The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben
Here's the part of the blurb that made me want to read this one:
"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."
Sounds good, right?
I loved Wilde; he's such a great character with his mysterious past and unique skillset. Hester, too, is feisty and fun. And I found myself wanting to stand up for Naomi, the missing girl, or have her stand up for herself. So many great characters in this book....there just wasn't enough of them. I wanted more. More about Wilde. More bits with Naomi. I wanted the story to just be about them.
But it's not.
Naomi appears at the beginning, and again at the end, but the majority of this book revolves around the wealthy Maynard family and their son, Crash, along with Wilde's investigation into Naomi's disappearance, some political intrigue involving yet another character who has his own secrets from the past, and there's also a whole thing about the negative influence of social media on society, and a murder, too. Then at the end, there are two twists I wasn't expecting, one of which shouldn't have been such a complete surprise to the reader.
It's not that this book isn't good. It's entertaining, and it reads fast. It just wasn't the story I thought it was going to be...or the story I wanted to read. I still liked it. Just not as much as I hoped I would. At least I got to read this one with Melody. That's always fun. Be sure to check out Melody's review to see what she thought of this one!
Melody's questions to me...and my answers:
1. Wilde and Hester may be the lead characters in this story but are there any other characters that you wish you could learn more about? Who are they?
I really wanted to know to know more about Naomi. And also Crash. They were in the story, but were never given enough time or attention. I also wanted to know more about Wilde and get the rest of his story, too. Hopefully Coben will write another book about him.
2. What is most appealing to you about this story? The multi-layered plot or the characters? Why?
Definitely the characters! I didn't love all the elements of this particular plot. And for me, characters are always the most important part of any story.
This was a good read but it'd be even better if there's more of Wilde and Naomi, which we both agree on. ;) And yes, the characters are great here. Looking forward to our next read!ReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to our next one, too! :)Delete
I read another review about this one and the reviewer was disappointed. I often think a good author gets lazy or careless after a while when they pick up their publication pace.ReplyDelete
I agree. And I felt like this one could have been so much better than it was.Delete
I've only read one of Coben's novels and that was so long ago. I keep meaning to read more by him. It doesn't sound like this was his best book, but I'm glad it was at least entertaining.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I'd try one of his other books before this one.Delete
So often a book is not what we were hoping and it's a real shame and very frustrating as you know darn well there's a wonderful book in there trying to get out.ReplyDelete
I think that's why I was so disappointed with this one.Delete
Hmm, that is an interesting blurb! Glad you were able to enjoy this even if it wasn't quite as good as it might have been. The characters do sound awesome- I want to know more about Wilde. :)ReplyDelete
Wilde is the best character! I want a whole book just about him. :)Delete
Sorry to hear this didn't quite meet your expectations. Glad to hear you liked it anyhow. Buddy reads are always fun. :)ReplyDelete
Buddy reads are a lot of fun. They make a not-so-great book better. :)Delete
Harlan Coben has been an uneven author for me. I think his books usually have great plots but the execution isn't always the best. I'm glad you found this entertaining though!'ReplyDelete
That's what happened with this one...great premise, but not-so-great execution. It was still entertaining, but I didn't love it.Delete
The only book I've read by Coben was a disappointment, but both your and Melody's reviews have me interested in this one!ReplyDelete
He's a good writer, but not all of his books are as good as I want them to be.Delete
You know, I've never actually read anything by Coben. As a lover of a good thriller, this is something I need to change. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?ReplyDelete
I've only read a couple of Coben's books, but I liked both Six Years and Don't Let Go better than this one. The Woods is another one that's high on my TBR list; that one sounds really good, too. :)Delete
I think I might actually have Don't Let Go on my shelf!Delete
It's a sign! ;DDelete
It's kind of a shame when you recognize that a better book is buried somewhere in the one you are reading. I hope the author pays attention to this kind of comment and offers a sequel to this one. Sounds like a good book is hollering to be written.ReplyDelete
I agree! Wilde's story is the one I really want to read. :)Delete
Sorry to hear you didn't like it as much as you had hoped.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I was hoping for better. :)Delete
Oh that is a bummer when you have an idea of a book and it doesn't pan out. Still sounds like it was an interesting read.ReplyDelete
It reads fast and is well-written. And it does have some great characters in it.Delete
I'm really picky about thrillers. They all have fabulous premises, right? But the execution is key! Sorry this one didn't work out for you.ReplyDelete
I just really wanted that other story, you know? The mystery Coben ended up focusing on in this one just didn't interest me.Delete
It's such a bummer when a book doesn't live up to it's potential. I've read two books by Harlan Coben. I loved the first one, but didn't enjoy the second one.ReplyDelete
That seems to be the impression I'm getting about his books; some are great, some just okay.Delete
Uh oh. I've been looking forward to this one, but it sounds like it may not be the story I want either ...ReplyDelete
Yeah, it's not really about the mystery of Naomi and Wilde. And the mystery it does focus on for the majority of the book just didn't interest me.Delete
This is one I've always thought of picking up. I may put it off a tad longer now :)ReplyDelete
Yeah...that's probably a good idea.Delete
I liked his early standalones but the last few books have been very disappointing! Have you read Jane Casey? I never have that irked feeling after reading her books - I just wish they were longer!ReplyDelete
I haven't read any of Casey's books, but I've heard really good things about them. She's definitely an author I want to try. Thanks for commenting! :)Delete