Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Innocent” as Want to Read:
The Innocent
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Innocent

by
3.97  ·  Rating details ·  28,079 ratings  ·  1,616 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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 503 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Dutton (first published April 26th 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Innocent, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sue
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lisa Old question, but with only the one answer saying PG I thought I'd put in my opinion.
At least a PG13, probably an R. The subject matter was not for ki…more
Old question, but with only the one answer saying PG I thought I'd put in my opinion.
At least a PG13, probably an R. The subject matter was not for kids! Language is not everything!
Prostitution. Beatings. Murders. Blood. Torture with a stun gun. Underage prostitution.
PG? Hardly!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,079 ratings  ·  1,616 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Innocent
Mandy
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 :)
Suzanne
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
...more
David
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Barbara
Dec 06, 2013 rated it liked it


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
...more
Aditi
“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 i
...more
Janie Johnson
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-challenge
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
...more
Corey
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 o
...more
Jayne Charles
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Grace
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 anoth ...more
Chanelle
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
*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
Jan
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second time reading this one and it was even better this time around. Definitely one of Harlan Coben's best.
Bobbi Woods
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
I thought I liked Harlan Coben because I listened to his book "The Woods" last year and it was somewhat entertaining.

But this book was read (as opposed to "listened to")and my overall feeling was that it was like a bad winter Sunday afternoon Lifetime movie. There was too much going on, too many plot twists that I lost track of because they were so ill-described that they were easily forgettable. The characters, especially the cops, were way too "stereotypical."

Matt Hunter (and I couldn't help
...more
Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?
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
Winter Sophia Rose
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Riveting, Funny, Complex With Twists & Turns! An Excellent Read! I Loved It! ...more
Upasana Singh
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story which goes beyond the matter of Guilty and Innocent.....Harlan Coben ❤️

Matt Hunter had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and was convicted for few years for a frat house fight which became an accidental death 💀

The tag of “Ex-Con” kept tailing him.....Disaster hits him when suddenly he receives a video on his phone..... A nun is murdered in a convent and back to back two more murders and he is linked to it.

All he wanted was a normal life after serving his sentence.
Is he really in
...more
Jill
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Melissa Namba
Jun 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Becky
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Wow!! This was my first book by Harlan Coben and it will not be my last. Karin Slaughter turned me on to Coben and I am not disappointed in the least. I LOVED this book - I was captivated until the very end, and there were TONS of plot twists, but not soap-operaesque. I highly recommend this book to murder-mystery lovers, and I can't wait to go back to the library to pick up some more of Harlan Coben's books!
Gary
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very good read from one of my favourite writers.
Fast paced and at times humorous but always a great read.
Dimitar Jovanovski
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Weak 4 stars for this one. I say weak mainly because I don't prefer this type of mysteries, too much complicated and a little bit unrealistic story. But, it has enough twists and turns to keep you reading and guessing what comes next and by my opinion it was far better then the previous book I read by Coben, Just one look, so I decided for ''weak'' 4 stars.
Coben's stories are all about how one small event can have a life altering change, and this formula works with the readers. I think my probl
...more
Kellie
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t think I have read a Harlan Coben book I didn’t like. This was about Matt, an ex-con who made a mistake, paid for it and is now trying to live a normal life. His wife Olivia is pregnant and loves Matt unconditionally.
Loren Muse, a local detective and former classmate of Matt, is investigating a murder of a local nun.
Soon the story begins to intertwine within family, friends, acquaintances and enemies. Secrets are revealed.

You had to stay on top of the story and the characters or you would
...more
Benjamin Thomas
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I’ve not read a whole lot of Harlan Coben’s work but so far, the books I have read have all been fast-paced thrillers with lots of twists and turns. While always clever, they are definitely geared for the mass market and are excellent choices for the proverbial beach read, or in my case, air travel read. The plot is always pushing forward, driving the reader to keep turning pages, but at the same time, it’s easy to put down for a few hours and then pick up again without losing your train-of-thou ...more
Sam H
Sep 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jim
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Ben
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
☮Karen
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good mystery, good plotline, and characters who you have to feel for. Good guy gets into a bit of bad luck and meets many bad people. Some even who would appear good are really bad. All the while the reader doesn't know what to believe or what's going to happen next. Hooks, twists, and turns abound. The action is emotion-packed and non-stop, to the point that none of the main characters get any sleep for days, and therefore neither do readers trying to reach resolution.
Vannetta Chapman
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Harlan Coben writes a great mystery.

to my Christian reader fans: there is situational adult content, but nothing explicit.
Tom Swift
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, that was a great book. I read it in one day. I have only read one other book by Coben. Great thriller. Highly recommend.
Charles
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
An outstanding thriller. My favorite so far from Coben, which is saying a lot because I've liked everything I've read by him so far. It's a long book but I came close to finishing it in one session. That's how much I liked it. I did finish in two sessions and it was the kind of book where you close the last page and get that little feeling of melancholia because it's over. I highly recommend it.
Bárbara Costa
#2 of "Books I had for >10 years in my bookshelf, but I'm finally reading them" Trilogy (One to gooo!)

Uff this was mostly underwhelming and a deserved punishment for having too many unread books in my shelves. Also, it works as a good reminder of how maybe sometimes you should not compulsively buy more books, even though you can never really have too many of them, right?
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
the Innocent 17 101 May 26, 2015 05:42PM  
Bookworm Buddies: The Innocent, Harlan Coben - Sept 15 118 47 Sep 21, 2013 05:04PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy #3)
  • Walk the Wire (Amos Decker #6)
  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine #2)
  • Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport #30)
  • Camino Winds (Camino Island #2)
  • The Night Fire (Harry Bosch, #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
  • A Time for Mercy (Jake Brigance, #3)
  • The Silent Wife (Will Trent, #10)
  • The Poet (Jack McEvoy, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #5)
  • Long Range (Joe Pickett #20)
  • One Good Deed
  • 20th Victim (Women's Murder Club, #20)
  • Redemption (Amos Decker, #5)
  • When You See Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #11; Gardner Universe, #20)
  • The Scarecrow (Jack McEvoy, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #19)
  • Hide (Detective D.D. Warren, #2)
  • Blindside (Michael Bennett, #12)
  • Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)
See similar books…
21,959 followers
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

Related Articles

If you love a page-turning mystery, you are in for a treat this month. We're seeing a great assortment of highly anticipated mysteries and...
67 likes · 23 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“This was a place where tattoos outnumbered teeth.” 14 likes
“boy is getting all Ds and Fs in math so his parents send him to Catholic school. On his first report card, his parents are shocked to see their son getting straight As. When his parents ask him why, he says, “Well, when I went into the chapel and saw that guy nailed to a plus sign, I knew they were serious.” 2 likes
More quotes…