FOR YEARS Harlan Coben, unsurpassed master of the page-turner, has written two distinct sets of novels.

There are his standalone bestsellers where tragedy strikes a typical American smalltown family and, many twists and turns later, the truth comes tumbling out.

Then there are the hugely entertaining thrillers where sports agent turned detective Myron Bolitar helps damsels in distress.

In recent years the Bolitar novels have merged with the style of the standalones, just as gripping while retaining the cast of loveable regular characters.

Coben’s latest hardback Home could fit into either category: it will delight Myron’s fans while, so long as you skip over the odd piece of back story, enthralling readers of the standalone novels.

The story begins with Myron’s best friend Win, a millionaire playboy and ruthless killer-of-baddies, on a mission in London to find his cousin’s son.

Rhys went missing at the age of six with his playmate Patrick, kidnapped from a mansion, and they haven’t been seen for the 10 years since.

Win’s investigation of a sighting in the King’s Cross red light area leads to the death of several gangsters and, once he summons Myron across the Atlantic, a thrilling rescue.

But only one of 16-year-old boys is recovered, and Win continues the search across Europe as Myron returns to the States.

And that’s all of Coben’s readers will be familiar ground: Myron’s regular cast get their chances to shine in the investigation, yet this is at heart another story of all-American families gone sour.

The pages turn like mad, with several twists of plot, but as usual with Coben this is an intelligent, emotionally-resonant read. While the eventual revelation isn’t particularly original, it is effective.

David Knights