Windsor Horne Lockwood III has a charmed life: he’s a handsome, highly intelligent white man with access to immense generational wealth.
But every rose has its thorn, and in Harlan Coben’s suspenseful and oft-surprising Win, the rakish titular character explains that he has long had to contend with negative assumptions due to his name, slight frame and regal bearing. Even this is an advantage, however: It’s caused him to cultivate exceptional combat skills (those who underestimate him soon regret it, often from a hospital bed). This has made him an excellent sidekick to Myron Bolitar, the sports agent-turned-investigator at the forefront of 11 of Coben’s novels thus far.
With Win, the author is trying something completely different. For the first time since readers met Win in 1995, the “preternaturally overconfident” sidekick emerges from the shadows to take center stage. His origin story is a departure from Coben’s Bolitar-universe narrative norm, one that readers will find intriguing thanks to a voice that is less open and more calculating, bolstered by a largely misanthropic worldview.
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Harlan Coben reveals why he finally let Win step into the spotlight.
And Win’s got a lot to say, whether regarding his hedonistic pursuits or why the FBI thinks he knows something about a bizarre murder scene at a wealthy loner’s Manhattan penthouse. The FBI isn’t surprised Win doesn’t know the man, but are curious about two things found near him: a Vermeer painting stolen from the Lockwood family, and a suitcase bearing Win’s initials.
The last time Win saw these items was 20 years prior, around the time his cousin Patricia was kidnapped and held prisoner at an isolated cabin. She escaped, but the case was never solved. Now, it seems this new murder victim was not only connected to Patricia’s terrifying ordeal, but to domestic terrorists who committed multiple as-yet-unsolved crimes 40 years ago.
Ever the investigator, Win delves into the past and casts a critical eye on the present, using his wits and wealth to gain access and information. Coben, as is his wont, raises moral dilemmas readers will enjoy chewing on and pulse-pounding action scenes will keep the pages at least semi-frantically turning. As lies are challenged, secrets are revealed and seemingly impossible decisions made, Win makes it clear that “Life is lived in the grays.”