#1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben takes readers into the heart of family loyalty in this twisty page-turner that proves that the darkest secrets are often closest to home.
Paul Copeland, a New Jersey county prosecutor, is still grieving the loss of his sister twenty years ago—the night she walked into the woods, never to be seen again. But now, a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to the disappearance. The victim could be the boy who vanished along with Paul's sister. And, as hope rises that his sister could still be alive, dangerous secrets from his family's past threaten to tear apart everything Paul has been trying to hold together...
At the start of this disappointing stand-alone from bestseller Coben (Promise Me), Paul "Cope" Copeland, acting county prosecutor for Essex County, N.J., and Lucy Gold, his long-lost summer camp love, are still haunted by a fateful night, decades earlier, when their nighttime tryst allowed some younger campers, including Cope's sister, to venture into the nearby forest, where they apparently fell victim to the Summer Slasher, a serial killer. Cope's intense focus on a high-profile rape prosecution of some wealthy college students shifts after one of the Slasher's victims, whose body was never found, turns up as a recent corpse in Manhattan, casting doubt on the official theory of the old case. Cope's own actions on that night again come under scrutiny, even as the highly placed fathers of the men he's prosecuting work to unearth as many skeletons as possible to pressure him into dropping the rape case. Less than compelling characters fail to compensate for a host of implausibilities. Hopefully, Coben will return to form with his next book.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Harlem Coben fan, compared to other work.
When choosing a good story to read, Coben is my go-to. When I saw the fairly inexpensive price tag on this piece, it was a no-brainer. Now that I have finished the story, I cannot say that I would have felt I had gotten my monies worth from it if it had been much higher in price. If you’re looking for a thriller that will immerse you and lead you with a leash to the last page, this is not it. Don’t expect a climax that will have you reeling, nor a fully realized narrative that will have even your subconscious mind invested. As far as Coben goes, this is far from a favorite for me. HOWEVER, that’s not to say this story doesn’t have its place. I awarded it four stars for the simple fact that it is in and of itself, a concrete tale that isn’t hard to follow and has its points of interest. The beginning is enticing, the meat of the plot is heavy with thorough story-telling, and the ending is resolute, if not fairly predictable and underwhelming.
Bottom line: Harlan Coben delivers another great story with his distinct style, but in my personal opinion, this one should be put a little further down your list. My suggestions would be ‘Six Years’, ‘Stay Close’, ‘The Stranger’ or ‘Fool Me Once’. While you won’t be disappointed with ‘The Woods’, necessarily, I just don’t think it does Coben’s library justice. If this is your first of his, you’re barely scratching the surface of his amazing linguistic style.
Kept my interest the whole book. A real page turner. Satisfying ending.
Excellent read. Hard to keep up with the twists and turns and "see" the end. I might rate 4 1/2 but couldn't get the half star.