Narrated by Steven Weber
Released on Audible: March 2020
Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Audiobook, Book Review
Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods.
He had been living a feral existence, with no memory of how he got there or even who he is. Everyone just calls him Wilde.
Now a former soldier and security expert, he lives off the grid, shunned by the community – until they need him.
Over thirty years ago a boy, thought to be around six to eight years old, was found living in the Ramapo Mountain Forest. How he survived no-one knew. The boy didn’t know his age, name or where he came from. He doesn’t remember his parents or any other adults and no-one came forward to claim him. But he did have a friend.
After he was found Wilde, as he is known, was taken into foster care and went on to have a stellar career in the military. He now makes his living as a security expert, while still preferring to be predominantly alone. His home is an eco pod in the woods just outside the town of Westville, New Jersey but he keeps in contact with his best friend’s family.
Although Wilde is the main character, Hester Crimstein, a well known criminal defense lawyer, who featured in Run Away as a supporting character, plays a large part in The Boy from the Woods and what a fabulous character she is. I loved her and enjoyed learning more about her backstory. She’s a force to be reckoned with and even though she realises the law can be fallible she holds to it.
Wilde is drawn into the mystery of a missing teenage girl because Hester’s grandson, Matthew, is at school with her and Matthew is Wilde’s godson. Naomi Pine is subjected to abuse and bullying every day at school and when she goes missing Matthew feels guilty for not standing against the crowd and helping her. The plot deepens when another teen goes missing.
“This Naomi,” Hester said, pushing the silly inner rant away. “She’s your friend?”
Matthew shrugged as only a teenager can. “I’ve known her since we were, like, six.”
Not a direct answer, but she’d allow it.
“How long has she been missing?”
“For, like, A week.”
Like, six. Like, a week. It drove Hester Crazy—the “likes,” the “you-knows”—but now was hardly the time.
In the grand scheme of things, I’m a fairly recent convert to Harlan Coben’s books. I’m trying very hard to rectify that and finding what I really like about them is how he manages to merge the continuance of the plot with the development of personalities so seamlessly. The Boy from the Woods is no exception—several subplots come into play with secrets, conspiracies, lies and political intrigue muddying the waters as more is revealed about the characters.
This is a well put together, engaging story with several twists, I had no idea how it would play out, and was kept guessing. Hopefully there’ll be more about Wilde and Hester, I think there’s a lot more mileage in Wilde.
About the Author
Harlan Coben was the first ever author to win all three major crime awards in the US. He is now global bestseller with his mix of powerful stand-alone thrillers and Myron Bolitar crime novels. He has appeared in the bestseller lists of The Times, the New York Times, Le Monde, Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.