Win by Harlan Coben Review

For hardcore Coben fans, Win is the proverbial release of a long-held breath, the first novel (and the start of a new series) solely from the perspective of Windsor Horne Lockwood III — after twelve years. Let that sink in a moment. For others (like me), who are relatively new to Coben, there’s been less of a drumroll buildup. But whether you’re a Coben veteran or newbie, Win is literary popcorn — cinematic entertainment that keeps you going back for “just one more chapter.”

Windsor Horne Lockwood III (that’s a mouthful, so he’s Win for short) is a billionaire playboy who likes to take the law into his own hands with some vigilante justice a la Green Arrow’s Oliver Queen. Win oozes the kind of white male privilege that puts him squarely in the category of antihero. But you don’t have to like everything this guy does to find him fascinating to read about. And, for all his flaws (and there are many), Win is essentially a (well, not exactly) good guy who channels his latent violence toward punishing the psychopaths of the world. Basically, he’s a high-functioning sociopath who goes after straight-up psychopaths. And like other antiheroes (Batman and James Bond come to mind), Win provides us with the kind of gung-ho entertainment that’s hard to resist. With possible hints of a redemption arc (and don’t we like a fixer-upper).

Set in New York, the story kicks off when Win is escorted to the scene of a murder. Turns out the police figure him for a suspect because in the man’s bedroom (a recluse who’s turned his penthouse into something straight out of Hoarders) hangs the Vermeer that was stolen from Win’s family in an art heist decades earlier and in his closet sits a suitcase with Win’s initials. More than a thief, however, the dead hoarder was a domestic terrorist, a member of the most infamous radical group of the 1960s, the Jane Street Six. But Win knows one detail the police don’t, his suitcase ties back to his heiress cousin and her kidnapping years earlier. A detail that might just be Win’s ticket into solving two of the most confounding cold cases in decades — finding the remaining members of the Jane Street Six and his cousin’s kidnappers.

A fast-paced, action-packed thriller with a great cast of secondary characters, more twists than a spiral and at every turn engrossing.

Book: Win 
Published: Century
Pages: 371
Publication Date: March 18th, 2021
Stars: 4.5/5

Penguin Random House kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.

For more about great new books and inspiring authors, read The Penguin Post, a magazine from Penguin Random House South Africa.


  1. Wow, if the book is as well written as your review, it will be pure joy! I did read a few Harlan Coben books (back in the day) and remember enoying them. Thank you for bringing this to the book lover’s attention!

    Liked by 1 person

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