The Boy from the Woods – Harlan Coben

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.

A child has gone missing. With her family suspecting she’s just playing a disappearing game, nobody seems concerned except for criminal attorney Hester Crimstein. She contacts Wilde, asking him to use his unique skills to find the girl.

But even he can find no trace of her. One day passes, then a second, then a third.

On the fourth, a human finger shows up in the mail.

And now Wilde knows this is no game. It’s a race against time to save the girl’s life – and expose the town’s dark trove of secrets…

My Review:

Harlan Coben’s latest standalone thriller is one of the most addictive and gripping thrillers I’ve read in a long time.  The Boy From The Woods is PACKED full with amazing characters, political scandal, teenage angst, school bullying, a missing teenager, a kidnapper teenager and let’s not forget the child who was found living wild in the woods 30 years ago who is now a security expert and tasked with finding the missing kids.

Firstly we NEED to talk about the two main characters.  Hester Crimstein is now possibly one of my favourite female fictional characters EVER and needs her own TV series immediately!  Hester is widowed, in her 70’s, a straight talking Criminal Attorney with her own TV show Crimstein on Crime and it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with her instantly.  She is funny, brave, caring and doesn’t take sh*t from anyone.  Her favourite son (her words not mine) David was killed in a car crash ten years ago and she has never been able to move on or accept his death, but her devotion to his widowed wife and their grandson Matthew is touching and emotional to read.  When Matthew asks her to help find his missing friend she goes that extra mile.

Wilde is the other main character.  Now in his thirties he was “The Boy From The Woods”, found aged 5 or 6  living alone and surviving by sneaking into people’s houses for food and warmth, yet no-one has ever claimed him so he spent his childhood in a foster family.  As a former soldier and now a security expert living off the grid he is approached by Hester to help find the missing kids.  Throughout the book the relationship between Hester and Wilde is revealed slowly and the dynamics and obvious affection between these two is wonderful to follow.

Never has a book been so suited for a TV series – so hurry up Netflix or Amazon Prime and get casting NOW.

About the Author:

With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last seven consecutive novels, MISSING YOU, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Coben is the winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – and he has received an eclectic variety of honors from all over the world. His novel TELL NO ONE has been turned into a hit French film of the same name. His essays and columns have appeared in many top publications.

Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.

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