For Paul Copeland, the county prosecutor of Essex, New Jersey, mourning the loss of his sister has only recently begun to subside. Cope, as he is known, is now dealing with raising his six-year-old daughter as a single father after his wife has died of cancer. Balancing family life and a rapidly ascending career as a prosecutor distracts him from his past traumas, but only for so long. When a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried secrets of the prosecutor's family are threatened.
Is this homicide victim one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? Could his sister be alive? Cope has to confront so much he left behind that summer 20 years ago: his first love, Lucy; his mother, who abandoned the family; and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children. Cope must decide what is better left hidden in the dark and what truths can be brought to the light.
©2007 Harlan Coben; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio
I didn't really have this one on my hit list, but when I saw it was on sale, I thought I'd give it a shot because it had good reviews.
This a real good book!
I thought there might be a few more twists and turns than there actually were, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Sometimes authors lose hold and ruin a story by twisting it to the point of being absurd - that didn't happen here.
The only knock I can think of is the narrator, Scott Brick. I find him sappy and overly melodramatic when he shouldn't be. He wasn't as bad in this one as he sometimes is, and he didn't really detract too much from a good listen.
Overall, big thumbs up!
Unfortunately, for those who have read this book as their first Harlan Coben book, I highly recommend reading any of his other standalone thriller, like "Hold Tight", "No Second Chance", "Gone for Good", and "Tell No One". These are all some of the best thrillers I have read.
However, this book, "The Woods", tends to spin in place. It's an attempt at a legal thriller, but without the excitement of Coben's other books. It is SLOW and tedious, and repetitive. The narration is ok, but even Scott Brick couldnt save this one.
It isnt a bad book, but it is not even close to the excitement and interest of Coben's other novels.
If you a re new to Harlan Coben, I would highly recommend any of the books I listed above, especially "Hold Tight".
Avoid "The Woods".
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Disguised as a mystery/thriller/courtroom drama, damn if this isn't a full bodied novel... LITERATURE! Hey, that's sneaky. But Coben has such power to plot and develop characters that he's created a vehicle to investigate both the cultural glue of family and the fragility of hope in the face of fear.
Gotta admit that Scott Brick, who I've criticized in the past for the portentention of his presentations – has burst through that single dimension and justified for me the esteem which many of his fans express.
This is both an entertaining and THOUGHTFUL read. I'm a Coben fan, but this is one of his best (so far... I started with his earliest and now I'm off to read more).
I hadn't planned to review this but when I saw it on the Essentials list I had to. If I'd heard the words "I said nothing" one more time I would have vomited. The book is long and I didn't like any of the characters - they are all jerks or sad sacks, no one to really root for. Coben is a decent but not great mystery writer and this was only mediocre. Too many twists and turns and then I guessed the "surprise" ending long before it was revealed. I kept at it just to get to the end, but it was torture at times and I could hardly wait to get on to another story.
What a great story!. I couldn't wait to get back to listening to it. I ususally just listen in my car during my commute, but this time I was listening to it when I got home. Great characters and an excellent 2nd story line(kind of Law&Order like). Just when you think you figured it out, they give another twist. You can't loose with this one. And last but not least, it's Scott Brick doing the reading and he just makes it even better.
Semi retired magazine editor and part time university adjunct instructor who is often distracted by his 10-year-old daughter.
This book suffered on two fronts. First, it ranked low on the plausibility scale. There were too many dots that needed connecting and miraculously became connected. Second, the penultimate climax to the book was delivered in a mundane and non-dramatic style. It was akin to Coben simply providing a listing of tied-up loose ends. The actual conclusion to the book rescued some of this. Despite these failings, the book still entertained. Coben is a gifted storyteller and even something less than his best can still keep you listeneing. Scott Brick did his usual excellent job of reading and the sound engineers gave us a new wrinkle: the other end of phone conversations were modified to sound just like that -- the other end of phone conversations. The electronic manipulation did not detract from the clarity of the spoken word and removed any doubt as to who was speaking. Brick is good enough to read without this aid and I think the jury will remain out on this new technique. If you are a fan of Coben you will probably enjoy this book. If this is the first Coben book you listen to, then you might not be persuaded to try another. Do so.
Well read, as always, by Scott Brick, this is a story of heartbreaking loss and strength of spirit in the midst of tragedy beyond belief for this young man. The many twists and turns, and the court drama that is also intertwined bring us to a very satisfying ending as it leaves nothing open-ended. While it took some time to get my mind around all the sadness, I still found myself unable to stop listening to find out what "really happened 20 years ago?" Recommend highly.
All through this book I anticipated the next question, but was often wrong. Lots of surprises that somehow make sense in the end.
I gave this 4 out of 5 stars because the first 80% of the book was interesting. The last 20% was just too bizarre.
Mystery stories in general will never be classed as great literature, but if you want to be engaged for hours in a detailed drama with plenty of surprises, then this is a great purchase. The reader, Scott Brick, is also excellent. Definitely diverting entertainment.
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