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

The Boy From the Woods

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  52,695 ratings  ·  4,594 reviews
A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn't know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine's disa
Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Published March 19th 2020 by Cornerstone Digital (first published March 17th 2020)
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 Boy From the Woods, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sheila Got an email from Harlan Coben who was asked in an interview if Wilde would reappear. He immediately said that he and Wilde would become very good fri…moreGot an email from Harlan Coben who was asked in an interview if Wilde would reappear. He immediately said that he and Wilde would become very good friends or something similar. Can't wait to read this one. (less)
Samyann A short, distracting scene that should have been left out. It wasn't fleshed out by Coben - missed by the editor. Unanswered questions. Did he tell WI…moreA short, distracting scene that should have been left out. It wasn't fleshed out by Coben - missed by the editor. Unanswered questions. Did he tell WIlde? Did he hurt Naomi? He feared/knew something - the reader never learns what.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,695 ratings  ·  4,594 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Boy From the Woods
Chelsea Humphrey
"Well, well, well, as I live and breathe. Hester Crimstein in my little station."

Whether you are stumbling across this review in search of a new stand-alone thriller or as a long term fan of the author, you are equal parts welcome here. Friends, The Boy from the Woods is Harlan Coben at his best, and let me tell you why. Readers of Stephen King claim their loyalty as a fan base in part because he has an uncanny way of providing layers to his work. Sure, you can jump right in to most of his ficti
Emily May
“Life isn’t lived in the black and white, Wilde. People like to think so nowadays. All the online outrage, things are either all good or all bad. But life is lived in the gray. Life is lived in the nuances.”

Action-wise, this book was as excellent as I have come to expect from Harlan Coben. Lots was going on at all times. Several subplots overlapped and came together, which made it so that the pacing never lagged. But where this differed from Coben's most recent book Run Away and the now almo
Joey R.
May 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished “The Boy From the Woods”, and I am speechless. I really can’t believe this was written by the same Harlan Coben that wrote so many books that I loved and gave 5 star reviews. To be honest, I can’t believe I even finished it, but I wanted to see if it got any better. Unfortunately, it didn’t. “The Boy From the Woods” begins when teenaged Matthew becomes nervous about a missing classmate and enlists the help of his celebrity lawyer grandmother, Hester, to find her. Hester of course ...more
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
The Boy From the Woods is an action-packed thriller about two missing teenagers, a dirty politician, and damaging secrets.

The plot seems simple and focuses a teenage girl who disappears without a trace. She is the school pariah. Then the rich popular boy, who is a bit of douche, disappears as well. This is where things get more complicated. There’s a lot of action and suspense in the attempts to find the missing teenagers. Lies unravel and secrets are revealed. Conspiracy theories, a ransom
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is whirlwind, complex, action-packed and definitely wilder crazy train ride that I expected to take a full tour! Including: Political scandal, secret tapes, school bullying, disappearing teenager, a man’s stunning story who has been found in the woods, fighting to gather the pieces of his past.

This seems like a complex mix and Mr, Coben juggling too many balls at the same time but thankfully he doesn’t drop any of them and we get our answers for each detailed mysterious factors to finish th
Harlan Coben's novel is a fabulous thriller that takes a little while to work out where it is going, there are numerous threads and a particular highlight is the range of characters from the endearing to the boo hiss variety, set in Westville, New Jersey. The eponymous boy from the woods is Wilde, a feral child, approximately aged between 6-8 years old, discovered surviving alone in the woods with no memory of who he is or where he came from. No-one ever claimed him or came forward with informat ...more
Jan 30, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yuck. I’m a Harlan Coben fan, but nothing about this book appealed to me. Not the story, not the characters, not the underlying message, nothing. Thank goodness it was a quick read...
Sumit RK
Decades ago, A boy is found living in the woods, with no memory of his past. Even after an exhaustive search, the child's family is never found and he is turned over to a foster family. Years later, the same man, whose past is shrouded in mystery, must find a missing teenage girl before her disappearance brings about disastrous consequences for her community.

On the face of it, this is a nice, fast-paced thriller with an exciting plot and some intriguing characters. However, there are too many
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-won
Wilde was living wild in the woods (get it?) thirty years ago. No one, including him, knew his name, his exact age, where he came from, his parents’ names, were or how long he had been surviving alone in the woods. He has vague memories, foggy nightmares, but even as an adult all he remembers is scavenging to survive and playing with his friend, Adam.

He's an adult now, but still more comfortable being on his own, living in the woods and keeping even those who love him at arm’s length. Raised in
Kylie D
The Boy From The Woods is an ok thriller, but honestly I found it to be far from Harlan Coben's best. The premise is that a teenage girl goes missing, but instead of a book about searching for her, the plot turns all political, and I found it to be ho hum. The book is not without memorable characters, Hester and Wilde both deserving of further novels, but the bit players were boring, the action pretty much non-existent and I was never riveted in any way. It's a shame as I've always found Coben t ...more
The title is a bit misleading on this one. While the boy from the woods does play a role in this book, it’s not the primary focus of the story-line. Then again, there were so many themes running parallel through the read I’m not sure one actually stood out more than the next.

Take your pick:
Missing teens....
Second chances at love...
Discovering your past...

Every one of these themes held its own powerful story. Though it felt that each was competing to be front and center. Now, I do lov
Larry H
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

With Harlan Coben's new book, The Boy from the Woods , the master delivers another twisty thriller full of secrets!

Thirty years ago a young boy was found living in the woods. It appeared he had been there for some time, but apart from some emotional trauma stemming from memories he can’t parse together, he was mostly fine. He befriended a boy who lived nearby, and he tended to break into people's houses to steal food, even watch television.

Now an adult who goes by the name Wilde, he
Madison Warner Fairbanks
The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben

Fiction. Shown as thriller but I’m going to say mystery. Thriller to me is “edge of your seat reading”. While this was really good, it wasn’t worrying or fully suspense filled. Compelling, yes. A few twists and likable characters.
Ultimately an engaging read.

I received a copy of this book from the the publisher.

Hester Crimstein - the formidable criminal defense lawyer who easily bests police and prosecutors - is a secondary character in Harlan Coben's 'Myron Bolitar' series. In this book Hester gets a starring role when her grandson comes to her for help.

The novel is a standalone and appears to be the start of a new series.


Sixteen-year-old Matthew Crimstein, who attends Westville High School in New Jersey, has a problem.

Matthew feels guilty for sitting by - day after day - while his classmate Nao
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: From the North Jersey Gazette April 18 1986


Huge Mystery Surrounding Discovery of 'Real Life Mowgli

WESTVILLE, N.J.- In one of the most bizarre cases in recent history, a wild-haired young boy, estimated to be between six and eight years old, was discovered living on his own in the Ramapo State Forest near the suburb of Westville. Even more bizarre, authorities have no idea who the boy is or how long he had been there.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The man know
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Harlan Coben has got his has got his mojo back!! i devoured The Boy In The Woods in quick time for me, Two missing Teenagers a Dirty Politician & secrets that know one wants revealed.

I absolutely loved this book it was a page turning thriller that kept you on your toes right the way from beginning to end, it was fast paced well written & loved all the characters the book starts of in North New Jersey 18th April 1986 where a wild boy was found fending & living by himself in the Rampano Mountains
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Oh where to start! Harlan Coben is one of my all time favourite writers and I actually squealed when I was approved for an early copy of The Boy From The Woods. So no pressure Mr Coben, no pressure. I knew that I had to be free of other commitments when I picked up this book. Absolutely pleased to report that this book is fantastic 🤗

Not going to talk too much about the plot for this one. I did not know too much about it going in and left it all to be a surprise. There are wonderful surprises for
Famed defense attorney Hester Crimstein becomes concerned when her grandson reaches out to her about a missing classmate. Naomi Pine has disappeared and no one seems to be looking for her. Hester then goes to a man named Wilde for help who has an extraordinary story of his own. Over thirty years ago, he was found in the woods near her home, apparently living there for quite some time. He was only about six or seven years old and didn’t remember his name or how he got there but had established a ...more
Christina - Recipe & a Read
2.5, the biggest question in the book wasn't answered stars!!

As I attempt to continue to dig myself out of my review hole I'm switching between recent reads and old reads I should've reviewed earlier. I've honestly been thinking about this book since I finished it and still am on the fence as to whether I should round down or up, for now it's up but that may change later. The Boy from the Woods centers itself on a simple premise: a young girl named Naomi goes missing in a town where decades prio
Carolyn Walsh
This was a big disappointment for me. I have read and enjoyed most of Harlan Coben’s domestic thrillers. Watch his excellent mystery series : Safe, The Stranger, and The Five on Netflix instead.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to timely reading of pre-publication books I get by way of NetGalley, I try to play it straight - really, I do - by reading them in order of next to be released. But sometimes I get one I'm so excited about that it jumps to the head of the line. This is one of those times. And to the half-dozen books that got pushed aside, I promise to get to them soon, but love means never having to say you're sorry. This one was way too good for apologies.

It's most notable to me for the interest
I'm sorry to say, I did not like this one. It was so formulaically Harlan Coben and it's my own fault for picking it up, because I am a tepid fan of the author at best. That said, his books are usually entertaining and that's all I was hoping for. Unfortunately, I was not entertained at all. Every character felt like a caricature to me and the story very tired. Obviously, I am in the minority here, and to be honest, that makes me happy, because I wish for people to love what they are reading and ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Coben book-happy that he still knows how to weave a great tale!
There is something about his writing style that works for me. It's feels smooth, easy-even in those tense or dramatic scenes.

In typical Coben style, he starts out in one direction, then the next thing you know there are sub plots popping up, all with their own mystery to figure out. I did guess accurately at the outcome of one, the rest did catch me by surprise.

While some of the situations require
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I’m not sure I bought into the premise of this book. A teenage girl goes missing and one of her classmates appeals to his grandmother, a fiery tv attorney, to help find out what happened to her. She willingly agrees. But just because the premise seemed a little over the top, that didn’t mean I didn’t love the grandmother. Hester is a smart mouthed, larger than life personality. And kudos to Coben to have a 70 year old female character with a love life. We’ve also got the boy’s godfather involved ...more
Susanne  Strong
2.75 Stars

A Harlan Coben novel, where everything is thrown in, except for the kitchen sink.

So this is a first for me. Having read every Harlan Coben novel ever written, I would call myself I’m a super fan. I love almost all of his books though there have been a couple over the years that haven’t been favorites. This novel would, unfortunately, fall into that category.

“The Boy From the Woods” by Harlan Coben is one of the few novels by him that is a complete miss for me. Admittedly, the writing
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two missing teenagers, a dirty politician, damaging secrets, and a man in prison for years that is innocent ... what could go wrong?

I haven't read a Harlan Coben book in a while and I'm glad I grabbed this one to revisit a very talented writer once again. His style clicks for me in so many ways.

I absolutely loved Hester Crimstein!! She is a ballsy, strong, quick witted lawyer and television personality that is 70 years old. She also has soft heart as well. It was great to see her have a light lo
Andrew Smith
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
In 1986 a couple of hikers in the Ramapo Mountain State Forest found a boy who, it seems, had be living wild. He was unschooled and had no memory of life before the the forest. Jump forward thirty-four years and the man that was this boy has grown into an intelligent, educated man who has operated as a private investigator. In fact, Wilde, as he’s now known, set up his own company in partnership with his foster-sister some while back. He now lives in portable accommodation in the forest in which ...more
An enjoyable and entertaining suspense novel with well drawn characters.

A young wild-hair boy, thought to be between the age of 6 to 8 was found living in the woods all alone. No one has any idea who the boy was or how long he had been there. That was thirty years ago. “Wilde” still prefers to live in those woods today. The woods are the air for his lungs. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know who he is, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance ser
Maria Espadinha
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bullying is a Crime

*Some minor spoilers ahead*

“ How does she survive?
How does she manage to get through this torment every single day?
Day after day. Week after week. Year after year.
She sits in the school assembly hall, her eyes fixed, unseeing, unblinking. Her face is stone, a mask. She doesn’t look left or right. She doesn’t move at all.
She just stares straight ahead.
She is surrounded by classmates, including Matthew, but she doesn’t look at any of them. She doesn’t talk to any of them eith
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it

The Boy from the Woods sees Hester Crimstein returning to Westville, New Jersey, the township where she raised her family. Fans of Harlan Coben's work will likely be familiar with the character, who has featured in (I count six) of his previous books as a shrewd, sarcastic, tough but fair Criminal Litigator. And she's still all those things in this one, but the plot delves into Hester's personal life, and past, and we are shown a softer more vulnerable side to her. Now seventy, Hester is wid
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben - 4 stars 1 5 Feb 21, 2021 03:12PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Boy From the Woods [June 15, 2020] 11 26 Jun 19, 2020 04:44PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 2 14 Jun 04, 2020 12:29AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Giver of Stars
  • The Whisper Man
  • This Tender Land
  • A Nearly Normal Family
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • The Girl Who Lived Twice (Millennium, #6)
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)
  • The 18th Abduction (Women's Murder Club, #18)
  • Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)
  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • Sweet Sorrow
  • The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy, #2)
  • Stolen Things
  • Strangers at the Gate
  • The Tenth Girl
  • Keeper
See similar books…
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

Articles featuring this book

We're halfway through the year that time forgot! Ahem...I mean, 2020. Believe it or not, it's June. Traditionally, this is when the...
184 likes · 171 comments
“America was waking up, as Germany once did, to the awareness that one-third of our people will kill one-third of our people while one-third of our people watches.” 8 likes
“Life isn’t lived in the black and white, Wilde. People like to think so nowadays. All the online outrage, things are either all good or all bad. But life is lived in the gray. Life is lived in the nuances.” 4 likes
More quotes…