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Chapter One


Just behave.”

“Me?” Myron said. “I’m always a delight.”

Myron Bolitar was being led through the corridor of the darkened Meadowlands Arena by Calvin Johnson, the New Jersey Dragons new general manager. Their dress shoes clacked sharply against the tile and echoed through empty Harry M. Stevens food stands, Carvel Ice Cream carts, pretzel vendors, souvenir booths. The smell of sporting-event hot dogs—that sort of rubbery, chemically, yet nostalgically delicious aroma—wafted from the walls. The stillness of the place consumed them; there is nothing more hollow and lifeless than an empty sports arena.

Calvin Johnson stopped in front of a door leading to a luxury box. “This may all seem a bit strange,” he said. “Just go with the flow, okay?”

“Okay.”

Calvin reached for the knob and took a deep breath. “Clip Arnstein, the owner of the Dragons, is in there waiting for us.”

“And yet I’m not trembling,” Myron said.

Calvin Johnson shook his head. “Just don’t be an ass.”

Myron pointed to his chest. “I wore a tie and ?everything.”

Calvin Johnson opened the door. The luxury box faced midcourt. Several workers were putting down the basketball floor over the hockey ice. The Devils had played the night before. Tonight was the Dragons’ turn. The box was cozy. Twenty-four cushioned seats. Two tele?vision monitors. To the right was a wood-paneled counter for the food—usually fried chicken, hot dogs, po?tato knishes, sausage and pepper sandwiches, that sort of stuff. To the left was a brass cart with a nicely stocked bar and minifridge. The box also had its own bathroom—this so the corporate high rollers would not have to urinate with the great unwashed.

Clip Arnstein faced them, standing. He wore a dark blue suit with a red tie. He was bald with patches of gray over both ears. He was burly, his chest still a barrel after seventy-some-odd years. His large hands had brown spots and fat blue veins like garden hoses. No one spoke. No one moved. Clip glared hard at Myron for several seconds, examining him from head to toe.

“Like the tie?” Myron asked.

Calvin Johnson shot him a warning glance.

The old man made no movement toward them. “How old are you now, Myron?”

Interesting opening question. “Thirty-two.”

“You playing any ball?”

“Some,” Myron said.

“You keep in good shape?”

“Want me to flex?”

“No, that won’t be necessary.”

No one offered Myron a seat and no one took one. Of course the only chairs in here were the spectator seats, but it still felt weird to stand in a business setting where you’re supposed to sit. Standing suddenly became difficult. Myron felt antsy. He didn’t know what to do with his hands. He took out a pen and held it, but that didn’t feel right. Too Bob Dole. He stuck his hands in his pockets and stood at a weird angle, like the casual guy in the Sears circular.

“Myron, we have an interesting proposition for you,” Clip Arnstein said.

“Proposition?” Always the probing interrogatory.

“Yes. I was the one who drafted you, you know.”

“I know.”

“Ten, eleven years ago. When I was with the Celtics.”

“I know.”

“First round.”

“I know all this, Mr. Arnstein.”

“You were a hell of a prospect, Myron. You were smart. You had an unbelievable touch. You were loaded with talent.” “I coulda been a contenda,” Myron said.

Arnstein scowled. It was a famous scowl, developed over some fifty-plus years in professional basketball. The scowl had made its first appearance when Clip played for the now-defunct Rochester Royals in the forties. It grew more famous when he coached the Boston Celtics to numerous championships. It became a legendary trade?mark when he made all the famous trades (“clipping” the competition, ergo the nickname) as team president. Three years ago Clip had become majority owner of the New Jer?sey Dragons and the scowl now resided in East Ruther?ford, right off Exit 16 of the New Jersey Turnpike. His voice was gruff. “Was that supposed to be Brando?”

“Eerie, isn’t it? Like Marlon’s actually in the room.”

Clip Arnstein’s face suddenly softened. He nodded slowly, giving Myron the doelike, father-figure eyes. “You make jokes to cover the pain,” he said gravely. “I understand that.”

Dr. Joyce Brothers.

“Is there something I can do for you, Mr. Arnstein?”

“You never played in a single professional game, did you, Myron?”

“You know very well I didn’t.”

Clip nodded. “Your first preseason game. Third quarter. You already had eighteen points that game. Not bad for a rookie in his first scrimmage. That was when fate took over.”

Fate took the form of big Burt Wesson of the Washington Bullets. There had been a collision, a searing pain, and then nothing.

“Awful thing,” Clip said.

“Uh huh.”

“I always felt bad about what happened to you. Such a waste.”

Myron glanced at Calvin Johnson. Calvin was looking off, arms crossed, his smooth black features a placid pool. “Uh huh,” Myron said again.

“That’s why I’d like to give you another chance.”

Myron was sure he’d heard wrong. “Pardon?”

“We have a slot open on the team. I’d like to sign you.”

Myron waited. He looked at Clip. Then he looked at Calvin Johnson. Neither one was laughing. “Where is it?” Myron asked.

“What?”

“The camera. This is one of those hidden camera shows, right? Is this the one with Ed McMahon? I’m a big fan of his work.”

“It’s not a joke, Myron.”

“It must be, Mr. Arnstein. I haven’t played competitive ball in ten years. I shattered my knee, remember?”

“All too well. But as you said, it was ten years ago. I know you went through rehabilitation to rebuild it.”

“And you also know I tried a comeback. Seven years ago. The knee wouldn’t hold up.”

“It was still too early,” Clip said. “You just told me you’re playing again.”

“Pickup games on weekends. It’s a tad different than the NBA.”

Clip dismissed the argument with a wave of his hand. “You’re in shape. You even volunteered to flex.”

Myron’s eyes narrowed, swerving from Clip to Calvin Johnson, back to Clip. Their expressions were neutral. “Why do I have the feeling,” Myron asked, “that I’m missing something here?”

Clip finally smiled. He looked over to Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson forced up a return smile.

“Perhaps I should be less”—Clip paused, searched for the word—“opaque.”

“That might be helpful.”

“I want you on the team. I don’t much care if you play or not.”

Myron waited again. When no one continued, he said, “It’s still a bit opaque.”

Clip let loose a long breath. He walked over to the bar, opened a small hotel-style fridge, and removed a can of Yoo-Hoo. Stocking Yoo-Hoos. Hmm. Clip had been prepared. “You still drink this sludge?”

“Yes,” Myron said.

He tossed Myron the can and poured something from a decanter into two glasses. He handed one to Calvin Johnson. He signaled to the seats by the glass window. Exactly midcourt. Very nice. Nice leg room too. Even Calvin, who was six-eight, was able to stretch a bit. The three men sat next to one another, all facing the same way, which again felt weird in a business setting. You were supposed to sit across from one another, preferably at a table or desk. Instead they sat shoulder to shoulder, watching the work crew pound the floor into place.

“Cheers,” Clip said.

He sipped his whiskey. Calvin Johnson just held his. Myron, obeying the instructions on the can, shook his Yoo-Hoo.

“If I’m not mistaken,” Clip continued, “you’re a lawyer now.”

“I’m a member of the bar,” Myron said. “I don’t practice much law.”

“You’re a sports agent.”

“Yes.”

“I don’t trust agents,” Clip said.

“Neither do I.”

“For the most part, they’re bloodsucking leeches.”

“We prefer the term ‘parasitic entities,’?” Myron said. “It’s more PC.”

Clip Arnstein leaned forward, his eyes zeroing in on Myron’s. “How do I know I can trust you?”

Myron pointed at himself. “My face,” he said. “It screams trustworthiness.”

Clip did not smile. He leaned a little closer. “What I’m about to tell you must remain confidential.”

“Okay.”

“Do you give me your word it won’t go any farther than this room?”

“Yes.” Clip hesitated, glanced at Calvin Johnson, shifted in his seat. “You know, of course, Greg Downing.”

Of course. Myron had grown up with Greg Downing. From the time they had first competed as sixth graders in a town league less than twenty miles from where Myron now sat, they were instant rivals. When they reached high school, Greg’s family moved to the neighboring town of Essex Fells because Greg’s father did not want his son sharing the basketball spotlight with Myron. The personal rivalry then began to take serious flight. They played against each other eight times in high school, each winning four games. Myron and Greg became New Jersey’s hottest recruits and both matriculated at big-time basketball colleges with a storied rivalry of their own—Myron to Duke, Greg to North Carolina.

The personal rivalry soared.

During their college careers, they had shared two Sports Illustrated covers. Both teams won the ACC twice, but Myron picked up a national championship. Both Myron and Greg were picked first-team All-American, both at the guard spots. By the time they both graduated, Duke and North Carolina had played each other twelve times. The Myron-led Duke had won eight of them. When the NBA draft came, both men went in the first round.

The personal rivalry crashed and burned.

Myron’s career ended when he collided with big Burt Wesson. Greg Downing sidestepped fate and went on to become one of the NBA premier guards. During his ten-year career with the New Jersey Dragons Downing had been named to the All-Star team eight times. He led the league twice in three-point shooting. Four times he led the league in free-throw percentage and once in assists. He’d been on three Sports Illustrated covers and had won an NBA championship.


From the Hardcover edition.

Revue de presse

"Brilliant! Perfect for fans of Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, and everyone else!"—Nancy Pickard, author of I.O.U.

"Fast action, snappy dialogue...[An] enjoyable read."—Toronto Star


From the Paperback edition.



Détails sur le produit

  • CD: 7 pages
  • Editeur : Random House Audio; Édition : Unabridged (6 mars 2007)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0739340980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739340981
  • Dimensions du produit: 13 x 2,8 x 15 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 1.813.444 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Né en 1962, Harlan Coben vit dans le New Jersey avec sa femme et leurs quatre enfants. Diplômé en sciences politiques du Amherst College, il a travaillé dans l'industrie du voyage avant de se consacrer à l'écriture.

Depuis ses débuts en 1995, la critique n'a cessé de l'acclamer. Il est notamment le premier auteur à avoir reçu le Edgar Award, le Shamus Award et le Anthony Award, les trois prix majeurs de la littérature à suspense aux États-Unis. Traduits dans une quarantaine de langues, ses romans occupent les têtes de listes de best-sellers dans le monde entier.

Le premier de ses romans traduit en France, Ne le dis à personne (Belfond, 2002) - prix du polar des lectrices de Elle en 2003 - a obtenu d'emblée un énorme succès auprès du public et de la critique. Succès confirmé avec : Disparu à jamais (2003), Une chance de trop(2004), Juste un regard (2005), Innocent (2006), Promets-moi (2007), Dans les bois (2008), Sans un mot (2009), Sans laisser d'adresse (2010) et Sans un adieu (2010), son premier roman écrit à vingt-cinq ans à peine.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par abigail le 14 février 2010
Format: Poche
C'est le troisième de la série Myron et il est vrai que certaines parties sont un peu répétitives...
Pour le lecteur qui connait les personnages, cela peut être lourd.
Mais ce troisième livre est particulièrement bien ficellé en ce qui concerne les connexions avec le passé de Myron... je n'en dis pas plus :-)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Francois Lemaire le 14 novembre 2008
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Fan de basket NBA, j'ai bien apprécié la partie où le héros se voit proposer un contrat temporaire le temps de résoudre l'affaire, mais au-delà de ça, les personnages sont bien développés et réalistes, l'intrigue tient bien la route sans réserver trop de "deus ex machina" dont Coben est un peu trop friand.
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Third book of the Myron Bolitar series and now it's even more personal as Myron comes to understand that fate wasn't responsible for the major change in his life. Can't say more as I don't want to ruin it for you!

Again, if, like me, you read this series in the order it was written, you may find some aspects repetitive as Coben cannot assume you've read the previous volumes but it is interesting to see how Myron evolves (and scary to see how Win stays exactly the same) the New York/New Jersey humor is there, the plots still gripping and as always, you'll have to wait until the end to understand it all.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 274 commentaires
41 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Four and a half stars... 30 avril 2007
Par Cynthia K. Robertson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I've read a few Harlan Coben books recently and I have thoroughly enjoyed his Myron Bolitar series. In Fade Away, he definitely raises the bar and moves from being not just an entertaining mystery writer, but also a well-written one.

Myron Bolitar is a 32 year old lawyer who runs his own sports agency. At one time, he was one of the top college players in the country. But after being drafted by the Celtics, he blows his knee out in a preseason scrimmage and his potential career is history. Now, the owner and general manager of the New Jersey Dragons want him to find one of their stars, Greg Downing, who has gone missing right before tournaments are to begin. In order not to raise suspicions, they place Bolitar on the team so that he can better investigate what has happened. Downing and Bolitar have been in competition since they were in high school, and it wasn't always about basketball. Bolitar finds many reasons for the possible disappearance of Downing that range from compulsive gambling to possible murder.

When I first started reading Coben, I thought the characters were a little too much like Robert Parker's Spenser and Hawk. But I've come to appreciate them on a new level. As a person who has played and coached basketball, Coben is right on in his observations about the game and the players. In describing Bolitar's complicated relationship with Downing, he says "there is a special bond between competitors. Kinda like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. You become defined by one another. It was like that with Greg and me. It was unspoken, but we both knew the bond was there." TC, the other Dragon star tells Bolitar about the price of being a star. " The real price is you ain't a person anymore. You're just a thing, a shiny thing like one of these Benzes out there. The poor brothers think I'm a golden ladder with goodies at every step up. The rich white boys think I'm a fancy pet."

The plot in Fade Away is also much more intricate than usual, and the ending has a stunner of a surprise. I never saw it coming. The one thing that kept me from giving it five stars is that the plot line where Bolitar is recruited to play is a big stretch. Otherwise, this was a pretty awesome book.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HARLAN HAS DONE IT AGAIN! 14 juin 2000
Par A. Nelson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
First and foremost, I do NOT consider myself a reader of mysteries, UNLESS of course, they are written by Harlan Coben. "Fade Away" is a wonderful example of what a writer can do with character development in a book series. With each book, we learn a little more about Myron Bolitar and what makes him tick - and we always like what we learn. This is the third of Coben's "Myron Bolitar" mysteries that I have read and each one just gets better. By now, I have learned to not try to figure out whodunnit before Myron does, because I will fail misrably. Coben tosses you red herrings like you were a performing seal at SeaWorld. And you will gobble each one up, with enthusiasm! Honestly, I resist the urge to read all of the Bolitar novels at once (even tho' I own them all). Coben's books are like Godiva Chocolates. You love them so much you just hate to gulp them down all at once.
29 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding! 16 février 1998
Par Elaine Cecetka - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Being an avid reader of mysteries, I am thrilled to find an author such as Coben to add to my list of must-reads. Thanks to Amazon.com's recommendation, I first read Fade Away, then scampered to the computer to order the rest of Coben's books. Even if you aren't a sports person, this book will be a joy to read and hard to put down. His characters are interesting and just neurotic enough to be believeable. The reader instantly likes both the hero, Myron, his best friend, the anti-hero, Win, as well as Myron's assistant and girl friend. The plot is intricate and you wonder if it will all be tied together at the end. This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Try it - you won't be disappointed!
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Another great mystery featuring Myron Bolitar 20 novembre 2001
Par "rebecca_n" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
When Myron Bolitar, a sports rep and one time first round draft to the NBA, is signed on by the New Jersey Dragons it isn't so that he can make a comeback. In fact, Bolitar has been signed to track down his teammate and former arch-rival Greg Downing. What he doesn't know when he accepts the job is that far from being a simple missing persons case, this becomes a murder hunt. But, who is the victim, who killed her, what is their motive and, why is someone attempting to blackmail not only Greg, and the team but also Myron himself?
Full of twists and turns the third book in Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series is also full of the usual witty dialogue. Although Myron is of course the protagonist in this story numerous appearances are made by other familiar characters, Jessica, Esperanza, Big Cyndi, Myron's parents and of course Win, and it's great to follow what's going on with them. Don't think that you have to have read the earlier Bolitar books to get into this though, it's a great stand alone novel but once you've read it I wouldn't be surprised if you wanted to read the rest.
I initially bought this book to pass time on a train journey but still found myself reading it that evening long after I was home and I finished it the following day. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery novel. If you're new to Coben I'd say read these great books and then don't miss his great thriller Tell No One.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Myron Bolitar Series 19 décembre 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I've read four of the books in this series. The author writes well, and his characters are engaging, but he needs to change it up a bit, or Myron and Win will soon become stale. This is the fate that befalls many a series, whether it's Jack Reacher or James Bond. There's only so much you can do with a protagonist, and still keep him or her fresh.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the books, but I feel that they will eventually run their course, and I'll be looking for new blood.
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