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.
ISBN: 9781538748145
1538748142
Characteristics: 371 pages ;,24 cm.

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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.

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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.

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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.

k
kaymar
Jul 30, 2020

Not a very good book, I don't think he should be pleased with writing this one

c
Carolwagers
Jul 07, 2020

If you like generic crime stories with some snappy dialogue, this story is probably for you. I found it really improbable and unlikely that the series of events could have unfolded so quickly. Really not the kind of book you want to spend a lot of time reading, fortunately it scans easily. The unscrupulous senator seemed to be a thinly disguised description of Pres tRump. Lots of planning to avoid the truth with diversions 4 the press. Just not my kind of book, no lasting literary merit: a beach read.

n
nikki28r
Jul 05, 2020

This was a quick, easy read. It was entertaining, but I was a bit disappointed in Wilde's (the boy from the woods) lack of character development. It was mostly about his role in a different mystery surrounding people he cares about. I liked it, but it wasn't nearly as great as some of the others I've read from Coben like Run Away and Home.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Jun 26, 2020

This is my first Harlan Coben book. I have to admit the title is what drew me in. A boy found living in the woods with no memory of his past who is now an adult and works as an investigator sounded intriguing. Both Hester and Wilde were good characters. 70 year old Hester who is a famous criminal attorney was a hoot. She speaks her mind and is a force to be reckoned with. Wilde still prefers to be in the woods and just does what’s necessary as far as the social and technology aspect of the world. There was a lot of subplots to keep track of in this book. The book synopsis leads you to believe the book is about kidnapped teens, but really it’s more of a political mystery centered around a presidential candidate. It was fast paced with some humorous banter that kept the pages turning. A lot about Wilde’s past and future were left unanswered so I think there’s a strong possibility of a sequel.

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BARosen1112
Jun 10, 2020

The Boy From the Woods is known simply as Wilde in this thriller from Harlen Coben. Not as formulaic as some of Coben's thrillers, but the characters - mostly Wilde himself, a PI 30 years after being found in the woods under mysterious circumstances, and Hester Crimstein, a 70+ year old criminal attorney who has appeared in several previous Coben books - do not become people we care about, as happens in the better Coben thrillers and in Coben's long-running Myron Bolitar series.

r
Rose047
Jun 05, 2020

Did not finish reading. His characters are so childish and not very smart. I was a big fan of Coben but after trying to read this book and his last one, won’t waste my time. Storyline always sounds good. I wonder if someone else is writing his books.

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Eil_1
May 01, 2020

Another excellent book from Coben that I bought since the libraries are closed. Wilde, the feral child, is now an adult. The plot and characters were well defined. The main idea I gained from this novel was: how and when the the end justify the means. An ethical question that could be debated.

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stanarchy
Sep 11, 2020

stanarchy thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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