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The Innocent

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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 time….

An electrifying thrill ride of a novel that peeks behind the white picket fences of suburbia, The Innocent is at once a twisting, turning, emotionally charged story and a compelling tale of the choices we make and the repercussions that never leave.


503 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 26, 2005

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About the author

Harlan Coben

257 books31.4k followers
Harlan Coben is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world's leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-five languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries with seventy-five million books in print worldwide.

His books have earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and many have been developed into Netflix Original Drama series, including his adaptations of The Stranger, The Innocent, Gone for Good and The Woods. His most recent adaptation for Netflix, Stay Close, premiered on December 31, 2021 and stars Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, and Richard Armitage.

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5 stars
10,671 (29%)
4 stars
16,180 (44%)
3 stars
8,007 (22%)
2 stars
1,198 (3%)
1 star
235 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,120 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
October 28, 2022
I love anything Mr. Coben creates! As I mentioned before I am a big fan of Myron and Win! I never get bored to reread their adventures over and over again.
This book is one of the early and standalone thriller works of the author! Unfortunately it is not Myron and Win adventure! I hope in near future we can have a chance to watch them on big screen!

Anyways: Before diving into binge watch-on of Netflix series, I wanted to make a quick read to compare it with the original text!

This is a first but I have to admit: even though this book is so fast, heart pounding, twisty and absolutely mind bending, it is also confusing ride! Why is it confusing? Because there are hell lot of characters: ex-cons, cops, FBI agents, strippers etc. There’s a huge of bombardment of the characters force you to reread some pages to make the connection!

The entire mystery is centered on Matt Hunter who became convicted murderer at his college year when he wanted to break up a fight and accidentally took a young man’s life.

The prison eventually changes him. Self defense and resilience is not only way to survive! He needs to learn how to fight dirty!

After his sentence is over, he works as a paralegal at his brother’s company, finds his love of his life.

As we see after nine years of the incident, he has it all: a pregnant wife Olivia, a great career as a lawyer and now they are about to buy their dream house as they are so close to become a family.

But everything changes as Olivia goes to a business trip. Matt gets a weird photo of a guy from Olivia’s phone and then the very same guy sends another photo of her wife dressed as hooker.

When Matt finally reaches to her, she denies everything about photos. But later Matt finds himself in a very dangerous game: threatening by someone who knows his past, coming after him. But who?

Matt gets dragged to Las Vegas to confront with the man who sends him photos. And things get more complicated as ex cons, FBI, strippers involve into the equation.

I liked the main plot but as a great fan of filmmaker Oriol Paulo ( check out his amazing works including: Body, Invisible Guest, Julia’s eyes) I can honestly say: the series is soooo much better! Carrying the center of the story from New Jersey to Barcelona is locationally great choice and Paulo’s way of opening each episode with fast paced, detailed introduction and past stories about the characters worked so much better for me! Because in the book you got lost as you introduce more of them who appear out of nowhere!

And high tension building is balanced with action packed mystery which is the main problem of the book: the action parts spoke so louder than the character and mystery development!

I’m giving the book 3.5 rounded up 4 stars because of delicious story idea and twisty revelation but I’m telling you my friends, please consider to watch the series! As like Shadow and Bone of Leigh Bardugo, the adaptation has five starred quality! You shouldn’t miss it!
Profile Image for Mandy.
320 reviews321 followers
March 10, 2016
Seriously best Harlan Coben novel ever! Loved this book! Classic Coben, twists and turns and will leave you guessing until the last page! Highly recommend. Awesome book :)
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,344 reviews4,864 followers
November 18, 2021

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 it's found she recently made a phone call to Marsha's house. While Olivia is at a conference in Boston Matt receives photos from her phone showing her dressed as a hooker in the company of a black-haired man, but Olivia denies everything.

Matt tracks down the black-haired man - also from Las Vegas - who soon turns up dead.

As the dead bodies pile up local investigators as well as FBI agents from Las Vegas look to Matt, the ex-con, as a likely suspect.

Determined not to go back to prison Matt embarks on his own investigation, but everyone in this story has secrets to keep and Matt and his family are soon in danger. There are a lot of characters in the book - parents, thugs, strippers, law enforcement agents, private detectives, family, friends, etc. - which can be confusing, but most are decently enough developed.

The story is a page-turner as we go from the quiet streets of the suburbs to the roiling sex clubs of Las Vegas. Some of the twists in the story are telegraphed but I didn't anticipate all the surprises toward the end. All in all a good read.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Suz.
1,096 reviews565 followers
August 31, 2017
Love HC. But not this one. This fell short somewhere along the road, I felt it meandered and I was not drawn in. Our protag had spent some time in gaol, served his time and was attempting to redeem his life. This was not meant to be, and thus starts a cat and mouse chase involving his lovely wife.
Harlan Coben plays around with nattation styles here, but the only redeeming quality for me was the narrator in my audio version, the voice was menacing and I felt a lot was in store. The use of second person narrative at the end added another menacing touch, but it didn't deliver for me as a whole. This author is one that I will read no matter what, so I don't really mind that he may churn out the occasional dud, I always look forward to many more from him. Committed, I guess?!
Profile Image for Tracy .
763 reviews12 followers
May 27, 2022
I do not know how 'The Innocent' slipped by me when it was originally released in 2005 - and so glad it finally came to my attention. Every time I read a Harlan Coben novel I say to myself: "this is my new favorite." I have to stop doing that - because I have an affinity for them all. Every single one has been fresh and unputdownable.
This had so many twists and turns I was starting to get dizzy. Just when I think everything has fallen neatly into place - and the puzzle is complete - some new piece of information is thrown into the mix which - magically - always makes complete sense. This novel (literally) changed direction right up until the very end. There are multiple players - Matt Hunter (ex-con) and happily married to Olivia Hunter (expecting their first child), multiple FBI agents (all of whom constantly did something to send my head spinning), exotic dancers (who kept me jumping and my jaw dropping), and numerous others. The characters all had their roles to play - each is an essential player - and key to the book's conclusion. What made it such a delight is the character development was clear, concise, and gave me insight into their psyches', motives, and histories. This (very brief) synopsis barely skims the surface of all that is going on. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Profile Image for David.
Author 19 books37 followers
September 27, 2014
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/cutaway approach to very good effect. And he still manages a big twist at the end (although I had a vague sense that it was coming).

As one who has been heavily influenced by Coben's style, I can say that he is the master of the lostinabook style.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,014 reviews364 followers
June 11, 2021
Ask your Consciousness

Matt - the - Good - Student
Matt - the - Great - Football - Player
Matt the nice popular kid with the charming smile... just killed a guy!!!

How the heck did that happen?

Well... let us start from the beginning:
Matt and Duff are returning to Campus from a holidays break when Duff suggests they should first go to a party in another university
For a while... Matt hesitates — that other Campus is huge and Matt is a guy of small gatherings. However, a party is a party, and... off they go...

Once there, something goes wrong, with Duff ending up in a fight. Matt has nothing to do with it, but... Duff is his best friend and the other guy is beating him hard. Ergo, Matt has to do something:
Armed with his magnetic smile, Matt approaches the scene begging for peace:

“Hey, he’s had enough. He’s lost the fight. It’s over. You’ve won”

However, this time, his magic smile has no effect: another guy grabs Matt from behind and they start fighting — Matt lands with a thud but the fight goes on and on... until ... an awful sound puts an end to it all:

‘There is a sound, an awful hell-spawned crack, something wet and too hollow and unlike anything you have heard before. The sound marks the end of life as you know it. You will always remember it. That awful sound. It will never leave you.’

In spite of claiming self defense, Matt is found guilty and sentenced to 4 years in jail.
Prison marks him for life — the nice kid with the charming smile perishes to rebirth as a suspicious hardened ex-con Matt — The Innocent tells his story...


Was it fair?

Later on, Matt blames Chaos:

“The world is neither cruel nor joyous. It is simply random, full of particles hurtling, chemicals mixing and reacting. There is no real order. There is no preordained cursing of the evil and protecting of the righteous. It’s all about chaos,” and... when a butterfly flaps its wings in China, a tornado will/can happen in New York. For Matt, the butterfly flapped its wings the moment he decided to go to that party...

Moral of the Story:
What’s the use of being nice, if everyone can be trapped by Chaos?
Well... that’s something we should ask our consciousness!!! 😜

There are no clichés in Harlan Coben — he’s creative, sarcastic, philosophical... and I simply love him! 💖👍👍👍👍💖
Profile Image for La loca de los libros .
293 reviews113 followers
May 18, 2021
Y aquí me inicio, por fin, con Harlan Coben. He aprovechado que tienen la serie en Netflix (que tiene una pinta estupenda, para qué negarlo😄) y a por el libro que me he ido de cabeza antes de ver la serie, por supuesto.
Y vaya sorpresa más grata.
Creo que no podía haber elegido mejor libro para empezar.
Me gusta el estilo de Coben, directo, sencillo. Sin andarse por las ramas.
Suerte que tengo un puñado más de sus novelas por aquí porque me he quedado con ganas de seguir leyéndole.
Pero, a lo que vamos.

El inocente, parte de la típica pelea de americanos en una fiesta universitaria, pero que se va un poquito de las manos.
O más bien mucho.
Tanto, que la vida de Matt, nuestro protagonista principal, verá truncada su vida y su futuro por mediar en ella.
Con resultados fatales.
Después de cuatro años en la cárcel por fin obtiene la libertad.
Una tranquilidad que conlleva esa libertad que, lamentablemente, durará poco.
Después de nueve años, está felizmente casado y su mujer, Olivia, está embarazada.
Hasta ahí todo bien.
Pero pronto, toda esa paz se viene abajo tras unos extraños mensajes y llamadas recibidas desde el teléfono de su mujer.
A partir de este punto empieza la particular odisea de nuestro amigo.

Así, va dando palos de ciego hasta dar con la oscura y perturbadora verdad de lo que le viene pasando desde que Olivia se fue a ese misterioso viaje de negocios a Boston. ¿Qué oculta Olivia? ¿Por qué no contesta sus llamadas? ¿Quién se esconde tras esos mensajes?

En su viaje por descubrir la verdad, se encontrará con Loren Muse, inspectora de homicidios. Y antigua compañera de instituto. Que junto con Cingle, investigadora privada, tomarán cartas en el asunto y gracias a su inestimable ayuda y profesionalidad intentarán sacar a relucir la perturbadora verdad.
Una verdad bastante retorcida que gracias a su inteligente dosificación de la intriga hará que pases las páginas con tal soltura y ansias por saber qué está pasando que le restarás, inevitablemente, horas a tu descanso 😅

Y así, giro tras giro. Nos deja la cabeza loca y ni a tiros das con el final.
Muy bien hilado y solventado, algunos aspectos muy convenientemente rematados pero igualmente disfrutable.
¡¡Quiero más!! 😍

Una lectura más que recomendable e ideal para iniciarse con Coben. Ahora ando a la búsqueda de El bosque, que también han adaptado como serie, y tristemente está descatalogado.

¿Qué más libros me recomiendan de él? Que sean independientes por favor, no puedo con más sagas 😅

👉 "El mundo no es cruel ni alegre. Sencillamente es azaroso, está lleno de partículas que se cruzan como un rayo, sustancias químicas que se mezclan y reaccionan. No existe un orden de verdad. No hay una maldición programada del mal ni protección de la virtud.
Caos, chicos. Es el caos y basta."

👉 " La supervivencia es el secreto. La mente cambia para sobrevivir. Todo puede convertirse en normal."

📚 https://www.facebook.com/LaLocadelosL... 📚
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,332 followers
February 16, 2017
“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

----Marcus Aurelius

Harlan Coben, an international bestselling author, has penned a hypnotizing crime thriller, The Innocent in which the author has spun a tale about an ex-con whose after prison life has turned out to be surprisingly good, but unfortunately his dream life threatens to come crashing down when a video featuring his wife is sent to his phone by his wife, and parallely, one murder occurs after another and young cop is trying to connecting the dots of these murders while another teenager tries to dig up the past of her murdered mother and must punish her killers.


The horror of one night is forever etched in Matt Hunter’s memory: the night he innocently tried to break up a fight—and ended up a killer. Now, nine years after his release from prison, his innocence long forgotten, he’s an ex-con who takes nothing for granted. With his wife, Olivia, pregnant and the two of them closing on a house in his home town, things are looking up. Until the day Matt gets a shocking, inexplicable video call from Olivia’s phone. And in an instant, the unraveling begins.
A mysterious man who begins tailing Matt turns up dead. A beloved nun is murdered. And local and federal authorities--including homicide investigator, Loren Muse, a childhood schoolmate of Matt’s with a troubled past of her own-- see all signs pointing to a former criminal with one murder already under his belt: Matt Hunter. Unwilling to lose everything for a second time, Matt and Olivia are forced outside the law in a desperate attempt to save their future together.

An electrifying thrill-ride of a novel that peeks behind the white picket fences of suburbia, THE INNOCENT is at once a twisting, turning, emotionally-charged story, and a compelling tale of the choices we make and the repercussions that never leave us.

Matt Hunter, the most unfortunate man, whose simple idea to save his friend from getting beaten up by some rowdy boys, lands him up in a prison, thereby forcing him to kiss goodbye to his average life and goals. Whereas Matt's post-prison life treats him well, as he lands up a job in his late elder brother's firm and says his marital vows to a wonderful person like Olivia, who eventually becomes pregnant. But all of a sudden, it seems that bad luck won't stop following Matt, when an unpleasant video makes a way to his phone straight from his wife's number, followed by a phone call from the man who claims indecent things about his wife's current whereabouts. Shocked Matt pledges to find the truth as well as the identity of the strange man with the help of a private detective. While on the background, a teenager is looking for her mother's old life, who has been murdered by a cruel man and wants to bring justice to her killer and a female homicide cop with a distasteful past is investigating the murder of a nun with silicon breasts. While Matt, on the other hand, must keep him safe to unravel the brain twisting puzzle that his wife, Olivia laid out for him.

Harlan Coben manages to hit bull's eye with this particular book, where the plot thickens along with the intensity of the mystery, reading which the readers are bound to feel that edgy tension that will grasp them by their minds, souls and hearts. This book is spine chillingly addictive and highly absorbing, and right from the very first page, I was sucked right into the depth of the story line, and could not let myself get out from that rush of this story. The book is a must read for one and all, be the reader a crime thriller fan or not, but one must grab a copy of this book for sure, as the story not only unravels with a mystery but also with the best of human emotions and twists that will leave the readers anxious as well as surprised to their very core till the very end. The chapters end with a complex challenge that will beg the readers to turn the next page and so on.

The author's writing is something, as the author has penned in an arresting manner and it felt like the author knows how to lure his readers into such an engrossing thriller. The narrative is both sentimental and appealing enough to make the readers stick to the pages of this book like a moth stuck on a glowing light bulb. The pacing is extremely fast and the whole story unravels at the speed of some unpredictably wild tornado although it feels deeply satisfying after experiencing Corben's tornado, meaning the book!

There are so many layers and unpredictable twists that come out of nowhere that will make the readers feel like getting slapped real hard right on their face all-of-a-sudden, although that slap feels good and fits perfectly with the mood and the flow of the story line. The author keeps major plot-twisters till the climax that is bound to throw the readers off the edges of their seats. The mystery reads like a roller coaster ride filled with full of anticipative moments and adrenaline rushing scenes. The pace of the revelation of the truth is smooth and will occur gradually through the backstories and only after the readers are well accustomed with the story line.

The characters shine like a gem through their flaws, strength and humanity. The characters are real to their very core and will constantly make the readers comprehend with their demeanor. The main character, Matt is an excellent character, who has flaws yet manages to be a lead an ideal life style despite of the scars in his character certificate. Matt's back story shapes him up into a thoughtful human being and so the readers will easily be able to connect with him. His journey and his investigation will keep the readers rooted till the very end.

In a nutshell, this is an enthralling book with a mystery so well concocted that even the seasoned crime readers can't be able to figure out the major twists and will eventually be left fooled by the innocent characters.

Verdict: One heck of a page turning thriller!
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,014 reviews364 followers
May 6, 2021
Past is a Schrödinger Cat

The moment Matt Hunter decided to give a lil help to a friend who was in trouble, a dark wave of bad luck entered his life — the whole situation got out of control, with him ending up in prison charged for an accidental death...

“There is a sound, an awful hell-spawned crack, something wet and too hollow and unlike anything you have heard before.
The sound marks the end of life as you know it.
You will always remember it. That awful sound. It will never leave you.”

9 years later his bad luck gave him a break — Matt found the love of his life and the couple was expecting a child. However, that idyllic picture didn’t last long — the day he watched a video of his wife in a compromising situation, the past (her secret past, not his) popped in, haunting his perfect present — his bad luck was no longer in a break...


Moral of the Story:
Past is a Schrödinger Cat — it can be dead and alive at the same time😜🌟🌟🌟🌟👍
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,014 reviews364 followers
May 15, 2021
Uma Questão de Consciência

Matt Hunter, um jovem de 20 anos, é o típico bom rapaz americano — é bom estudante, pratica basquete, futebol e o seu sorriso magnetiza...

Porém, este Matt-Não-Santo-Mas-Quase, irá matar alguém...

Numa festa universitária, Duff, o melhor amigo de Matt, envolve-se numa rixa que está a dar para o torto — levou socos, pontapés e... o seu agressor persiste em espancá-lo...
Receando o pior, Matt intervém amigavelmente — armado do seu sorriso carismático, aproxima-se do rufia atacante e diz qualquer coisa como:

“Hey, já chega! Venceste! Agora basta!”...

Porém, o seu sorriso magnético não surtiu qualquer efeito; Matt foi agarrado por trás por um dos apoiantes do rufia, e... vê-se engalfinhado numa luta que não previra e muito menos desejara — os dois tombam por terra, descontroladamente, até que... um estrondo oco dum crânio que se esmaga contra a pedra, assinala o fim da luta — é o som da morte — um som que Matt jamais irá esquecer...

Apesar de alegar legítima defesa, Matt é condenado a 4 anos de prisão. Nesse dia, o Matt bom rapaz de sorriso magnético pereceu, para renascer mais duro, desconfiado e cínico — Um Estranho Caso de Culpa é a história desse Matt renascido ...


Este prelúdio de história contém material q.b. para reflexão:
Matt nunca tencionou envolver-se na rixa — apenas interveio como alguém que implora paz. Lutou, porque foi agredido por trás e acabou condenado por uma morte acidental.

Foi justa a condenação?

Mais tarde, depois de reflectir em busca de explicações capazes de validar o sucedido, Matt responsabiliza a Lei do Caos:

”O mundo não é cruel nem justo.É simplesmente aleatório, cheio de reações químicas e partículas que colidem entre si. Não existe uma ordem real. Não há maldição predeterminada do mal e proteção do justo. É tudo uma questão de caos”, e... se uma borboleta bater asas na China, dá-se um tufão em Nova Iorque. Para Matt Hunter, a borboleta bateu asas no instante em que ele aceitou ir à festa ...

Moral da história:
Bom Rapaz para quê, se, sejam heróis, vilões ou “in between”, ninguém escapa à Lei do Caos?😜
Bem... quanto a mim... essa é uma questão claramente dirigida à Consciência 😉

Em Harlan Coben não há clichês. Há sarcasmos e reflexões filosóficas deliciosamente irreverentes capazes de conquistar qualquer leitor! 😉 💖🌟🌟🌟🌟💖
Profile Image for Emir Ibañez.
Author 1 book643 followers
May 20, 2019
Ya puedo animarme a decir en voz alta que Harlan Coben es uno de mis autores de thrillers preferidos. Aunque debo admitir que después de tres libros ya se le empieza a notar el mismo patrón a la hora de contar historias. De todos modos esto no lo hace menos disfrutable ni malo. Son libros imposibles de soltar, imposibles de predecir y que te hacen sufrir hasta la última página. Este tipo SABE escribir thrillers.
Profile Image for Jayne Charles.
1,045 reviews17 followers
July 26, 2011
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, full of interesting characters, and great dialogue. The action starts straight away and keeps going throughout. Some sections definitely had me on the edge of my seat. If I have a criticism on style, it's that many of the male law-enforcement characters seemed rather similar, becoming one amorphous mass of paunchy middle-aged wisecracking world-weary smugness (at least in my head). Oh, and I guessed the final 'twist', but that's about the only bit I did guess.
Profile Image for Katerina.
399 reviews48 followers
February 3, 2023
It has its intrigue, but I can't pinpoint the exact reason why The Innocent didn't manage to keep my interest!

It was interesting to read about the prejudice of society to an ex-con because of his past!

I'm weary, though, about the thematic Harlan Coben chooses every time in his books, at least in the three books I've read so far!

I liked Matt, and I wanted things to work out for him! The guilt he carried from his misfortune and the troubles he got because of it in the present, but also because of his personality, he was my favourite character!

His wife Olivia was quite likeable as well, and they complemented each other because of their experiences!

The mystery was well plotted and interesting, but at some points, it was also a little bit predictable even though I couldn't have guessed a final detail!
Profile Image for Janie Johnson.
890 reviews130 followers
September 18, 2013
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 becoming a bit more realistic. I feel like Coben can create a mean character and I love that. There were a few I loved and a few I hated as well. But I won't get into that in this review so as not to give away too much.

The flow of the story was phenomenal from the prologue to the epilogue. I was completely consumed right from the start. And the twists in the story were excellent IMO. So for a first read it was really good. I look forward to many more Coben books in the future.

Profile Image for Meeko.
152 reviews16 followers
December 9, 2021
This is the one of my best mystery that I've read!!
Sad story. I got so emotional for each characters. Especially for Olivia and Kimmy.
Lots of twists and turns. Made me shocked so many times.
Profile Image for Corey.
422 reviews97 followers
March 6, 2016
Once again, a fast-paced edge of your seat thriller by Coben!

The Innocent is about an ex-con named Matt Hunter who accidentally killed a man while trying to break up a fight. Now many years later he's released from prison and starting a new life, working as a paralegal at a law firm, he marries the love of his life, Olivia, and they're expecting their first child. But he finds out later that his wife doesn't seem to be exactly who she says she is, he receives a strange video on his cell phone on a woman who appears to be his wife. So Matt takes matters into his own hands to find out about Olivia's dark past.

For a while some of the characters you might consider minor characters, but as the book progresses you'll say to yourself, I should have paid more attention to that character! The first half of the book starts out kind of slow but after a few chapters I was up past my bedtime reading it! By the end I was totally blown away, just what you'd expect from Harlan Coben!
Profile Image for Ewa (humanizmowo).
499 reviews82 followers
June 11, 2021
Jestem w szoku po przeczytaniu. Harlan Coben i tym razem mnie nie zawiódł. Zakończenie zwaliło mnie z nóg. Nie wiem co mogę jeszcze dodać...
Profile Image for Nigeyb.
1,210 reviews266 followers
November 14, 2021
My library has a selection of Harlan Coben audiobooks which they add to from time to time. I tried one earlier this year and have now listened to quite a few. They are all very slick and formulaic but always quite compelling. When I noticed my library now had The Innocent (2005) I was eager to give it a go.

Needless to say The Innocent is another twisty, convoluted, entertaining and implausible yarn this time featuring abuse, exploitation, blackmail, murders, corruption, strippers, secrets and, of course, love and romance.

As with Harlan Coben's other novels I’ve read, the trick is to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride.

One of the more interesting aspects of the novel is how it uses mobile phones in the plot. It's amazing to realise just how basic mobile phones were back in 2005. The very first iPhone was not sold until 2007 so you can imagine (and possibly be reminded of) just how basic phones were back then. Amazing how fast they have developed in just 16 years.


538 reviews122 followers
October 28, 2021
This is a forgettable book. A Harlan Coben book without Myron and Win is quite dull.
The prologue and epilogue was written in second person, which was weird. It starts with
" YOU NEVER MEANT TO KILL HIM. Your name is Matt Hunter"
- This completely put me off. Did Matt just get up from coma and someone told him who he was?

I didn't care for the characters and I didn't care who Olivia really was and what secrets she had hidden from Matt. Her story was too far-fetched.

I know this is the work of fiction, but I expect some authenticity in the way the law enforcement officers work. In this book, the prosecutor and the detective played catch-catch in the office with the evidence and examined it casually !! I am not going to tell here what evidence it was, but it was.. ewwww!!. Shouldn't forensic experts be doing these examinations in the lab or morgue or whatever. Or was I reading all the wrong books till now?

HC was so excited about the camera phone feature and some internet browsing. I had to go back and check the year of publication. This was in 2005. I am not sure camera phones were a big deal even then. Technology changes are very fast. Authors should know better than to go overboard with a new technology, it gets dated very soon.
Profile Image for Chanelle.
51 reviews8 followers
February 6, 2009
*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 adoption at birth. That wrapped it up just a little too neatly and really pushed it over the edge of unbelievable for me.
Profile Image for John.
1,142 reviews84 followers
July 1, 2021
So far my favorite Coben novel. Aside from the gooey over the top love of Olivia and Matt Hunter. The story and twists all came together at the end. Matt an ex con who did four years for manslaughter has a relationship with Olivia who also has ghosts in her past. Blackmail, murder and lots of twists.

Kimmy was a great character although it seemed implausible. It all made sense at the end except the FBI agent’s motive if he was undercover? Still the move from New Jersey to Nevada and how they got their worked for me. The goal of living the American dream in a suburb was ridiculous and more a nightmare than dream. Given who Matt’s neighbors would be.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Grace.
138 reviews419 followers
March 20, 2016
It's hard to sum up exactly how I feel about this book. I had been hearing for months about how amazing Harlan Coben is, and I was able to get my hands on this novel at a used book sale. So I bought it and I really enjoyed it, for the most part. The novel follows a man named Matt Hunter. He's had a rough past, even spending some time in prison. And one day, all of a sudden his world begins to fall apart. He gets a text message of a video of what appears to be his wife, in a hotel room with another man. After he gets the text a series of events follows, with twists and turns you wouldn't believe.
Something in me, just couldn't quite give this 5 stars. I think maybe it was the fact I didn't connect to the characters. I wanted to know the ending, but I wasn't in a rush. Although I will say the twists and turns really do keep you on your toes. The thing I especially loved about this novel was all the perspectives and the world building. Coben does a fantastic job at giving you two completely different worlds and somehow weaving them together. I really enjoy that. Overall, a good book, sometimes the writing felt choppy, but a good book nonetheless!
Profile Image for Sharon Huether.
1,474 reviews10 followers
December 10, 2020
Matt Hunter was a good kid. He tried to breakup a fight outside a party one night and he innocently killed another kid.

After his nine years in prison he meet Olivia and they marry. Olivia has to leave on a business trip.
All things go aryne. He get a video on his phone, which looks like his wife with another man.

The plot thickens after a nun is found murdered and someone following Matt turns up dead.
Profile Image for denudatio_pulpae.
1,318 reviews21 followers
March 26, 2022
Nieumyślne spowodowanie śmierci.

Ten dzień będzie prześladować Matta Huntera do końca życia. Głupia bójka kończy się tragicznie, młody chłopak popchnięty przez Matta ginie na miejscu. Hunter ląduje w więzieniu, gdzie przechodzi ostrą szkołę. Na wolność wychodzi już jako inny człowiek, jednak próbuje sobie jakoś ułożyć dalsze życie. Żona, dziecko w drodze – wydawałoby się, że najgorsze już za nimi. Nic bardziej mylnego. To dopiero początek kłopotów. Trupy z szafy zaczynają wyłazić. I to nie tylko z szafy Matta.

Niezłe, niezłe. Intryga sięgająca łapami bardzo daleko, ponure tajemnice z przeszłości – rewelacja. Może i prawdopodobieństwo realizacji tej historii w rzeczywistości jest niewielkie, ale czy to komuś przeszkadza? Mnie niekoniecznie.
Profile Image for Melissa Namba.
2,122 reviews13 followers
June 17, 2012
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 anyone? Only if you are in desperate need of an airplane book.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews857 followers
April 28, 2020
A thriller with numerous mysteries wrapped in more mystery. A man that served time in his youth for a truly accidental murder, is living an almost perfect life with his newly pregnant wife… until he receives a photo and video of his wife with another man... from her mobile. This is just the opening salvo in a really good story by Coben, unlike some of his other one-shot thrillers, this one is as good as his great Myron Bolitar series. 7 out of 12
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,014 reviews364 followers
May 4, 2021
Double Treat

No, it’s not a Myron Bolitar story. However, it was good enough to inspire a Netflix series — a treat to all the “Netflixers” all over the world 🌎


Therefore, if you’ll read the book and watch the series, you’ll get yourself a double treat😉
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