In The Shocking New Thriller From The 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 WorldThe 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 PeopleWhen 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 Any normal Harlan Coben fan does exactly what I did when I received this early copy I started reading it as soon as I pulled it out of the mailer Cue the roller coaster track sound as I start turning pages bc that s the thrilling ride this book is Lots of moments that had me squirming in my seat wondering if I should just pace the floor as I read The story of Wilde, Naomi, Hester and Oren makes for a complicated plot that you are just absorbed into I love Hester and wonder if anyone else pictures here as Kathy Bates in Harry s Law bc that is spot on how I see it in my head Definitely in my top 5 of HC books and I can t thank him enough for this early signed edition for review Now available to request via NetGalleyWell, 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 fanclears throatinsert Hester CrimsteinIf 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, amirightThere 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 endeavorsMany thanks to the author for providing my review copy. Harlan Coben s novel is a fabulous thriller that takes a little while to work out where it is going, there are numerous threads and a particular highlight is the range of characters from the endearing to the boo hiss variety, set in Westville, New Jersey The eponymous boy from the woods is Wilde, a feral child, approximately aged between 6 8 years old, discovered surviving alone in the woods with no memory of who he is or where he came from No one ever claimed him or came forward with information on who he might possibly be, placed with foster parents, who excelled at school, joined the military, taking part in numerous secret missions, only to leave to work in the private security and investigations sector His past has made him a loner, with a non negotiable need to spend time in the woods where he now lives, and unsurprisingly he has issues when it comes to intimacy and connecting with others.Naomi Pine is a school girl having to endure never ending intensive daily bullying and abuse that the teaching staff never confront, until one day she disappears Matthew never challenged the bullies but he is worried when she no longer attends school, so much so that he asks his grandmother to investigate His grandmother just happens to be the larger than life character, the 70 year old widow Hester Crimstein, a famous TV lawyer with some great one liners, still grieving the loss of her son, David, and romantically drawn to Westville Police Chief, Oren Carmichael One of the main instigators of Naomi s bullying is the entitled rich kid, Crash, the child of the famous Dash and Delia Maynard Aside from Wilde, there are two other major ex military men in the story, one in charge of security for the Maynards and there is Saul Strauss, now an activist lobbying for Dash Maynard to release incriminating secret tapes of Rusty Eggers, a divisive politician campaigning to become president As Crash is abducted, Wilde is hired to find him whilst searching for Naomi as well.This is a powerful thriller that reflects many strands of contemporary American politics, the deplorable controversial tactics deployed to obscure issues and prevent the truth having any impact, the secrets and lies of the rich and powerful that they will do anything to stop becoming public The star highlight is the indomitable and colourful Hester, finally beginning to get over the loss of her husband, Ira, close to Wilde since he was a child and a friend of her beloved son, David She dominates any scene she is a part of, a true believer in upholding the law, even when it doesn t work Coben s touches on issues of the nature of contemporary politics, the influence of the rich and powerful and on ethics, integrity and morality I love this twisted thriller, where little is as it appears, with the slow and expert reveals in a compulsive and riveting narrative Highly recommended Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC. Wilde was living wild in the woods get it thirty years ago No one, including him, knew his name, his exact age, where he came from, his parents names, were or how long he had been surviving alone in the woods He has vague memories, foggy nightmares, but even as an adult all he remembers is scavenging to survive and playing with his friend, Adam.He s an adult now, but still comfortable being on his own, living in the woods and keeping even those who love him at arm s length Raised in foster care, he excelled in school and even so in the military where he was a member of an elite group taking part in secret missions When his godson asks him to locate a missing girl, Naomi Pine, he knows there is to the story than his godson, Matthew is telling him Soon Wilde begins his investigation and enlists Matthew s Grandmother, TV personality and lawyer, Hester Crimstein, who in my opinion steals the show She is a tough old broad that is also va va voom She seriously is the best, and I am purposely not saying about her.Soon, it becomes clear as it always does in this genre that there is going on with the various characters in this book than meets the eye Soon, Wilde will be up against those with secrets, those with hired muscle, those who will do anything to uncover those secrets and those who will do anything to keep those secrets hidden Coben does not disappoint in this book, what begins as a missing person investigation quickly turns into so much This book touches on politics, power, romance, bullying, quilt, family, loss, the impact of secrets and how social status can either help or hurt a person There are a lot of characters in this book and Coben gives them unique personalities and voices The plot moves at a fast pace as Wilde and others attempt to figure out just what the heck is going on and why.This is another solid book by Coben He delivers time and time again and this book is no exception I found myself engrossed in the book, completely glued to the pages, waiting for the reveal and completely enjoying the book from the very first to the very last page There are so many characters in the book that I just want to see read again Articulate and yes, at some point in the near future I am going to answer my phone this way Well written, well thought out, perfectly paced, captivating and entertaining Highly recommend Thank you to Harlan Coben, goodreads and Grand Central Publishing who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own.