Cover Image: The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods

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Member Reviews

Oh where to start! Harlan Coben is one of my all time favourite writers and I actually squealed when I was approved for an early copy of The Boy From The Woods.  So no pressure Mr Coben,  no pressure. I knew that I had to be free of other commitments when I picked up this book. Absolutely pleased to report that this book is fantastic 🤗

Not going to talk too much about the plot for this one. I did not know too much about it going in and left it all to be a surprise.  There are wonderful surprises for long time Coben fans. This is a stand alone book most definitely. I do hope that Wilde is a character that we will meet again soon. I really enjoyed reading about him and would love for more. He is a very different character and one you won’t forget in a hurry,

This is a story of missing children, political scandal, family and money. It is constantly moving story that leaves you little time for recovery from the last revelation. It twists so many times you will never guess the ending. 

I can not recommend this book or Harlan Coben enough. Thank you so much to Random House UK, Cornerstone Century and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased
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I’ve always liked books by Harlen Coben and have watched his two adaptations on Netflix. This book didn’t disappoint. 
A tale of mystery, political intrigue and scandal, it keeps you hooked from the start.
What is the story of the boy from the woods and what is his connection to a well known respected lawyer? 
What scandal surrounds Rusty Eggers, the up and coming presidential candidate and can it destroy his chances? 
Lots of questions which you eventually find the answers to and it makes you want to keep reading! 
If you like a good mystery you’ll love this!
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Once again Harlen Coben has graced us with another brilliant action packed novel!

Just what we've come to grow and love, you are taken on a roller coaster ride with many things going on at once, overlapping and tying in knots but which all come together brilliantly at the finale.

A downside for me was that I didnt 'feel'this novel like all the others before it. I'm definitely an Emotional Reader and this one just didnt grip me in the way they have in the past. I didnt get that all consuming feeling of needing to know what happens next there and then.

In my opinion this will be a whole lot better on screen, it's full of action, twists and turns but its just a bit too unbelievable. 


Huge thanks to netgalley and Random House UK for the ARC.
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This is such a hard review to write....
The author, Harlan Coben, is a hugely successful thriller writer so, having been absolutely gripped by "The Stranger" on Netflix - based on one of his books but relocated from the US to England - I thought I'd be in for a treat.
What a disappointment! While the plot itself is a good enough basis for a decent story (no spoilers here), the characters are shallow and barely credible and the dialogue seems to revolve around wisecracks and smart alec remarks, even at the most inappropriate moments. It sounds like a bunch of adolescents desperately trying to be "cool."
This may be because the New York style conversation grates on my British ears, who knows? Whatever the reason, I felt it detracted from the narrative. 
In fact the whole basis of the character of Wilde, the titular Boy from the Woods, is incredible. He was found as a child living wild in woodland  and had managed to feed himself and teach himself to read (and talk?) by breaking into homes around the woods and watching Sesame Street and other children's programmes on TV. and video, so we can establish that he's resourceful. Is that remotely believable?
Characters and dialogue aside, there are plenty of subplots to enjoy and more than a few red herrings along the way. 
After watching "The Stranger" I wanted to read all of Coben's books; after reading this, I don't think I'll bother. 
I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for posting an honest review.
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The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben
Having read a number of Harlan Coben novels I was really looking forward to reading his latest novel and I wasn’t disappointed.  The story opens with the story of the eponymous boy from the woods.  He was discovered as a child of about 6 to 8 years.  He had lived alone in the woods with no apparent memory of parents or of any other life except that inside the woods.  He is now in his thirties and after excelling at school and a stint in the armed forces he is working in private security and investigations.  His past life has made it difficult for him to commit to a relationship and he still needs to live off the radar.  
He is called upon by Matthew, the son of his best friend (who died in a car crash) to investigate the disappearance of Naomi Pine, a girl from Matthew’s class and so begins the mystery.  The story has a number of different elements to it and the characters are well drawn, in particular Hester Crimstein, Matthew’s grandmother, who is a lawyer on a popular TV show.  The novel delves into current politics and there are discussions about “fake news” and how it is possible to put a positive spin on even the worst imaginable events. It is also a book about money and how this buys privilege and the ability to trample over other people’s lives. 
The novel is well written, well planned, perfectly paced, fascinating and enjoyable. It is highly recommended! Many thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Although there were many positives in this book, the main character Hester is an all-action no-nonsense kind of woman, which makes her instantly engaging. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the title character Wilde, the boy who was raised in the woods.

It feels like he was written by a man, to portray his own secret desires; strong, good looking, a hit with all the ladies (including his best friend's wife, after his friend died). Emotionally, it was hard to get involved with the character, thus impacting the rest of my reading.

There's plenty of action, sub-plots and presidential conspiracies which are ripe in today's society, but again, the satire of it all felt forced; almost as if Coben wrote the side plot immediately after Trump was elected and shoe-horned it into an already half-written book.

Overall, it isn't terrible but also not great. This is the first Harlan Coben book I've read, but I'm still intrigued to check out more of his work in the future.
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Harlan Coben again delivers an excellent page turning thriller. What starts as a simple missing teenage girl situation develops into so much more. Excellent plot with many strands that come together beautifully. And loved Hester's little nod to Win !

Whilst this currently appears a stand alone, I think there's more story for us about Wilde, the boy from the woods.
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This is an excellent stand alone from Harlan Coben.. Lots of sub plots, action and interesting characters. The plot centres round a missing teenage girl as lies and secrets are revealed. I liked the characters of Wilde and Hester and the New jersey setting. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review. I would recommend this as a good holiday read.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   I have not read anything from this author before,  shame on me.   I really liked this fast paced read and shall in future make sure I look out for this authors books.
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The story starts with the discovery of a little boy in the woods who it seems has been living wild for some time. We then fast-forward 34 years to the present day and the boy known as Wilde is a grown adult.

There's lots going on at all times in this story. There's several subplots overlapping which came together making it quite fast paced. 

Firstly there's Wilde - what is his story? Was he abandoned in the woods? What's his relationship with his dead best friend's wife? 

A teenager goes missing closely followed by another - are they connected or is something else going on here? 

The book ties well into current U.S. events and politics. Rusty Eggers is running for president and he's a little bit of Trump and a little bit of Weinstein - essentially a powerful man with lucrative connections and maybe a lot to hide. Political secrets and cover-ups abound!

The standout character for me has to be Hester. She's a badass, seventy-year-old lawyer who takes no bull from anyone. 

I didn't feel much of a connection to the other characters except for Wilde - I really wanted to find out his past and see a happy future for him. 

This story had me guessing from page to page and loving as it all came together. 

One of the storylines was left unanswered so perhaps this is the start of a new series?
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This is one of my favourite authors with an extremely impressive track record of never letting me down. In this book we are introduced to Wilde, the eponymous "Boy from the Woods", having been "found" as a young child living wild in the woods with no recollection of who he is or where he came from. He still lives in the same woods but now, after being fostered, excelling at both school and in the military, spends his time as a PI specialising in security. He has limited contact to other people but does have a few that he has let in more than others. One of them being the boy he first played with before he was found and his family.
The story centres around Naomi Pine, a young girl who is suffering some rather extreme bullying at school which isn't being addressed. One day she fails to turn up at school and one of her classmates is worried, and also a bit ashamed that he didn't do more to help her, and asks his grandmother for her help. Said grandmother being a famous TV lawyer. But this isn't the be all and end all, as with the majority of this author's books, there are layers upon layers of intricately woven plot that encapsulates more than one or two rather hard hitting issues. Politics, power struggles, rich elitism, blackmail, bullying, media involvement, social media, bereavement to name but a few that feature.
Sounds a bit busy I hear you say... well, yes but also no. The plotting is so good that these things all flow around and about each other, combine and divide to provide one of the best books I have read this year (out of 52 so far). Characterisation is excellent as always, I especially loved Wilde and really hope we hear more from him in the future. The plot made me think rather than just accepting what I was reading which challenged me as a reader rather than just following what was going on, and had me guessing and second guessing what in the heck was really going on under all the secrets, lies and duplicitous behaviour.
Also, although standalone, there are those little inclusions that regular readers of the author will nod and grin at. Nothing that would put newbies off, I guess they are more in jokes if you will and completely irrelevant to the plot. I do like that personal touch, makes me feel more connected...
So... to summarise, it hit the ground running for me, held me captivated throughout, spitting me out at the end shattered but also wholly satisfied. Well, apart from having to say goodbye to Wilde. Please, please can we have more from him in future books.
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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Always fun, always gripping and always slightly ridiculous. HCs books always conclude in a slightly ludicrous explanation, scooby doo style, which doesn’t matter at all as they are such fun to read
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Two decades have elapsed since a young boy , nicknamed Wilde, was found although neither he nor anyone else has been able to discover  anything about how, why or who he was.  Now a young troubled teenager has disappeared.  Perhaps because she was from a poor class broken family and a difficult background and suffering bullying at school no interest is shown other than from a fellow student with conflicting emotions over his apathy and passive involvement in contributing to this young girls life of hell. . Tenuous family links result in this school friend attempting a salve to his conscience by seeking the assistance of Wilde to locate her and ensure she is safe.  That simple premise is the bedrock of a complicated mystery thriller where nothing is what it appears  and no one is what they seem. Cleverly intermingled with this mystery is several different story lines covering several families, abuse, tragedy , murder and to confuse even more, the complicated conflicted boy from the woods , now a man, charged with the task of locating and returning not one but two missing children. All characters are three dimensional, a story where nothing is black or white and actions are always in shades of grey. The intricacies of the storylines create a mystery that only an expert in this genre could write. Harlan Coben is an expert in his field, a reputation second to none and yet never resting on his laurels  consistently delivers first class books with relentless attention to characterisation and  intricate storyline. And even with this book, on the last sentence of the last page of the last chapter, drops on the innocent reader, the biggest surprise of all. Indebted to NetGalley and publisher for allowing me an ARC of this book which has consistently confused, entertained, thrilled and satisfied from beginning to end. Yet another 5 star read from the master.
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I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was believable and, although fiction, it's a plot I could imagine reading about in the newspapers. 
I've never read a Harlan Coben book before but this has really whetted my appetite for more.
The characters were complex but not too complex to lose patience with, they bounced off one another with ease and made for smooth reading. 
Lots of twists, turns and suspense, plenty of action without any gratuitous violence. Definitely one to read.
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This was the first ever Harlan Coben book I've read and I'm afraid to say that I didn't love it. I was expecting a lot from this book but it didn't meet up to my expectations. I was expecting it to be a lot more suspensful then it was, maybe even a bit scary but I found nothing suspensful about it. 

Lost interest in the book around the time that politics became involved as I hate reading about that. But I still wanted to see how it ended. I liked the way that the story didn't have any loose ends and it was all very well thought out. 

I feel the character of Wilde wasn't developed enough. He was who he was from the start and didn't really change much. I also didn't care for the ending as it made no sense to me. Why would he go with her? They didn't really have much of a relationship or that's how it was portrayed. It all seemed very superficial.

I guess this wasn't the book for me.
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A thrilling plot with plenty of action provided me with a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The characters sparkle with life and there is a good spread of ages in here too, which is always good to see. Love comes in to it, although I wasn't hugely convinced by these sections (especially at the end). The loose ends for Wilde leave the possibility for his appearance in other books. 
My first Coben book but I will certainly pick up another when I see one in store.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK Cornerstone for the opportunity to review this advance copy.
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I was expecting Harlen Corben’s latest novel The Boy from the Woods to focus on the boy who’d been found in the woods as youngster and hear about his childhood background. Actually, he was just one of many characters in this book and we learned very little about him other than he’d been named Wilde and was a private investigator in adult life who still had an intimate knowledge of survival and the woods. 

When found in the woods, aged about 6, he was adopted by the Brewer family and became best friends with David, youngest son of Hester Crimstein, a famous defence attorney who has her own TV show Crimstein on Crime. David was married to Laila but dies in a car crash.
We come into the story when Matthew, David’s teenage son, is concerned as his school friend Naomi Pine is missing and he asks his grandmother, Hester, to help.

It’s a good story which picks up in pace towards the end. I didn’t like the political aspects and there were quite a few violent scenes that disturbed me. I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to read this author again.

With thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Boy from the Woods sees Hester Crimstein returning to Westville, New Jersey, the township where she raised her family. Fans of Coben's work will likely be familiar with the character, who has featured in (I count six) of his previous books as a shrewd, sarcastic, tough but fair Criminal Litigator. And she's still all those things in this one, but the plot delves into Hester's personal life, and past, and we are shown a softer more vulnerable side to her. Now seventy, Hester is widowed, and there's even a romance on the horizon, a subplot that was just delightful. Hester was most definitely the highlight – her witty retorts and comebacks had me in stitches.

Hester’s teenage grandson Matthew approaches her on the set of her television show – Crimstein on Crime – to ask for her help. A classmate of his, Naomi Pine, has been absent from school for a week, and Matthew is worried about her, but is cagey about why. It soon comes to light that Naomi has been the victim of severe long-term bullying and hazing by the popular kids. Has she run away, or has something more sinister befallen her? Hester enlists the expertise of Wilde, her son's best friend growing up. Known as The Boy From the Woods, Wilde has no past prior to being found living in the State Forest near Westerville over thirty years ago – estimated age at the time six to eight. Just as Hester and Wilde are getting closer to the truth of Naomi's disappearance another student goes missing.

With the exception of Hester, I have to say that Coben's latest installment wasn't my favourite. Too political rather than domestic for my tastes, and pissing contests, and punch-ups, between security firms don't really float my boat. Wilde was enjoyable, and the author's exceptional use of his dialogue helped me like him, but the character is a complete cliché - you'll see what I mean. Twists wise, there were some unexpected surprises, but the plot wasn't as complicated and compelling as normal. Since Coben's known for his recurring characters, I'm guessing Wilde will return at some point? I'm happy to read more about him, but here's hoping the crime is more interesting.

Some plot elements from Run Away (his novel from last year that I preferred over this one) made a cameo appearance, but didn't spoil anything, so it's safe to read this one beforehand, if you like the sound of this one better. 

I read this over a day and couldn't put it down, so even though it's not his best effort, The Boy from the Woods still held my attention.

I'd like to thank Netgalley, Random House UK – Cornerstone, and Harlan Coben for the e-ARC.

Publication Date: 19th March, 2020.
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I admit that I was sold as soon as I read the blurb of The Boy From The Woods, and I'm definitely happy that I was given the chance to read this newest Harlan Coben story early. It turned out to be such a fascinating and highly entertaining read!

First things first and let's talk about the plot. If you are a fan of highly dynamic, suspenseful and thrilling stories, you will definitely be in for a treat. While I do confess that certain aspects of the plot might be tad farfetched, if you can get past that certain lack of credibility you will find yourself on a rollercoaster ride with a skyhigh entertainment factor. While the title of this story directly references to one of the main characters, Wilde, the actual plot is mostly focused on Naomi Pine and related events afterwards. It's a kidnapping story turned conspiracy turned action movie, with plenty of danger, violence as well as a bunch of secrets and plot twists hidden along the way. Highly entertaining without doubt and perfect if you enjoy a good action thriller and don't mind things getting a little over the top.

The writing is more than solid, and made me remember just how much I enjoyed his writing in the past. I definitely need to give priority to more of his backlist titles this year! Both the writing and pace combined made me simply fly through those pages, and I was able to finish The Boy From The Woods in no time at all. The fact that the events and plot twists constantly increase the level of suspense and only reveal more and more questions as well as dangers only added to that reading speed... And I loved that hint of a conspiracy; it definitely made for an interesting angle even though things can be said about the credibility of it all.

We have quite a big cast of characters in play, although the main focus is mostly on a smaller group of characters which are consequently developed more thoroughly. Especially Wilde, Hester, Naomi and Crash play a big role in the plot, but you will find a variety of different characters playing an important role during the story as well. The most interesting character is probably Wilde though, with his history and him being found all alone in the woods all those years ago. It was intriguing to see what his life is like now and what his connections with the other characters as well as the plot are. Some of the 'bad guys' fell a bit flat for me, but I don't think this had big consequences for the story itself as there were plenty of other elements to keep you satisfied.

I still can't believe it has been years since I last picked up one of his books, but The Boy From The Woods has definitely brought his work right back on my radar and I will be looking forward to explore more of his work in the upcoming months. This newest title is highly entertaining and the perfect action thriller if you are looking for a thrilling ride!
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Thirty years ago, a feral child around 8 years old was found in the Ramapo mountain state forest. With no name or how he got there.  Years late now grown up now named Wilde. He is an ex-soldier and security expert, now Private Investigator He is shunned by the town and the community and he lives in a kind of caravan in the woods. 
One day he is asked to investigate a missing child Naomi Pine. Others don’t take Naomi seriously as she has run away previously except for Hester Crimstein. A 70-year-old woman and local TV presenter. Whose grandson Matthew has asked to find her. But there is something he is not saying. Naomi is a girl that constantly gets bullied by her peers. So, Wilde is on the trail to find her when another child has gone missing popular rich kid Crash Maynard.
The boy from the woods by Harlan Coben is my first book that I have read from this author and I can’t wait to seek out more of his books. This is action packed, fast paced thriller.  I liked the storyline very much and found it quite unique to other thrillers that I have read. 4 stars from me.
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