Cover Image: The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods

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Member Reviews

Yes, I too am one of those people who would have loved to know more about Wilde's origins. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. Being my first Harlan Coben book, this one didn't disappoint. I loved the power-packed character of Hester Crimstein. 
The setting was perfect and the execution was methodical. I am definitely going to read other titles by Harlan Coben.
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This was a great read, enjoyed it thoroughly, was hooked from the first page, loads of twists and turns, would recommend it x
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Netgalley is a great way to read an author's books I haven't previously tried. The problem then becomes I add so many books to your to-be-read pile! I really enjoyed this mystery/thriller and while it was slow in parts, overall it kept me interested right to the end. Like other reviewers here, I was expecting to find out more about the actual 'boy from the woods' from the blurb and title, but it seems this may become a series and if so it would be good to have more of the back story of Wilde himself.
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I really liked this book. I'm a Coben fan, and this one didn't disappoint. No wonder it was picked up by Netflix.
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They found a boy in the woods. Alone, without a past. They called him Wilde. And now he is a special investigator. Young Naomi vanishes and then also young boy from wealthy familiy with political connections. Are these cases connected?

Great thriller as always. Characters are interesting, story flows, highly recommended!
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Even though I did buy a physical copy of this book, I would still like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy of this book. 

Not a bad book overall, but honestly not my favourite Harlan Coben novel. 
I found certain elements of the story intriguing but in other parts, the plot dragged more then it should of done. The parts that I enjoyed were gripping, fast-paced and certainly kept me guessing. 
Hester Crimstein has been in the background of other books, but I definitely prefer her front and center. She is a stong woman not to be messed with, and her use of the word 'articulate' make me smile. 
Wilde was also a character that I definitely rooted for! 
And with a rather satisfying ending, this one is certainly worth a read.
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The Boy from the Woods is a compulsive stand-alone thriller set in New Jersey, about the investigation into a missing teenager and how it connects to a sinister politician. I’ve read various of Coben’s novels over the years, with mixed results, but when he’s good, he’s very good, and this one had me glued to my Kindle, desperate to know what was going on. It introduces an intriguing new hero with an unusual backstory, but you do need a heavy suspension of disbelief and several questions are left unanswered so I do hope that there will be a follow-up.

When a lonely bullied girl from a posh high school disappears, and nobody seems to care, kindhearted fellow-student Matthew asks his feisty grandmother, celebrity lawyer Hester Crimstein, to look into it. Hester brings in family friend Wilde, an ex-military investigator who thirty years earlier was found living alone in the woods and was then adopted by a local couple but has never fully adjusted to “normal” life. The missing girl is found, only to vanish again, but this time the son of a wealthy TV producer is also gone, and Wilde finds links to a rising Senator with a gift for manipulation, his eye on the presidency, and a plan to destabilise the country. Can Hester and Wilde find the missing teens in time, and should they even intervene when letting the conspiracy play out could save millions of lives?

This had a complicated plot with multiple storylines going on, several of which turned out to be either irrelevant or ultimately unresolved - this certainly didn’t spoil the tension, but just means we need a sequel! I don’t remember if Hester actually features in “Run Away” or what the point of mentioning the Simon Greene case was, unless it was just to place these events into a pre-covid timeline. She’s a great character and I enjoyed her flirty geriatric romance with hunky police chief Oren. Wilde seemed rather too good to be true - even his neat-freak tendencies are turned into a positive when he spontaneously cleans out his lover’s car - swoon! We learn that he’s not much of a driver (again, a positive in that he actually admits to this), is a poor shot with a gun and a bit of a man-whore, but nobody seems to mind. I guess the commitment-phobia could be viewed as a negative but even then it never did James Bond any harm!

Reading this the week before the most polarising American election ever, I found the cynical political analysis to be the most chilling aspect of this - Coben is onto something with the horseshoe theory of Left and Right extremism. The ethical questions raised by the dilemmas facing both Hester and Wilde were fascinating. I also found the casual way bullying is treated by everyone at the school profoundly depressing in that it seems completely normal over there.
Overall this was a highly enjoyable read with some unpredictable twists and a satisfying ending (other than not revealing the mystery about Wilde himself which after all the build-up was a bit annoying.)
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the post-publication review copy, which allowed me to give an honest review. The Boy from the Woods is available now.
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I had a mixed feeling about this book. It wasn't what I expected coming in - given Wilde's background, I was anticipating high-action thriller adventure. But this was more of a hard-hitting contemporary drama with some side mystery.

The entire book was 2 stars up till the last 10% or so. I really liked the ending, but to be honest with you, I didn't really care much about the teenage dramas and the multi-generational bullying issues (don't get me wrong, it's a very important topic to discuss. I just didn't care much about it in the story context).

Character wise, I liked Hester very much. But aside from her, I didn't really connect with anyone else, not even Wilde (ok, maybe I liked Rola a bit, despite of her minuscule appearance in the book). I thought Matt and his mum would've made more appearances, so I was disappointed.

At the end of the book, I felt the story had just started. All the time investment spent on Wilde's background made me think that this could be just a setup for more stories. Although the book hadn't been marketed as the first book of a series (at least, not to my knowledge), I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. And to be honest, I probably wouldn't mind checking out more Wilde stories.
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What a relief - Harlan Coben returns to his brilliant best. Dark, twisty and full of superbly realised characters. 

As we’ve come to expect the plotting is top drawer and the denouement will send you in many directions, most of which are designed to distract from the brilliant conclusion.

It’s a pleasure to give this praise to a giant of the genre.
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É maravilhoso, como todo livro do Harlan.
Todo fã precisa ler, e quem não é, se ler vai virar huahauhauhaa.

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A fast and thrilling read with lots going on and many sub-plots, an abandoned child now a confused man, American politics, conspiracy theories, another missing child, secrets and lies. 
If you like a crazy whirlwind of a complex story this is for you. It just didn't sit well with me and I found it too unrealistic, had no real attachment to the characters and frankly thought the whole thing just too unbelievable to connect with.
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It's a long time since I have read any Harlan Coben, and I really enjoyed this stand-alone thriller. Wilde was an intriguing character who I could see  becoming a series, and the twists in this kept you guessing until the end.
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It’s been a while since I’ve read something from Harlan Coben but I know I do usually thoroughly enjoy his works. This one, however, was a little average for me. The main storyline was good: missing children, teenage plots, ransoms and political undercurrents - all intriguing and I definitely wanted to get to the ending. And, when I finally got to the last chapters, I couldn’t stop reading! But... the subplots, the relationships, the characters’ backgrounds: they all felt like filler to me - I just wasn’t interested. I didn’t feel any particular pull towards any of the characters; Hester was the best but still I found her background and dating life a little tedious. Still, the ending ALMOST made up for it and I loved it (I’m not talking about the last page, more the last chapters). Overall worth reading but not one of Coben’s best.

*I received an advance review copy of The Boy from the Woods from the publisher through NetGalley.
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A Harlan Coben book never disappoints. This one is no exception, although I felt it left me with unanswered questions. I want to know more about Wilde. Where did he come from and how long had he been in the woods as a child? He has the potential to be a long running character, so I guess some mystery will keep me reading. As a standalone story this has some dark undercurrents and a sinister storyline. Who to trust? What tapes do the Maynards have that potential Presidential candidate Rusty Eggers could fear? What is the link between the two missing teenagers - are they together? Seemingly superficial but becoming dark and chilling.And with some obvious links to real life.  #netgalley #theboyfromthewoods
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This really is a book that can be read in a single sitting, this story by the very talented Harlan Coben was simply brilliant, a well written story, with an interesting plot and just the right amount of twists.  I have read a few books by this author before and the quality never falters, ‘The Boy in the woods”  is one of the best I’ve read so far. 

I look forward to reading more.
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30 years ago a boy was found in the woods. No one knew how long he had been there and he could not remember. Wilde would become a security expert and when Hester his former friend’s mother calls to look for a missing child he cannot refuse. This leads to another child missing and a ransom for hidden tapes. Murder from the past rears it’s ugly head in the present and no one will escape its touch. This is a well plotted thriller that keeps you twisting and turning down different roads. You follow Wilde and even wait with baited breath when he try’s to find his own family history. Many a twist at the end will keep you guessing.
I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben is now a man called Wilde.  He doesn't remember anything before being in the woods, and his memories tell him he way there for years.

Wilde's now grown, joined the army, served, and now is living back near where he was found.  He's asked to help with finding a teenager that his godson knows.  Hester, his godson's grandmother, and mother of Wilde's late best friend, is a lawyer who also joins in to help.

It's a fast paced thriller, with story lines about politics, family, and bullying.   There's romance for an older couple, which is unusual to see, and so good it's being normalised.

I found the book enjoyable, but it felt like there was previous story I was missing, or that it was the start of a series.  Having a read around, it sounds like at least one of the characters (Hester) have been in other Harlan Coben books, which might explain that feeling.

 The Boy from the Woods  was published on 3rd September 2020, and you can order it from  Amazon ,  Waterstones , or your  local independent bookshop .

You can follow Harlan Coben on his  website ,  Twitter ,  Instagram  and  Facebook .

I was given this book in return for an unbiased review, so my thanks to NetGalley and to  Random House  Cornerstone.
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4 Stars
(3.5 stars plus 0.5 for good pacing)

My first book by Harlan Coben. The prose is adequate, but uninspired. Wilde is not a philospher detective, so there are not many quotations here.

The character development is again adequate, serving only the plot.

The dialogue is mostly good, serving the plot without dragging the pacing.

The twists in the story are also adequate, and clues come together as the story progresses, so the info-dump at the end is not massive, but adequate.

The final twist is wrapped up in pretty paper with a nice pink bow. [Trumpet sounds here, Coben takes a bow]

Not a bad book, and the pacing (as I said) is very good.

Notes and quotes:

Full size image here

Wilde's eco-home
The structure resembled a giant dinosaur egg, though Wilde, using five different matte colors, had painted it camouflage to keep it hidden from view. The total living space was small, under seventy square feet, one room, but it had all he needed—a kitchenette with a cooking plate and mini fridge, a full bathroom with water-saving faucet and showerhead and an incinerator toilet, which turned waste into ash [and toxic gasses]. The furniture was build-ins—table, cabinets, storage, a folding bed that could be either a twin or double—all made from lightweight honeycomb panels with an ash-wood veneer finish. The egg exterior was made from insulated fiberglass shells overlaid on a steel framework. The Ecocapsule was—no reason to pretend otherwise—supercool. There were those who would assume from the dwelling that Wilde must be an “eco-nut” or extremist. He wasn’t. The capsule gave him privacy and protection. It was self-sustainable and thus totally off the grid. There were photovoltaic power cells on the roof and a pole with a wind turbine that could be mounted when he needed more battery charge. The spheroid shape made collecting rainwater easy, but if there was a dry spell, Wilde could add water by any source—lake, stream, a hose, whatever. The water would then be cleaned via reverse-osmosis water filters and UV LED lamp, making it instantly potable. The storage tank and water heater were adequate for one man, though Wilde would confess to enjoying luxuriating under Laila’s jet-propulsion showerhead and seemingly limitless supply of hot water. There was no washer and dryer, no microwave, no television. He didn’t really care. His electronic needs consisted of a laptop and phone, which were easy enough to power up in the capsule. There were no thermostats or light switches—all of those sorts of functions were performed via the smart-home app. The pod was also easy to put on a trailer and move, something Wilde did every few weeks or months, even if the move was only fifty or a hundred yards.
Have you heard of the Ghost Army in World War Two?” 
Wilde had. “The Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops.”
This probably explains Rudolph Giulianni
For three years he was beloved and famous. Then, poof, it was over. Like many, he ended up fighting the withdrawal pains from two of society’s most potent addictions—drugs and fame. People underestimate the power of that bright, warm beacon known as fame—and how dark and cold it gets when that beacon goes out.
Quote from Werner Herzog. "You know who he is?” 
“The German film director.” 
“Right. He said that America was waking up, as Germany once did, to the awareness that one-third of our people will kill onethird of our people while one-third of our people watches.”

Harlan Coben and wife, Anne

Full size image here
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This book was my first by the author and I finished this book in one go. The storyline, the subplots, the unexpected climax, all of it were extremely engaging and kept me invested in the book. The writing was easy to follow even with the constant switch of povs. Definitely looking forward to the next in the series(I really hope there is one).
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While still an okay read, this book was mostly a frustrating tease - It felt like nothing, including the characters.  ever developed in great enough detail to have any real impact. It would give you a little bit of something plot-wise, then take the next six chapters to get around to it, or have it go nowhere.  Overall, I found it disappointing.
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