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The Woods

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  38,554 ratings  ·  2,377 reviews
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again. For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 404 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Dutton Adult (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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TK421
Oh Harlan, you were exactly what I needed. But before I begin, let me say that this was my first Harlan Coben experience. I'll more than likely read more of his stuff. Bear with me as I explain myself.

Okay, the writing was nothing spectacular; there were even times when I winced as he described something by using the item. Example: The great oak stood like a, well, great oak. Yes, this type of writing appears more frequently than I liked, but the writing is really not an issue with this type of
...more
Stephanie
Jul 15, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a good page turner
Recommended to Stephanie by: Mom
This was my first Harlan Coben book and I thought it was just fabulous! I'm not huge into "mysteries" or "thrillers", but when I do sit down with one this is the type of story that has everything I want in a "page turner" - short chapters, quick dialog, twists and turns, and narration that was surprisingly funny at times (case in point, after annoying a police officer and a prosecutor both in a matter of hours the main character concludes, "I had itched an ass this morning and now I had burned a ...more
Heena P.
This book literally blew my mind! It kept me guessing through all the 442 pages. Yes! That's right, suspense grips the reader till the very last page. In the beginning you feel that the book is only about a murderer who killed 4 kids in a summer camp but Hell No! Paul Copeland was in the dark about a lot of things, like stuff about his mother and father and Ira and Lucy. The entire story gets twisted towards the end. The twists and turns are really unexpected and makes you want to read the book ...more
Licha
Cheat Sheet for Writing A Harlan Coben novel:
-an event that happened a long time ago that affected the lives of the loved ones
-one pretty hip guy who is quick with wit and sarcasm
-main character must be a professional white male who helps inner-city black characters-it's ok to throw out all stereotypes possible, as long as the main character justifies it by performing his civic duty of helping them out
-add a ballsy female side-kick, and give her at least one manly characteristic (if she's no
...more
Brad
With a debt of gratitude and writing credit to Michael K. Brett-Surman's dinosaurs, from which I stole the format and a good many of the words from page 150.

For D. Pow.

Hackosaurus Rex

Field Notes:
HAK-oh-SAW-rus REX
Tyrant Hack-Novelist
a.k.a. Harlen Coben
6 feet (1.8288 metres)
Psi Upsilon Frat Boy
Friend of Brownosaurus Dan
Current Holocene
North America (New Jersey, USA)
Edgar Award winner; Shamus Award winner; Anthony Award winner; never short listed for the Man Booker Prize.

Hackosaurus Rex exemplifie
...more
Gina
Jan 30, 2010 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Now this was an excellent book!

So many twists I didn't see coming. I thought the characters were upbeat and seemed completely real. The plot was great. At first, it seemed to me that it was going to be a typical suspenseful thriller, but the twists in the plot made it more, especially the ending. Did not see that coming!

Excellent!
Bark's Book Nonsense
UPDATE: I found an unabridged copy at my library and am giving this another go. I'll update the review when I finish.

*****************************************
I am so frustrated by my own stupidity. After over a decade of listening to audio, I really should know better by now. So I'm on disc 3 and have just realized that this is an abridged version of the novel.

I normally love the way Coben writes. Gone For Good and Drop Shot hooked me on his writing and I'm not even a mystery fan. His chara
...more
David
After his return to Myron Bolitar with PROMISE ME, Coben went back to standalone thrillers with this one. It was good, although I had some doubts about the characterization. I couldn't quite believe everything I read, even though the facts were consistent. I suspect that Coben knew that if he had done more to make the characterization of certain characters consistent and clearer, then it would have telegraphed the ending. But at this pace, who really cares about characterization. It's only in re ...more
Patti
Apr 13, 2008 Patti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like a mystery
I liked this book because it was a "couldn't put down" kind of book. I wanted to keep reading it to find out what's going on now.
Paul Copeland is a County Prosecutor who along with his parents and sister Camille,were from Russia and moved to the US when Paul was 4 yrs old. In the present day-Paul is a widower and has a 6 yr old Daughter. Go back 20 yrs,when Paul was a teenager who helped out at a camp that the rich kids as well as the not to well off kids would spend their days in the summer. B
...more
Ed
Nov 07, 2008 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller Fans, Coben Fans
Coben keeps getting better and better.

I read this novel while on a 24 hour trip from Las Vegas to Hong Kong. I could not put it down. The suspense is complete. The characterizations are excellent. The plotting is superb. The story is believable, though fictional, because we have all been in families so we know all families have secrets.

The secrets may not be as violent as the ones in this story but they can be as destructive as these are.

Coben does a masterful job of bringing us along as the pr
...more
Love Fool
Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again. For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six- year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of ...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
I accidentally started reading the abridged version of this book last month. It wasn’t very good and I thought it was me, my mood, something . . . Like most abridgments it left me confused, moved too fast and seemed to be missing the best parts. Characterization was not really there and Coben’s snarky humor was nary to be seen. After wasting four + hours I realized my stupid mistake and managed to track down the unabridged version at my library. It was read by the same narrator too, Scott Brick. ...more
Ruth
I finished this book a few days ago and felt I need a few days to see how I would rate it and what I thought of it. I finally settled on 2 stars.

I normally am a big fan of Harlan Coben's writing, it is quick paced with lots of action but for some reason this one just didn't spark the interest to much.

The story is about the character Paul Copeland the chief prosecutor of Essex, New Jeresy and the mystery that surrounded him and three other families some 20 years previously. A mystery about four t
...more
Priyam Gopani
Less often you come across stories that leave you with a strange feeling...the type where you don't know whether to feel good about the story or bad... whether you can single out one person as an antagonist..a bad person...someone who triggered the unfortunate events...

After reading the book, I feel the same. I can't single out one bad person...cant find one single person on whom I can put the blame for creating such havoc. Because basically none of these characters were bad. The situation that
...more
Boof
I bought this on audiobook to listen to in the car and I found myself being happy to be in traffic jams because I didn't want to hurry home, it was that good!

This is the story of Paul Copeland, a county prosecutor, who has a blast from the past when a dead body turns up. Twenty years before, at a summer camp, four teenagers are murdered and buried in the woods while Cope (Paul) is supposed to be on gurad duty. Instead he is having a bit of a fumble with his girlfriend Lucy and one of the teenag
...more
Michelegg
Another great book by Mr. Coben. This one takes place at an old summer camp where 2 teens were murdered and 2 more disappeared. Twenty years later, Cope solves the mystery with the help of his former love, Lucy.

My favorite quote:
"She tried to figure out her own life philosophy and came up with something she once heard a rock star - Eric Clapton, she thought- say in an interview about not being a big fan of, uh, people. She wasn't either. She preferred - as ridiculous as it sounded- being with he
...more
Marleen
Jul 17, 2014 Marleen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marleen by: Dilbeek Library
I'd give this one 4,5 stars. Harlan Coben is definitely one of my favorite mystery writers. This is an amazing read that draws you in because of the very deeply human characters and the great dialogue. I felt such a trepidation reading the last 50 pages of this book; I just didn't want to get to the end and find out how this story was going to unfold!
Wouldn't mind at all to read more about County Prosecutor Paul Copeland and/or his Chief Investigator Loren Muse.
Great characters!!
David
Mar 27, 2015 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers at summer camp, prosecutors with ex-KGB uncles, girls named Chamique
This was an unexpectedly entertaining page-turner, though towards the end, so many plot twists are woven together in an improbable climax and epilogue that my suspension of disbelief was tested a bit. However, getting there was fun in this combination courtroom drama and suspense thriller.

Paul Copeland survived a summer camp massacre as a teenager. He and his girlfriend snuck off into the woods for a little nookie, only to hear the screams of three other kids — including Paul's sister — being mu
...more
Katie
Ah, thrillers. One of those genres I like or don't like. I love the pace of thrillers. I love getting sucked into the plot. Buuut some thrillers translate the dark events that are, perhaps, a necessary part of thrillers into a dark world view. And that leaves me very unsettled and unhappy. But the awesome thrillers are SO awesome that I am willing to risk it.

Anyway, this was one of the good ones, in that sense. I liked the main character a lot. I liked his sense of justice and that he was basica
...more
Maria João Fernandes
Harlan Coben proporciona-nos, uma vez mais, uma história repleta de mistério e reviravoltas inesperadas. Para tornar a atmosfera ainda mais envolvente, a história principal ocorre ao mesmo tempo que uma trama secundária, a qual ocorre num tribunal onde o protagonista, Paul Copeland, um promotor público, defende a vitima de um caso de violação.

Paul Copeland tem um passado obscuro, caracterizado por segredos duvidosos, mentiras e meias verdades. Durante a sua história tudo virá ao de cima e ele se
...more
Filipe Dias
Este foi o primeiro livro que li do autor. Tudo começou quando olhei para a capa (a versão portuguesa), que logo me cativou. Depois li a sinopse, e também me atraiu bastante. Após ter o livro, começou a leitura.
Começou muito bem, a personagem principal é procurador geral e tem um caso entre mãos. Ora, eu gosto de casos judiciais, e de todo aquele clima de arranjar as provas para ilibar ou culpar os réus, gosto de todo o clima de argumentação por parte dos advogados. Por isso, cativou-me logo.
Ent
...more
Bethany
I started this one on my lunch break yesterday. So good. There's a lot of dialogue, which makes the 400 pages fly by, and a mystery that's extremely, well, mysterious. It's written in first person, which usually I don't like, and was still just the tiniest bit annoying here, but it didn't get too much in my way. The main character is a county prosecuter who is prosecuting two rich white boys for raping a black girl. The boys' fathers sic private detectives on him to dig up dirt on him, which, it ...more
Dawn
Sep 12, 2007 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: suspense thriller fans
Harlan Coben does it again...gets you so wrapped up in the suspense & the story that you just can't put the book down. The main character Paul is a prosecutor who has a past that he'd prefer to forget...being at summer camp 20 years ago when 4 campers disappeared (one being his sister) and 2 were found dead, the other 2 never found. In the present day framework of a trial that seems to be taken straight from the headlines of the Duke lacrosse players case, the past slaps the prosecutor in th ...more
Estelle
I picked it on a whim. The audiobook was on sale, it was narrated by Scott Brick and I was in the mood for a little thriller to get me out of my current reading slump.
It turned out OK. Not terrible, but not great either. I've never read anything by Harlan Coben before, so I can't compare "The Woods" with his other works, and I can't say if this was a good place to start.
It was a pretty basic thriller with some ok characters, some more likeable and believable than others. The ending was sadly pre
...more
Darlene Quinn
I enjoyed this book even more the second time. Harlan Coben has become one of my favorites with his dynamic plotting and ability to grab the reader and not let go.
Heather
My first Harlan Coben book and while I'm not disappointed, I'm not particularly blown away either. Really liked watching the mystery aspect of the story play out, but was less than impressed with some of the cheesy dialogue and relationships.
Tammy A
This was definitely a page turner...got to end, though and not sure that I'm thrilled with it. However, the actual experience of reading it was spell bounding. Going to try another one of his novels soon.
FreeNightFalls
Meh. This is how I felt when I finished the book. And 'meh' is never good, because it means that the book wasn't able to even provoke some stronger emotion.

The book started out as an easy read, and it was interesting until I realized that it was just going on and on, I was becoming bored and I even stopped caring about the case. The main case about the wood is the reason why the whole book is doomed to be 'meh'. I thought that maybe I was being unfair to Mr Coben because his book hadn't lived up
...more
Bandit
Until now I've been listening to Harlan Coben's books on audio, but I couldn't find this one in audio, so I thought I'd check it out in paper form. As a result the narration kept sounding like Scott Brick (the person who reads Coben's books for audio most)in my head as I read it. But all that aside, it was a great read. Typical Coben, the past secrets come unburied and threaten the present, family dynamics explosions, etc. It was nice to see Lauren Muse and Cingle Shaker again, Coben writes of a ...more
Natalie
This book kept me of the edge of my seat every time i read it. The suspense and mystery made me want to keep reading it. This book has many characters involved with different things. The book did a good job letting the readers know the background information very well. It also tied everything together. This book is about Paul's struggles and adventure of trying to find out what really happened to sister. He is in search for his sister Camille who disappeared with 4 other people in a camp ground ...more
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sloppy seconds 1 99 Aug 20, 2007 06:35PM  
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24689
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 aut
...more
More about Harlan Coben...
Tell No One Caught Six Years Hold Tight Stay Close

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“Summer romances cometo an end. That was part of the deal. They are built like certain plants or insects, not able to survive more than one season. I thought we would be different. We were, I guess, but not in the way I thought. I truly believed that we would never let each other go. The young are so dumb.” 24 likes
“The first sip of beer on a hot day is like that first finger-dip when you open a new jar of peanut butter.” 10 likes
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