ARC REVIEW: The Boy From The Woods – by Harlan Coben

Title: The Boy From The Woods
Author: Harlan Coben
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: March 19th 2020
Publisher: Random House UK/Cornerstone
Finished reading: February 24th 2020
Pages: 384

“Memory makes demands that you often can’t keep. Memory is faulty because it insists on filling in the blanks.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Random House UK/Cornerstone in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess that I would never have guessed my NG request for such a popular title would actually approved… And for a title releasing on my birthday at that! 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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