with a junkie for a mom and a father who is missing and thought to be dead.
But life isn't perfect for Mickey, he has to put up with his uncle Myron and things are about to get worst for Mickey when only a few weeks into his relationship with his new girlfriend she vanishes without a trace. Despite the fact that Mickey hates his uncle, he is like him in that he can't just forget about it and has to go investigating what's happened and like his uncle he is adept at getting himself in trouble.
Well worth reading if you are a fan of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series and a great novel to start with if you are new to Coben.