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Friday, February 18, 2022

Inspiration, Perspiration, Desperation'


“I always say three things make a writer: inspiration, obviously; perspiration, doing the work; and desperation. I'm not really fit for anything else, or to have a real job. That fear drives me. The pressure has always been self inflicted.” – Harlan Coben

If you like sports and you like murder mysteries then you can’t help but like the writing of Harlan Coben, who found a very interesting way to combine the two.

Born in New Jersey in 1962, Coben was an athlete at Amherst College when he decided in his senior year that what he really wanted to do was write murder mysteries.  So he did. 

His thriller Play Dead was published in 1990, followed by Miracle Cure in 1991. He then began writing a series of thrillers featuring a former basketball player turned sports agent, Myron Bolitar, who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.  In the 2015 Coben created the British crime drama television show The Five and the French-British crime drama Safe which premiered on Netflix in 2018.  That year he signed a 5-year deal to develop 14 of his books into original Netflix series or films.  Five have been done so far.

Harlan Coben

His stories are a great example of how ordinary people can (and usually do) play a key role in resolving a problem, and his style is one that lets his reader get right into the action.  He said he likes giving the reader everything they’ll need to figure out the mystery while still keeping them guessing with multiple plot twists.

“A good crime novelist – any good novelist for that matter – should … play with your perceptions while showing you everything in plain sight.”

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