Cover Image: Win

Win

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I think I have a new favourite author now in Harlan Coben. I have so often seen his books but never got around to reading any of them until Win appeared on Netgalley.

It is such a great read - a brilliant mystery with a fascinating central character and so many hilarious and witty one-liners at the same time.

The story begins with Win, the main character, planning an attack on someone as a payback for something they have done (we gradually get to find out why exactly Win is going after this person).

Win is such an intriguing character. He is someone who admittedly thrives on violence but at the heart of what he does is a sense of social justice and trying to stand up for the underdog in society. As a reader coming across him for the first time, I wasn't quite sure at first what I made of him. But he grew on me consistently as the book progressed. I was definitely on his side.

Win is from an immensely posh and rich family, and his way of life is completely alien to that of most people. I loved the portrayal of his relationships with various relatives, especially his father.

At the heart of the book is a mystery involving a dead man and some stolen paintings - and a historical tragedy in the family that remains something of a mystery years later. As Win gets to the bottom of the mystery, he reveals a staggering truth about his family's past.

There are lots of very well-written and complex characters in the book. And the writing in general is really brilliant. There were several times when I had to stop and read a line out loud to my partner because I was so taken with them.

I was maybe a bit too happy when I discovered, after finishing the book, that Win is in fact a more minor character in a series of books by Coben, meaning there are lots more to read.

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This is my first HC book, and I cant say this is going to enthuse me to look further. I just found it very ordinary, but above all, it was the 'asides to the audience' littered throughout the book that annoyed me most...initially funny, they quickly turned into frustrating, needless comments...the book reads well though, although lacks any sustained excitement. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read an ARC of this book.

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You cannot go wrong with a Harlan Coben. It is always gripping, has a good plot and contemporary in its themes. This one is all three. Win from being a side character becomes the main. You might not like him but he does his job as key investigator extremely well. A good read with a well developed plot

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I'm assuming our lead in Coben's latest novel, Win, was introduced in the Myron Bolitar series and as this is labelled Windsor Horne Lockwood III #1, I'm figuring it's a spinoff.

And that excites me because I really loved this book. I adored Win. I adored Coben's conversational style of writing. It felt like he was writing in second person, as if Win was telling 'us' his story. It was engaging and funny and Win, as a narrator, is unabashedly arrogant and elitist. If the plot had been a little less coincidental / contrived this might have been a five star read for me, but instead Mr Coben will have to settle for 4.5 stars.

The blurb here is a little misleading as the theft of the two priceless paintings owned by the Lockwood family takes place at a gallery almost eight months before Patricia's father is killed and she's kidnapped. There's been no evidence the two events are linked until now. The discovery of the suitcase (Patricia was forced to pack the night she was taken) at the apartment of a dead man with the Vermeer on his wall binds the two cases together.

On top of that, once the dead man is identified, a third case is brought into the mix. It's an old case, resulting from a peace protest in the early 1970s. A group (later known as the James Street Six) planned to burn down a hall before a USO dance. The hall was empty but their actions inadvertently resulted in bus accident that killed seven people. The six protesters fled and all but one disappeared.

And as fate (or luck) would have it, the deceased man was a member of the group; bringing together three separate, seemingly unrelated events, converging in a Bermuda Triangle like way.

It also means the motivation for the murder is murky and the suspects many. It could be family members of those killed fifty years earlier seeking revenge; it could could linked to the theft of the paintings; OR related to the murder of Patricia's father and her kidnapping.

If Win is as addictively irreverent as he is here in the Myron Bolitar series, I'm going to have to go and read them all. He's astoundingly haughty and so, so wonderful.

He introduces himself to readers by describing (in minute detail) what he's wearing, ending with:

"I am quite the rake.
I am also, for those missing the subtext, rich." p 2

I loved everything about his character, despite his obvious penchant for violence and retribution—not to mention his arrogance—because Coben offers us a droll and weirdly guileless man of incredible privilege who happily acknowledges that fact.

"I am not a good sympathetic ear, but I try very hard to appear like one. I try to nod in all the right places. I try to look concerned and mortified. My resting face, if you will allow me to use that annoying colloquialism again, is either disinterested or haughty. I struggle thus to engage and look caring. It takes some effort, but I believe that I'm pulling it off." p 44

Because Win is our narrator, the thoughts, the words and the phrasing readers are offered are all his and he's a witty, warm and honest host. He's certainly one of my favourite characters—offering delicious thoughts and observations—I've met for some time.

However...  the unfolding mystery involving the dead man and three now-related cases meant there's already a lot happening here. I wasn't sure therefore, we needed the fallout of Win's extracurricular activities. I gather Win's 'night tours' and vigilantism is part of his schtick, so I understand it's useful for newcomers (like moi) to learn that about him. But if it's introduced to demonstrate his fighting skills and his ability to be brutally indifferent then, I'm not sure it was necessary.

That aside and the slightly subdued end to the plot, I loved Win and everything about him. And I cannot wait for more. *Makes note to get hold off the Myron Bolitar series*

4.5 stars

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If you've read any of the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben you'll be familiar with Myron's best friend, the mysterious and dangerous billionaire Windsor Horne Lockwood III, aka Win. Win is an absolute mad man, a morally gray vigilante who does lots of bad things for lots of good reasons. I love him sometimes, I hate him sometimes, but I always want to know more.

Although he's been a side character in many of the Bolitar books, this is the first book from his point of view, and we really get inside his head. First person, present tense, with occasional narration aimed directly at the reader puts us right in the thick of the action, dragging us on a mystery that dredges up some family history and heinous acts. His cousin, Patricia Lockwood was kidnapped the night her father was shot, abused in the Hut of Horrors, where many young girls had been killed before her. She escapes, but there's no closure, the bad guys are never found. Twenty years later, her suitcase is recovered, along with some priceless artwork - stolen from Win's family at a different point in time. The thief? Well he's dead, and appears to be a domestic terrorist who has alluded the FBI for decades, along with his entire crew... so what the hell is going on? Win gets dragged in to this rather personal mystery and has to delve deep into some pretty dark secrets.

There are twists and turns and you'll be turning the pages to find out. The pace is fast and I did not predict the ending.

I do think that this book hooked me because of my decades of enjoying Harlan Coben's works, because of my love for Myron Bolitar and my excitement at a glimpse into Win's world. I enjoyed really getting to know Win, but if you've never read any of the history behind this character, I wonder if it'll just come off like a weird billionaire vigilante doing the FBI's job for them, mostly by being rich and asking questions, occasionally with a bit of an ass-whooping. For me, Win's character - and my history with that character from Coben's previous books - was stronger than the plot, but it's still a good read. I've given it four stars and will definitely read the next book in this series.

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I’ve not read Harlan Coben for some years having enjoyed his earlier work, bit disappointed with the more recent books.

This one though feels like he is back to his previous firm and although Win is not a particularly pleasant character he is rather intriguing and I did like his unusual methods, financial and otherwise, to get to the bottom of the mysteries.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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REVIEW; ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Win - Harlan Coben
🏀🥋🛫🏢🎞⛓🪣📇 🧩

Oh Harlan, you’ve done it again. There’s a reason you’re one of my favourite authors. Everytime I pick up one of your masterpieces, I can’t put it down. & any break I have, I’m analyzing & questioning everything.

Win is the first book in Harlan’s new series, focusing on Windsor Horne Lockwood III - who just so happens to be the billionaire friend of Myron Bolitor - who heads up his own 10 book series.

Win is a kind-of, sort-of maybe-not Vigilante, who is on a mission to discover the truth when a reclusive hoarder ends up dead.
Who is this man? & why does he have a famous painting that was stolen from the Lockwood’s many years prior? & more importantly, why does he have a personalized suitcase with Win’s initials engraved onto it?

The story links a modern day Murder, an FBI cold case & also the murder of Win’s uncle, & kidnap & rape of his cousin Patricia.

Edge 👏🏼 Of 👏🏼 My 👏🏼 Seat

All hail King Coben

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it’s nice to get a back-story on Win, although the absence of Myron is noticeable. The book was well put together as expected, and kept giving to the last page.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book.

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I think Harlan Coben is a brilliant writer, this book is no exception.

Told in the first person from Win's point of view,

He takes us back in time to the murder of his uncle Aldrich

When a family artwork stolen previously is recovered.

When the body of a man wanted for domestic terrorism in the 70's is discovered.

I ripped through this book,

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Win by Harlan Coben
Having read other stories by Harlan Coben featuring Myron Bolitar I had encountered Win, or Windsor Horne Lockwood III, before. The opening of this story establishes Win’s extreme wealth and power. It also focuses on his preferred way of answering a phone by stating “Articulate.” This therefore makes him, for me, an irritating character.
We see how he uses his own form of violence to mete out the justice he does not believe the legal system can deliver. We then however see how he is prepared to pursue justice for his cousin Patricia for all of the events which she was subjected to when she was abducted as a young teenager. It is a complicated plot dealing as it does with a hippie plot which went badly wring in the seventies, an art theft during which a Picasso and a Vermeer were stolen and the death of a number of young girls.
It is fast paced and you are keen to understand the events which took place. I did not feel involved with Win, even though I wished him success in tracing the perpetrators. It was an entertaining read but not one of my favourites by Harlan Coben. Many thanks to the author, the publishers and Net Galley for the opportunity to read the book in return for an honest review.

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I have only read one book by Harlan Coben and I was so excited to start reading another. This is my first time reading about Win and I loved this antihero and his complexity.
The novel was full of action and intrigue and I enjoyed the added romance

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Wow.

Win is (pardon the pun) a winner in my book. Don't get me wrong, the eponymous hero is borderline unlikeable, but for the most part, keeps to the right side of that line.

But the depth of character development for him is fabulous. More layers than an onion.

And that's before you even get to the multi faceted story line!

Simply wonderful writing. Completely engrossing plot. Some unexpected revelations. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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This is a humdinger of a crime thriller, packed with interconnected mysteries, interesting characters, fascinating snippets and loads of red herrings. Win is the first in a new series featuring fabulously wealthy Windsor Horne Lockwood III , or Win. Who doesn’t like to read about the super-rich who can summon up Lear jets, or seats to the game, on command? Win even belongs to a fascinating dating programme for the well-heeled. Talk about how the other half live!
I didn’t warm to Win at all. There isn’t much to admire about him. He’s obnoxious and violent. He likes to attack first and speak/think later, and his actions often have unintended consequences.. He’s only really human in his relationship with his father, the one person with whom he shows empathy and caring. He does, however, have a great sense of wit and humour.
Win is called in when an old hoarder is found dead because a valuable painting, owned by Win’s family and stolen in an art heist, is recovered at the scene. What possible connection could there be? And so Coben sets up an intriguing tale of protest, unintended death, theft and abuse that ranges from the 60s to the present day.
What is the link between the old Hut of Horrors crime, and the hoarder? And what happened to those domestic terrorists from the 60s? And why is Win part of the story?
This is a thoroughly enjoyable, gripping book, and I look forward to the next in the series.

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I really enjoy Harlan Coben's books and have read most of the Myron Bolitar stories. Although Win was Bolitar's friend in that series, I did not enjoy him as the main character in this book. The humour helps but I found Win too extreme and self centred. I suspect the character will develop within the series especially his relationship with his daughter.
This is an honest review of a complementary ARC.

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A painting and a suitcase are found at a murder scene and both have been missing for over twenty years and both belong to the Lockwood family. They come with a story that can only be described as puzzling, but Windsor Horne Lockwood the Third has never been more motivated to solve this family riddle that has been a cloud over his family for more than two decades.
In his first starring role we get to see the inside life of Win and his articulate mind.
Harlan Coben has once again produced a novel of the highest quality, with a great main character and the authors amazing ability to leave the reader guessing until the very end. This book can only be described as unputdownable. Truly outstanding.

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What can I say about Harlan Coben that hasn’t already been said countless times? He is a master of writing. I have read a lot of his books previous to this including the ones featuring Myron Bolitar (who is mentioned several times in this book). Win is his best friend and has worked alongside him several times.

I really liked the fact that Win got the starring role in his own story this time and we came to know the character in a more in depth way. I am sure a lot of people won’t take to him as a person as he is fairly obnoxious, filthy rich and has a way with words! Personally, I love him as a character and this is the perfect storyline for him.

Stolen paintings, a murder and a previous abduction and assault all feature along with a mystery suitcase, a murky past and several twists. I wasn’t sure where it was going and how it would end, which for me is just perfect. This is what Harlan Coben is all about. He keeps you guessing right until the very end.

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Harlan Coben has done it again. I have been reading Mr Cobens books for many years now and he has never disappointed. This time it’s a new series with Windsor Horne Lockwood III who has been in previous novels with Myron Bolirtar. But this is all about Windsor or Win for short.

Win is a man who gets what he wants and when he wants it, I’m not sure if I liked his character or not. He is rich, doesn’t always abide by the law. Win is called on by the FBI who take him to a crime scene where someone has been murdered, do they suspect him? Or are they just fishing? What they did find is a painting which a Vermeer which is worth a few million dollars, it was stolen from Win’s family along with another painting years earlier. Along with the painting and the dead body there is a suitcase with Win’s initials on it, a suitcase that he had been given when he was younger. Who is the dead body? How is the painting and suitcase there? Where is the other painting stolen at the same time. But this is just part of the story.

The other part looks into the kidnapping of Win’s cousin Patricia Lockwood 20 years earlier, she had managed to escape the kidnappers but was still traumatised by it.

Win decides to investigate for himself, if you have read the Myron Bolitar novels this is a book you may have been waiting for.

As usual Mr Coben weaves a great plot that keeps you on your toes. I look forward to reading more in this new series, maybe I will warm to Win a little more over time!

I would like to thank #Netgalley and #RandomHouseUK #Cornerstone for an ecosystem of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

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The good thing about meeting Win for the first time in this novel is that I have discovered there are lots of other books about him that I can read as well!
I always like an antihero and Win is one of the best, despite the gruesome details I am still smiling at his comments and enjoying the twists and turns of the plot. A hugely satisfying read

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4.5⭐️

Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III book #1) is the beginning to a brilliant new series with a complex and complicated protagonist.

The protagonist Windsor Horne Lockwood III (Win) is old money. He’s complex, complicated, analytical, methodical and detached. He’s also a vigilante. The perfect antihero.

A dead man has items in his possession linked to a crime that involved Win’s family decades ago. And Win wants answers not just about then but also about now. Win isn’t constrained by the rules of law enforcement, he has no rules he’s needs to follow. He’s got means and the type of personality and skill set that means before too long he’s taken the law into his own hands.

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I always look forward to Harlan Coben’s books and this one is another great one. We meet again Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood), who has appeared in previous stories as the best friend of Myron Bolitar. But this time, Win is the central character of the novel.
Starting with the discovery of a body surrounded by tons of hoarded possessions, which include a painting and a suitcase belonging to Win, the story carries on with many twists and turns. Win uses all his detective-vigilante talents and all his connections to dig into old secrets and discover the truth, which turns out to be uncomfortably close to home. As usual, the style of Harlan Coben is a pleasure to read, and in this book I enjoyed in particular the internal dialogue of Win, who does lots of wrongs to right other wrongs. He definitely is an interesting and strangely attractive character.
I enjoyed this new story by Harlan Coben and I cannot wait now for the next one. Hopefully Win will continue to feature in them because he definitely has talent.
Thank you to Netgalley, Random House UK and the author for giving me the pleasure of reading this book on an advance readers copy.

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