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The Woods

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  47,131 Ratings  ·  2,857 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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Popular Answered Questions

Joel Anderson I enjoyed this book...can't compare the plot to Gone for Good because I just picked that one up to read.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Melinda Seyler Did you read the book? Camille went with her mother to the Soviet Union, then other places.
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2nd out of 26 books — 174 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mandy Crider
Nov 25, 2015 Mandy Crider rated it it was amazing
Definitely a page turner! Coben always fascinates me with his novels!
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
Aug 06, 2016 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find that if I pick up a book by Harlan Coben, I then resent anything that requires my attention, dragging me away from it, such is his skill at grabbing hold of you and playing with your mind. He really knows his stuff, able to draw readers in with ease, and he hasn't failed with The Woods. The suspense is constant, but not happy with that, he manages to turn up the action a notch further as the story twists and turns every which way! The characters are really believable too, and the dialogue ...more
Jul 15, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 22, 2016 Melisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Yep, Harlan Coben is officially the king of the twisty turns.

I'm completely amazed how he can weave such a fascinating mystery that can change directions nearly every chapter. Even until the very end. Well done, sir!

I also loved the witty dialogue. Some of the characters had me laughing out loud. And this subject matter was not light at all.

Such a page turner. 5 stars!
Jul 28, 2011 Licha rated it it was ok
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
‘I don’t understand. What makes you so sure your sister is alive?’
‘I’m not sure,’ I said.
‘But I think there’s a decent enough chance.’
‘Because of Manolo.’
‘What about him?’

Yes. What about him? What about any of them?

I don't know, but i'm not feeling this one. The Woods should be a gripping story but I just can't care for any of the characters. It's not that the writing is bad but the dialogues are making me feel sleepy. It's like the characters want to pretend that they are telling a story
Heena Rathore P.
Aug 18, 2014 Heena Rathore P. rated it it was amazing
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
I love some of Harlan Coben's books but IMHO this was not one of his bests. I think it could have been told without a lot of the twists that turned out to not be twists at all, just page fillers. I was attached to the main character in the beginning but became separated from him as the story went along, a little too sappy for me. Would have been a great mystery if it had stuck closer to the main story line.
Janie Johnson
Jan 16, 2016 Janie Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I read this book as a buddy read and also wanted to read it for TBR Takedown, but I did not make it for that. I knew that I would enjoy this book since it is by Harlan Coben, wow it was so engaging with such a great mystery plot line. Thoroughly loved this book.

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 t
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
Jan 30, 2010 Gina rated it it was amazing
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!

Oct 20, 2008 David rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2016 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harlan Coben's books have everything you would expect from a good Mystery writer, a good story, character development, a little humor, and a surprise ending! The Woods is about Paul Copeland, who's sister it down at a Summer camp, and walks into the woods with 3 other campers, and disappears without a trace along with another one of the campers, while the other 2 end up murdered. About 20 years later Paul who is not County Prosecutor and handling a case of his own, is approached by the Police wh ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Patti rated it really liked it
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
Summer camp. Four teenagers sneak into the woods one night. Two are found the next morning brutally murdered. The other two are never seen or heard from again. One of the camp counselors is convicted of similar crimes at other summer camps later. But technically this crime remains open and unsolved.

Fast forward twenty years. Paul "Cope" Copeland is the acting county prosecutor for Essex County, N.J. He chose his profession because his sister, Camille, was one of the victims who disappeared and w
Aug 19, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impresionante! Intriga y giros inesperados! Me ha encantado! Recomendado 100%
Nov 07, 2008 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Love Fool
Mar 31, 2015 Love Fool rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 27, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  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
Priyam Gopani
Feb 21, 2013 Priyam Gopani rated it really liked it
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
Freda Malone
Sep 13, 2016 Freda Malone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another good Harlan Coben with a shockingly original plot. At a summer camp, 4 teenagers sneak into the woods one night, none come back, but are we sure only 4 went in? Read this story and find out. When the case is solved, is it really solved? Twenty years later, new evidence and clues emerge, creating unanswered questions as to what really happened that night.

I like stand alone books like these. They give the reader something different every time. New characters, new plots, and tons of questi
Jul 17, 2014 Marleen rated it really liked it
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!!
Aug 19, 2015 Yakoytroy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me ha encantado. No he acertado en nada . El final sorprendente . Sin duda lo recomiendo
Aug 20, 2015 Cartafol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finalizados, 2015
fantastica lectura!!
May 21, 2016 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to be honest and say that I have been meaning to pick up a book by the author for a very long time. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, I always seem to go for something else. However, I finally managed to get my hands on one to read – even if it was only due to this book being a free Kindle read.

I’ll start by saying it was a great story, a highly addictive read. You’re always questioning what really happened, even if it is not quite in the way that you expected. By that, I mean it was
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
Apr 10, 2013 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2016 E. rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Overall, this was a nicely written book with good characters and I finished it.

I actually struggled to finish it, though. There were too many story lines, too many characters, too much dialogue.
Conversations seemed to go on and on, with no other action happening during the exchange. Many times there was "I can't say" then "please tell me" then "you wouldn't understand" then "help me understand" ...

OMG just move it along please...!

KGB, summer camp, fraud, charities, journals, family secrets, si
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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 about Harlan Coben...

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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.” 35 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.” 11 likes
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