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The Innocent

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  14,337 ratings  ·  874 reviews
You never meant to kill him….

One night, Matt Hunter innocently tried to break up a fight—and ended up a killer. Now, nine years later, he’s an ex-con who takes nothing for granted. His wife, Olivia, is pregnant, and the two of them are closing on their dream house. But all it will take is one shocking, inexplicable call from Olivia’s phone to shatter Matt’s life a second t
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Mass Market Paperback, 503 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Signet (first published April 26th 2005)
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Tell No One by Harlan CobenThe Woods by Harlan CobenGone for Good by Harlan CobenHold Tight by Harlan CobenJust One Look by Harlan Coben
Favorite Harlan Coben
6th out of 23 books — 150 voters
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Best Suspense novels
30th out of 180 books — 352 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David
Sep 27, 2014 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a fast-paced, intelligent thriller
This was my first Harlan Coben thriller and one of my two favourites. (I have now read them all except one of the out-of-print ones). I won't rehash the plot, you can get that elsewhere. What I will say is that I love the way in which Coben keeps up the momentum.

Unlike some authors, he doesn't save up his twists for the end, he scatters them liberally throughout the book. Nearly every chapter ends with a surprise, keeping the reader waiting until he returns to it later. He uses this cliff-hanger
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Jayne Charles
Hmmm. Not a bad book by any means, but having got to the end I'm still not one hundred percent clear on what happened. There were an awful lot of people, an awful lot of interwoven motives, and the result was like a seriously bad knot on my six year old's shoelaces that I can't seem to unpick. Also, I had difficulty swallowing the central change-of-identity...the complete personality and life change felt unlikely, somehow. On the other hand, Coben writes extremely well - the book is easy to read ...more
Ware
You are Harlan Coben and you are a writer. You are tired of your series character and you have a contract to deliver a book. You decide to write a stand alone book about a guy who can't become a lawyer because he killed some guy at a fraternity party. So your character becomes a paralegal whose practice is only eclipsed by Danny Devito playing Deck Shifflet, the "paralawyer" in The Rainmaker.

You aren't a lawyer so you don't know how utterly improbable this is. Your character marries a wonderful
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Janie Johnson
This was my first book read by this author and I gotta say I was not disappointed. I loved the whole plot and idea of the story. We start out with our main character Matt and see how he nearly destroys his life as a young man and we watch how he tries to make something better of himself despite the odds. And then he gets thrown into a whole new mystery.

There is a big cast of characters and it takes a bit to familiarize yourself with all of them. But once you do they begin to unfold a bit more be
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Deborah
Coben is my new summer love. I've been reading everything I can get as my brain-candy whilst getting ready for a temporary move to the west coast. This particular book does what the best of Coben's do: create a sympathetic, sometimes stupid, good-hearted, slightly damaged hero who only survives because he has some seriously smart, devoted, interesting friends! Will rate it when I finish.

Okay, I'm done. And I'm disappointed! I just hate it when white guys write these decent thrillers where the ba
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Chanelle
*spoilers* Read this in one day, which I wouldn't recommend. I had to finish it for book club! My head is still spinning trying to untangle the web and keep all the characters straight. Obviously written by a guy, with the storyline being about a hooker in Vegas, a macho frat house fight, and the clue to the unravelling is the serial number on the deceased woman's breast implants. I was on board with the whole story, until the end when you find out who Olivia's daughter is that she gave up for a ...more
Christie
Those who like Harlan Coben, seem to like him a lot. The Innocent was my first Coben book and while I didn’t love it, it did deliver enough curious twists and sympathetic characters to keep my interest.

The difficulty in writing about a suspense thriller is trying to avoid giving away too many important plot points. Briefly, The Innocent concerns Matt Hunter an ex-con (but only marginally because his crime was more accident than premeditated) who has returned to his home town (after serving his s
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Barbara
Matt Hunter is doing fine until he accidentally kills a fellow college student during a drunken brawl and goes to prison for 4 years. Now, 9 years after his release Matt is happily married to Olivia, expecting a baby, working as a paralegal, and looking to buy a house in his New Jersey home town. He's also a big support to his sister-in-law Marsha and his nephews since his brother recently died. And then Matt's life starts to unravel. A mysterious nun - with ties to Las Vegas - is murdered, and ...more
Jill
Harlan Coben confuses me, and not in necessarily a good way. I was concurrently reading two of his books Drop Shot, one of a series of books revolving around sports agent Myron Bolitar and The Innocent one of his random books of violence and mayhem. I personally am having a hard time finishing The Innocent,I keep putting it aside for other books. It's not that it's bad it's just that once the big secrets were revealed the book ceased to be interesting to me. I guess I'm glad I only paid 75 cents ...more
Carly
Apr 03, 2007 Carly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of the Da Vinci Code
I bought this book by Harlan Coben after spotting it in a used bookstore and literally not being able to put it down during the ten minutes I was in there. I was with someone who clearly wanted to leave, and I didn't want to leave the book, so I bought it. I usually hate adult books and this really wasn't much of an exception.

It has a really gripping opening and Coben maintains that pace for the entirety of the book, so it's truly a page-turner and I never really wanted to stop reading it, but
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Lorrea(Threein3)
This is the first book I have read by Harlen Coben. I saw it the library and it looked pretty interesting. Matt Hunter is on his way back to college when the unthinkable happens, he gets in a fight and ends up killing a boy. The story picks up 9 years later. Matt is married to Olivia, he is working as a "paralegal" at his brother's law firm, and is about to be a father. Things couldn't be any better for him right now. Until one day after his wife leaves for a business trip, he gets a strange mes ...more
Elizabeth
Enjoyed this book, Matt Hunter is travelling back to Uni with a friend they decide to stop off to see a friend then end up having a drink and staying A fight breaks out with Matt's friend and another guy Matt steps in and the outcome is the death of another youth. Matt goes to prison serves his time and joins a law firm on release, falls in love gets married and 'lives happily ever after' of course not it's a thriller after all. Some things were pretty predictable but not everything. All in all ...more
Cláudia
Mais um excelente livro de Harlan Coben, não me canso de agradecer a hora em que comprei o 1º livro dele e assim descobri mais um excelente escritor de policiais e mistério.
Muitas personagens mas todas bem delineadas e com o seu papel importante na história, como vamos descobrindo ao longo da leitura. O livro está cheio de twists, mesmo até às últimas páginas, quando achamos que nada mais vai acontecer ou nos pode surpreender, lá o autor saca + um coelho da cartola.
Óptimos momentos com este livr
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Stephen Clynes
Matt Hunter got into a fight and ended up serving 4 years in jail. But his bad luck does not end there as this thriller reveals.

I really enjoyed reading The Innocent which is all about people trying to recover from bad luck. They try to move on from the bad things that have happened but it is a struggle. Harlan gives you the full story with lots of atmosphere and social commentary. His characterization is spot on and you very quickly develop an empahty for Matt. You learn about all the character
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Cátia Santos
Harlan Coben é mestre em voltas e reviravoltas e, uma vez mais, esta característica ficou vincada neste livro. Com personagens fortes e um enredo bem construído, assistimos à vida de Matt Hunter, um ex-condenado que cometeu homicídio involuntário, e à sua reintegração na sociedade. Mas uma série de acontecimentos e crimes vão persegui-lo, bem como abalar a relação com a sua mulher, Olivia. Confesso que o final foi um pouco rebuscado, mas muita ação e suspense até à última página.
David
I am a real fan of Harlan Coben, and this offering was decently done, full of compelling and interesting characters, and the usual strange thread of some ominous dark secret about to wreck havoc in their lives. Coben is a master of the hook and twist, and I can always count on his works to be real page turners that despite their length, cause them to be completed fairly quickly.

This time, we enter the lives of Matt and Olivia. Matt, served time in prison for manslaughter when he broke up a fight
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Sam Arnold
This is an amazing fast paced novel which keeps you turning the pages from start to finish. The easy prose helps with this easy read. There were parts in this book where I needed to revisit earlier sections to fully connect with what had been written. There were times when reading later on I though I have read about this before and flicked back. This I think is a product of the excellent writing.

There were constant twists through out the book. At times I thought I knew where the story was going
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Linda
Matt Hunter has built a wonderful new life, having served his time for causing the accidental death of another man at a college party. Olivia is smart and beautiful, and now they're expecting their first child. But all this comes crashing down when Matt receives a photo of Olivia in a compromising situation in a motel room. In another part of town, the police are investigating the suspicious death of Sister Mary Rose, a nun with breast implants. In a series of complicated plot twists, these two ...more
Lorrie
Apr 30, 2011 Lorrie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lorrie by: The owner of the Paperback Reader
Shelves: mystery, harlan-coben
The owner of the Paperback Reader recommended this mystery to me because she likes Harlan Coben. If I had not been concerned with having to admit to her that I couldn't stand this book and couldn't finish reading it, I would have shelved it early. I did finish it so I will have something to talk to her about next trip---if she asks. This book taught me nothing new. No personal lessons, no new knowledge. In fact, I partially figured out the ending long before the ending. The story of a young man ...more
Hooma
As a long time fan of mystery and thriller novels this book completely satisfied my appetite for a good mystery. While I would not call this type of book quality literature, it was definitely a lot of fun. I must confess that curling up with these types of works at night along with a fistful of chocolate candies are a guilty pleasure of mine.

The Innocent was a fast paced book and this novel was comprised of several little mysteries that were interwoven into one large mystery. Clues and answers p
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Sian Wadey
The Innocent by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is one of my favourite authors, but this book isn't one of his best. It started off, like all brilliant Coben books with several starts, all to be revealed at the end. I enjoyed the chapters in second person ('you do this...'), it made it much easier to see it from the main character, Matt Hunter's, point of view. I liked Matt and sympathised with him, but the story wasn't really about him, it was about his wife Olivia and all her secrets. I felt the book
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Jim
Nov 27, 2010 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
A thriller by numbers that diminished in momentum and credibility the further it went on. Why is it that the hero in most of these best sellers is always one dimensional, while his wife/girlfriend is always this incredibly nice girl-next-door, but also brave, educated and who, it goes without saying, is a whore in the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, hall stairs, garage, car and so on (but only with the hero, chaste with everyone else who lusts after her, which they all do.) Why is it that Elmore Leo ...more
David
This was the first Harlan Coben thriller that I read and I was absolutely bowled over by this book. The pace was incredible and I just couldn't put it down. Every chapter ends in a way that makes you want to know what happens next. And you will find out - but you have to wait

The author knows exactly where to break chapters and how long to cut away from them. I don't mean he uses the old "pulp" technique of ending a chapter with the hero or heroine in danger. I mean that he ends the chapter when
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Janelle
Not only is Coben clever and entertaining, I think he understands and utilizes two concepts really well. People like familiarity, and good characters are worth bringing back. My favorite books of his are the Myron Bolitar books, but this is not one of them. He does, however, use characters he's used elsewhere, such as Loren Muse. This one is a page-turner just like all his others, with a strange balance of plot twists and predictability but he makes it work. Unlike the Bolitar books, I can't thi ...more
Paul Shirley
I'd always heard that Harlan Coben writes the thinking man's thrillers. And I want to think of myself as a thinking man. And I like a thriller, once in awhile, so when I saw this on the $1 stack at a San Jose library sale, I put it in my poke.

At first: sheer disappointment. Coben writes the thinking man's thriller...if the thinking man is reads at a 10th-grade level. It felt like we were endlessly reviewing who the characters were, the dialogue was eye roll-worthy, AND HOW MANY PEOPLE GET TO BE
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Ben
I didn't like this nearly as much as Gone For Good which is a little strange since in some ways it's almost the same book. I've read two Coben books now and seen one movie based on one and all three of them use the same basic plot device. It's gotten old. Also, this one took a lot more time for me to sort out the plot twists - the moments that were supposed to blow your mind didn't do it for me because I kept having to think back about what character did what. I think the problem is there were t ...more
Eric Matheny
Coben is known for crazy twists, but this one was too hard to follow. I lost interest very early on. Tell No One is much better.
Lígia Bibliomigalhas
Como fã de Harlan Coben, não vou dizer que este foi o pior livro que li dele, mas foi o menos bom... e o mais ridículo é que não apreciei a leitura não tanto por culpa de Coben, mas por culpa da tradução/revisão que me fez desviar a atenção muitas vezes da história devido à falta de fluência e naturalidade de algumas frases. À parte isso, Coben consegue como sempre criar uma história que intriga, que nos lança em vários caminhos que só confluem no final, para que todas as questões encontrem resp ...more
Melissa Namba
Yet another airplane book. Less interesting than Tell No One. You really don't need any sort of attention span to get through a book like this because you can miss stuff and still know whats going on. You could probably just turn random amounts of pages and still know what is going on. This book is one of those more plot driven than character driven books (which can be OK) but doesn't offer anything else besides a plot and a cursory look at each of the characters. Would I recommend this book to ...more
Trina
Page turner. Beach read lots of plot twists
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Bookwormed Reviews: The Innocent - Harlan Coben 1 9 Sep 23, 2013 03:34AM  
Bookworm Buddies: The Innocent, Harlan Coben - Sept 15 118 32 Sep 21, 2013 05:04PM  
the Innocent 18 77 Oct 15, 2012 05:22PM  
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With over 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last six consecutive novels, 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 first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released in paperback, and the second in the Mickey Bolitar series, SECONDS AWAY, was released on September 18th. ...more
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