books, reviews

Book Review: The Boy in the Woods – Harlen Coben

I was sent a copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father — with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde — with whom she shares a tragic connection — to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

My thoughts:

The title is a little misleading, you only learn tiny snippets about the titular ‘boy’, now a man called Wilde, it’s actually mostly about the hunt for two missing teenagers, one a probable runaway, the other’s disappearance a bit more sinister.

I liked Hester a lot, I can imagine her as an elderly wise cracking femme fatale, a bit Lauren Bacall. Wilde was interesting – I would have liked more of a focus on him and his past, perhaps in another book.

I knew that the plot would be less straightforward than the blurb suggests, having read a few of the author’s other books (and watched The Stranger on Netflix during lockdown like everyone else).

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