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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WWW Wednesdays #257- February 26th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently on another series mini binge-read and I’ll be reading Blue Night and Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz one after the other in preparation for the blog tour next month. I’ll probably take a little break before reading the third one so I can get those shorties reviews written before I have tot think about the blog tour review. 😉

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Where The Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (4/5 stars) REVIEW 06/04
I think most people will know by now that I’m a huge fan of Amy Harmon’s work and I have been eagerly anticipating her newest title Where The Lost Wander. I was stoked when I was able to get a chance to read this story early, and it was without doubt a wonderful experience. While not my absolute favorite title, this is still a beautifully written story that is definitely able to provoke emotions. I found the pace to be a tad slow, but the characters are well developed and it was a fascinating portrayal of 19th century US.

2. The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben (4/5 stars) REVIEW 16/03
I admit I was sold as soon as I read the blurb! I never would have guessed my request for such a popular title would actually be approved, but I’m definitely happy I had the chance to read this one early. Such a fascinating read! While certain aspects of the plot might be a tad farfetched, it has a high entertainment factor and I literally flew through the pages. This makes me want to give priority to more of his titles this year! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his writing in the past.

3. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara (4/5 stars) REVIEW
I’ve been wanting this true crime title for so long now, and I’m still not sure what held me back… I’m happy I finally did take the time to read it, because it turned out to be a fascinating (and terrifying) read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

With a possible trip happening in the second half of March, I need to step up my ARC game for a bit and read a bunch that are due soon… First up is Strangers by C.L. Taylor, which I’ve been dying to read anyway. Then I’ll probably read The Body In The Garden by Katherine Schellman, and I need to read Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz for the upcoming blog tour too. My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’m not sure I’ll end up having time for soon…


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WWW Wednesdays #256 – February 19th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading two pending ARCs… I love anything Amy Harmon writes and I’ve been highly anticipating Where The Lost Wander; even though I have a pile of other ARCs that are due first, I just couldn’t wait any longer to pick it up. I’m also starting The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben, a title I’m still surprised I was actually approved for although it might just have been an early birthday present as it publishes on my birthday next month. 😉

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (4/5 stars) REVIEW
There was just something about the blurb and main character Harold Fry that made me think it would be my kind of book, and I thought his character was giving off seriously A Man Called Ove vibes too… My instincts turned out to be right on both counts, and Harold Fry is without doubt the reason this story worked so well for me. The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry is both a heartwarming and heartbreaking journey and a character-driven story with a wide cast of quirky characters… Recommended if you enjoy slower fiction reads!

2. Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 24/02
Deep Down Dead is thrilling, exhilarating and simply explosive from the very beginning until that final page. It was fascinating to learn more about where Lori came from and how she turned out to be the kickass bounty hunter she is today… What a powerful and shocking transformation! Your heart will beat miles a minute as you keep turning those pages, both learning more about the past as well trying to keep up with the action-packed and highly flammable present.

3. Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb (4,5/5 stars) REREAD (2018 REVIEW)
This one was just as good the second time around! A little snippet of my 2018 review: “If you like refreshing, fast-paced, suspenseful and action-packed thrillers with a strong female lead, you are in for a real treat with Deep Blue Trouble. Bounty hunter Lori Anderson seriously kicks ass and isn’t afraid to step on a few toes to get the results she is after. The writing is strong, filled with plot twists and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page… Trust me, you will want to know what happens to Lori and you will enjoy every single step along the way. Thriller fans will love this one!”

4. Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 24/02
Oh boy, binge-reading the first three Lori Anderson books has sure left me breathless! My heart is still beating like a maniac and I definitely need a dose of sugar to come to my senses again… What an explosive, action-packed and absolutely thrilling ride! Deep Dirty Truth is already the third book of this series and of the same high quality and entertainment level as the first two books.

5. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (2/5 stars) REVIEW 28/02
I loved watching the Peter Pan adaptations when I was little, so I fully expected to love the original story and classic as well… But I guess it wasn’t ment to be. I wasn’t a fan of the writing at all and except for a few entertaining moments I found the story mostly dull and rather slowpaced… I even started skimreading at one point and that is never a good sign. The story was also a lot darker than expected. The original Peter Pan definitely wasn’t my cup of tea, and turned out to be quite a disappointing experience to be honest. I’ll stick with the adaptations this time around!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’ll probably read I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara next as I’ve been meaning to for ages now and I really need to step up my non fiction game this year. Afterwards, it’s another series mini binge with Blue Night and Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz in preparation for my blog tour stop of the third book next month. My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’m not sure I’ll end up having time for this month…


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Friday Finds #81 – April 8th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Books And A Beat and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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