The Boy From the Woods

The Boy From the Woods

Book - 2020
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The man known as Wilde is a mystery to everyone, including himself. Decades ago, he was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. After the police concluded an exhaustive hunt for the child's family, which was never found, he was turned over to the foster system. Now, thirty years later, Wilde still doesn't know where he comes from, and he's back living in the woods on the outskirts of town, content to be an outcast, comfortable only outdoors, preferably alone, and with few deep connections to other people. When a local girl goes missing, famous TV lawyer Hester Crimstein--with whom Wilde shares a tragic connection--asks him to use his unique skills to help find her. Meanwhile, a group of ex-military security experts arrive in town, and when another teen disappears, the case's impact expands far beyond the borders of the peaceful suburb. Wilde must return to the community where he has never fit in, and where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it's too late.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781538748145
1538748142
Branch Call Number: F COBEN
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 24 cm

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0007548100dmw
Feb 14, 2021

Coben is one of my favorite authors and normally very dependable for a good read. Even though I enjoyed this book, it wasn't one of his best. I guess even the best can have an off day.

j
jennab4
Feb 09, 2021

Don’t even know where to go with this review. I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it. I wanted to finish it but I wasn’t invested in the characters or the storyline. It was my second Harlan Coben book and I felt the same about it as I did the last one. It feels like a Quintin Tarantino movie, with over the top quirky characters and an enticing plot that sort of just coasts and at the end you ask yourself “what was that?”

Wilde (the boy from the woods)is ex-army, private investigator, survivalist, psychologist type guy who lives off the grid and has complex relationships with pretty much everyone. When a teenager goes missing Wilde joins in to help find her . Then another teenager goes missing and there’s a crooked politician/future presidential candidate who may be somehow involved. There was just something about Wilde that I didn’t care for. Hester, a tv attorney who also helps investigate the missing kids was awesome though.

There was something flat about this book. I can see it as a Netflix miniseries.

g
grieta
Jan 29, 2021

Meh. Long time devotee of Mr. Coben, and found this novel (and his last stand alone novel, "Run Away") essentially ~ well ~ meh. Okay. Not great. I am quite able to suspend disbelief to buy Wilde's back-story (I mean ~ geez! I still watch Murder, She Wrote!!!!), but the story-line was one that just never came together for me. It was a quick read in that I could skip over the pages of room decor/clothes descriptions, hairstyles and back-story stories and just read the dialogue, but other than that, it just droned on. I've read all of Mr. Coben's books and thus far, his Myron Bolitar series wins hands down! After he finished the series, he did one follow-up which was great! I wish he'd pick up the Bolitar crew again ... and not just with Myron's nephew for the teen reader.

Oh, and if you're a first time reader, you'd be safe reading the last four (4) chapters ... all of his stand alone books wrap up, twist up, and ride off into the sunset without having to read the whole thing. He admits to this device but as I say ~ "The Boy" and "Run Away" left me non-plussed. The others? Excellent!!

g
gr8_reader
Jan 28, 2021

Great to have some of the backstory on Hester and a great new character with Wilde!

m
MillieBT
Jan 25, 2021

A quick read but disappointing

a
AnnSkye
Dec 16, 2020

My first Harlan Coben read. A pretty good read although I thought it fizzled out a bit towards the end.

g
Grandma007
Dec 13, 2020

Plot is bad, characters unbelievable. Sort of political....kind of seems like a critique of a character somewhat like Donald Trump....maybe. Not sure what the point of the story is. Maybe the author had to send in a story due to contractual obligations.

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gloryb
Oct 21, 2020

The title of this novel is misleading as the novel is not about a child lost in the woods; that child is now a grown man, the sleuth in this story. There were other things that bothered me about the story's construction. Coben gives too much space to the relationships among the characters and their backgrounds. Half way into the book, the plot for the novel finally begins to take shape with a teen boy's disappearance, his worried wealthy parents, the appearance of a ransom note, and the attempts at finding the boy. The first half of the book, about the missing bullied female teen, seems to be a subplot with only minable connection to the main plot of the novel, the second half of the book. For me, all characters were unsympathetic. The dialogue in the novel was phony, especially for Hester, an older New York female lawyer. There was little tension. Coben uses this novel as a soap box for the inclusion of current social issues such as fake news, teen bullying, and inequity between rich white and poor black folks.

m
Missbel
Sep 09, 2020

I agree with Awesome. Coben is a great storyteller. I am always intrigued by characters when you cannot predict their next moves, or story outcomes. I was hooked from the start and can relate to both Naomi's and Hester's stories. but the best part of the story is Wilde's viewpoint regarding the complexities of life.

d
DT_kcls
Aug 14, 2020

I'm not sure what the main plot of 'The Boy from the Woods' is, even as I finished it. There are so many dangling plot lines and red herrings that it feels incomplete. Is the story about a bullied girl, the classmates who bully her, the now adult 'boy from the woods', political intrigue, past crimes? Confusingly, it all those and a few more.

I have to assume, and I think I'm hoping, this is the beginning of a Wilde and Hester Crimstein series that will eventually tie some of the loose ends of their back stories and other puzzles together.

The puzzles are what make it work, as opposed to action that it's lacking.

I actually think with a different title and some changed details, 'The Boy from the Woods' could have been a story starring Win ("Articulate") from the Myron Bolitar series, but Wilde is a confused and yet resourceful guy. I'd read another book with him in it, but I'd read another Harlan Coben book anyway.

Once again I'm in the position of recommending people read any other book by an author before they judge him on this one.

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stanarchy
Sep 11, 2020

stanarchy thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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