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The Boy from the Woods

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,842 ratings  ·  531 reviews
In the shocking new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away, a man whose past is shrouded in mystery must find a missing teenage girl before her disappearance brings about disastrous consequences for her community . . . and the world.

The man known as Wilde is a mystery to everyone, including himself. Decades ago, he was found as a boy living
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  3,842 ratings  ·  531 reviews

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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
Emily May
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Life isnt 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
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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. Theres a lot of action and suspense in the attempts to find the missing teenagers. Lies unravel and secrets are revealed. Conspiracy theories, a ransom
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 mans 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 doesnt drop any of them and we get our answers for each detailed mysterious factors to finish the
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 arms 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 ...more
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it

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
Mandy White
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
Its been awhile since Ive 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 a
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a big disappointment for me. I have read and enjoyed most of Harlan Cobens domestic thrillers. Watch his excellent mystery series : Safe, The Stranger, and The Five on Netflix instead. ...more
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
As with every single prior Harlan Coben novel, I am in love with these characters, this book and I can't believe I have to wait a year for a new book!

The Boy in the Woods features a connection to one of my favorite Coben recurring characters, the esteemed Hester Crimstein, but this time, Hester is one of the stars of the show (we do get an "articulate" reference as well) - including these easter eggs to past books or characters is one of my favorite things about reading Coben - it's like an
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 doesnt know who he is, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pines disappearance
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Wilde was found living feral in the woods when he was a young boy and has no memory of his past or even his name. He became friends with a boy called David and was then taken into foster care.
Many years later he is asked by Davids son to look for for a girl in his class that has gone missing.
This is the first book by this author that I have read and I really enjoyed it, especially all the different characters. I will be looking to read more of his books.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House
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 hes 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

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
Madison Warner Fairbanks
The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben

Fiction. Shown as thriller but Im going to say mystery. Thriller to me is edge of your seat reading. While this was really good, it wasnt 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.
Kristy K
3.5 Stars

This is my second Coben novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its on the lighter side of the mystery/suspense genre, but the writing makes it so you want to keep turning pages. I loved Wilde and how intertwined Coben was able to make every characters story in such a short amount of time. There were some good twists along the way as well.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Liz Barnsley
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Boy From The Woods may be my favourite Coben novel yet and thats saying something because Im a huge fan. Nobody writes twisty thrillers with brilliant characters quite like this author- for whatever reason I engaged even more with this one, likely down to its two main protagonists Wilde and Hester.

The story itself is pacy, addictive and very intelligent- something Ive come to expect when picking one of these up and I have yet to be disappointed. The Boy From The Woods fairly rocks along,
I may be the most novice Harlan Coben fan on Goodreads because I only started reading his books last year, starting with his 2019 release, Run Away. After being given the opportunity to read Coben's upcoming, The Boy from the Woods , I knew I needed to hurry up and read it! Typical with what I hear is the formula for Coben's stories, this book continues a slow-pacing multidimensional mystery where it starts off small and then ventures off into a variety of conflicts.

Naomi Pine is missing. A
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun and fast paced thriller with intriguing characters, The Boy From The Woods was a wild ride! There were many different side stories that kept me perplexed and riveted to the pages. The climax got a little muddled but overall, this was a fun read that I couldnt put down. One of the storylines was left unanswered so Im hoping that this is the start of a fantastic new series! I enjoyed the characters and the relationships that were forged. The writing is well executed and the author did a ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a standalone novel by author Harlan Coben.
I have read many books by this author and loved most of them especially the Myron Bolitar series but recently I have found some of his books hit or miss. This unfortunately was not a hit although I can see there are many positive reviews. There were certainly some high points but for me not the normal high standard I expect from one of my favourite authors.

Thirty years ago, a child was found in the New Jersey backwoods. Everyone knows him as
Laura Rash
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any normal Harlan Coben fan does exactly what I did when I received this early copy-I started reading it as soon as I pulled it out of the mailer! Cue the roller coaster track sound as I start turning pages bc thats the thrilling ride this book is! Lots of moments that had me squirming in my seat wondering if I should just pace the floor as I read. The story of Wilde, Naomi, Hester and Oren makes for a complicated plot that you are just absorbed into. I love Hester and wonder if anyone else ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was fantastic! I have been a Harlan Coben fan for a very long time. Since finding his work, I have worked my way through his backlist and always eagerly await each new release. I was really excited to start reading this book and had pretty high expectations. Coben did not disappoint! I found this to be quite the page-turner and was completely entertained until the final page.

This book is a stand-alone but readers who are
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
It's no secret that I'm a fan of Harlan Coben. His action packed thrillers are a cut above and are right up my street. 

The Boy From the Woods is a solid, well written thriller that I enjoyed but if I didn't know it was written by HC, I would have never guessed it. 

The storyline centres around a disappearance of two teenagers, one is a bullied girl with no friends and the other one is the most popular boy in school with powerful parents. Their disappearance seems to be linked, but when the boy's
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirty years ago, a feral child around 8 years old was found in the Ramapo mountain state forest. With no name or how he got there. Years late now grown up now named Wilde. He is an ex-soldier and security expert, now Private Investigator He is shunned by the town and the community and he lives in a kind of caravan in the woods.
One day he is asked to investigate a missing child Naomi Pine. Others dont take Naomi seriously as she has run away previously except for Hester Crimstein. A 70-year-old
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Harlan Coben is a favorite author for reliably good Mystery / Thrillers so his latest, The Boy From The Woods was a must read. It did not disappoint.

We first learn the story of Wilde. In 1986, a boy between six and eight years old is found living feral in New Jerseys Ramapo Mountains. Incredibly smart, it is believed that he taught himself language by breaking into homes and watching television. Now a grown man, after being a military operative, Wilde is living on the fringe of society. He is
Susan Johnson
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This is an entertaining story from a skilled writer that moves at a fast pace. Hester is a famous defense lawyer with a TV show when she gets a call from her grandson, Matthew. He has a classmate that has not been to school for five days and no one has reported her missing, not her school or her parents. She is the object of bullying and he is worried about her. Hester agrees to help and calls her deceased son's (Matthew's father) best friend, Wilde for help. Wilde has an unique story. He was ...more
Lisa Mancini
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Harlan Coben book so far. I am happy to read an adult woman protagonist who is older, seasoned and fierce. Women readers will easily identify with Hester. She made this book my favorite HC novel.

The story centers on two characters, both children. One, Naomi Pine is bullied at school relentlessly and the other appropriately named Wilde is a former feral child who grows up and becomes a military specialist and investigator. Naomi, like Wilde has no advocate and faces their
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With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Cobens 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

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