Review From User :
"Well, well, well, as I live and breathe. Hester Crimstein in my little station."
Whether you are stumbling across this review in search of a new stand-alone thriller or as a long term fan of the author, you are equal parts welcome here. Friends, The Boy from the Woods is Harlan Coben at his best, and let me tell you why. Readers of Stephen King claim their loyalty as a fan base in part because he has an uncanny way of providing layers to his work. Sure, you can jump right in to most of his fictional pieces and get by just fine, but once you've experienced a few of his stories, you start to find the hidden gems, cross references, and golden nuggets that he leaves behind for those who wish to go deeper. What King does for science fiction, fantasy, and horror, Harlan Coben does for crime fiction.
Did you happen to read Run Away earlier this year If so, you'll find out early on that the events of The Boy from the Woods happen tangentially to what Simon Greene experiences in Run Away. Don't worry if you haven't read it; there are no spoilers for that plot in this book, and you could still go back and read Run Away after finishing this one, as they are two separate entities. However, this is just an example of the easter eggs you'll find throughout if you're a dedicated fan. *clears throat*
---> insert Hester Crimstein
If you're new around here, let me catch you up to speed. Hester is a 70-something year old defense attorney who is a little bit of this:
And a whole lotta this:
Basically, she's one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. She's got style, she's got class, and she's a teeny tiny woman who's a great big smart ass. Each and every time she has shown up in one of the author's books as a supporting character, I've longed for an in depth peek into her story. Finally, it's here! I won't say too much, other than this was everything I have been waiting for over the past 12 years of reading Coben's novels. Also, Hester getting a romance will fix everything that is wrong in the world, I assure you. The reason Hester is a central character in this book is because her grandson, Matthew, is tangled up in something he shouldn't have been (teenagers, amiright). There is another aspect of the story that is described in the synopsis, and I don't want to mention it here specifically, but it's worth stating that it kept my focus in a different place which, in turn, helped keep most of the twists and turns a surprise.
As a reader, I've always found that the very best thrillers are equal parts gripping plot progression and in depth character development. Harlan Coben manages to balance action scenes with emotional connections as a perfected art form, which is why he has become one of my most trusted go-to authors of the past decade. Perhaps being a long time fan allowed me to appreciate every instance of crossover characters, every exclamation of "Articulate!" when a phone was answered, and every familiar setting that I've grown exceptionally fond of between NJ and NYC, but I believe The Boy from the Woods stands on its own as a memorable thriller. I enjoyed every minute I spent with this book, and I hope to meet Hester, Oren, and a few other characters in future endeavors.
*Many thanks to the author for providing my review copy.
In the shocking new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away, a man whose past is shrouded in mystery must find a missing teenage girl before her disappearance brings about disastrous consequences for her community . . . and the world.
The man known as Wilde is a mystery to everyone, including himself. Decades ago, he was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. After the police concluded an exhaustive hunt for the child’s family, which was never found, he was turned over to the foster system.
Now, thirty years later, Wilde still doesn’t know where he comes from, and he’s back living in the woods on the outskirts of town, content to be an outcast, comfortable only outdoors, preferably alone, and with few deep connections to other people.
When a local girl goes missing, famous TV lawyer Hester Crimstein–with whom Wilde shares a tragic connection–asks him to use his unique skills to help find her. Meanwhile, a group of ex-military security experts arrive in town, and when another teen disappears, the case’s impact expands far beyond the borders of the peaceful suburb. Wilde must return to the community where he has never fit in, and 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.