Lydia Kiesling in The Guardian:
“I’m in a self-hatred mode right now, actually,” the New York Times-bestselling author Harlan Coben tells me on the phone. “I’m writing a little slower than I want to be writing.”
It’s odd to hear this from a man whose biography is studded with the kind of numbers that torture the more penurious sort of writers. He’s written 27 novels, seven of them New York Times No 1 bestsellers. He has 60m books in print in 41 languages, and his advances are well into seven figures. He’s won the big three in mystery awards – the Edgar, the Shamus and the Anthony. The blockbuster French film based on his novel, Tell No One, was nominated for nine Cesars.
In short, Harlan Coben has more readers, and makes more money, than every writer I follow on Twitter combined.
Readers first fell in love with Coben in the 1990s through Myron Bolitar, a hapless former basketball star who solves mysteries with a waspy sociopath named Win.Coben’s atmospheric, twist-laden stand-alone novels cemented his popularityand earned him an annual spot at the top of the bestseller lists. The latest of these, The Stranger, which comes out in the United States and United Kingdom today, documents desperate acts in a serene suburban hamlet populated with lacrosse moms, and grapples with technological and moral dilemmas taken straight from the headlines.
Coben’s gregarious and voluble personality stands in a direct contrast to his occasionally grim books.