Saturday 27 March 2021

Book ~ "Win" (2021) Harlan Coben

From GoodreadsOver twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family's estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped but so did her captors - and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.

Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead - not only on Patricia's kidnapping, but also on another FBI cold case - with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.

Windsor Horne Lockwood III - or Win, as his few friends call him - doesn't know how his suitcase and his family's stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism - and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn't: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.

Win is a very rich man who is able to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants.  When a "hermit" is found dead in his penthouse apartment, Win wonders why the police contact him and take him to the man's apartment.  It soon becomes clear when Win sees a painting that had been stolen from his family more than twenty years ago along with a small suitcase that was given to him by an aunt.  

His uncle, Aldrich, had been murdered more than 20 years ago, a murder that had never been solved.  At that time, a couple paintings the family had lent to a university had been stolen ... and it's one of these paintings that was found in the hermit's apartment (the other painting is still missing).  The same night Aldrich was murdered, his teenage daughter, Patricia (Win's cousin), was kidnapped and told to pack a suitcase ... it's the same suitcase that was found in the hermit's apartment.  Patricia was held in the "Hut of Horrors" and tortured and raped for months and managed to escape.  She's moved on with her life by helping abused girls and women.

Win's friend, PT, who may or may not be still in the FBI, asks Win to find out what's going on since Win will be able to do things that the FBI and police aren't legally able to.  As Win digs, he discovers that the hermit may be part of the infamous Jane Street Six, a group that had been rebelling against the Vietnam  War to disastrous results and no one ever saw again.

There's a lot going on in this book and it's fairly convoluted ... but it all comes together and made sense in the end.  I found it a bit slow to get going but it picked up after a while.  It is written in first person perspective in Win's voice and at times he's speaking to us, the reader.  I know that Win is very rich and very arrogant but I found his demeanor and arrogance over the top, unlikable and annoying.  

There were many references to Win's good (and only?) friend, Myron Bolitar, though he never makes an appearance.  There is a series featuring Myron written by this author and apparently Win is one of the characters (I haven't read any).  I'm assuming this is the first spin-off of a new series featuring Win.  I found the constant references to Myron strange as it didn't seem to add anything to the story.

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