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Publisher's Summary

Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered, and the others were never seen again. Four families had their lives changed forever. Now, two decades later, they are about to change again.

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

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  • Overall
  • Barry
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 05-27-08

Coben's worst I've read

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".

68 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 05-31-08

Good, but not Coben's best

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.

69 of 77 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 02-24-13

WHOA! This was totally good!

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).

62 of 70 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Pleasant Surprise

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!

54 of 61 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great listen

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.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Suspend Disbelief and Enjoy

The Audible description of this novel is good. I thought the story had good suspense. Overall, I think the storyline will certainly appeal to some and but to not others. Primarily because I think the focus and suspenseful parts of the story are cloaked in cultural practices and therefore more readily understood by some and not by others. It took me a minute to "get over it" and just suspend disbelief. While I had to suspend my disbelief way beyond the "outer limits" and into "twilight zone" somewhere, the story was entertaining albeit sometimes slow, churning and monotonous.

Scott Brick performs this novel at his usual best.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

excellent mystery

Great read narrated to perfection! lots of twists and surprises that totally kept me hooked. one of the things I really liked was the suspense without the gore or smut found in too many books. I will be reading more from this author and listen to more from this narrator for sure!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


This book sucked me right in and didn't let me go. Scott Brick is now one of my favorite readers and I look forward to more of Harlan Coben's books. This story doesn't allow you to see what's coming which is fresh. Not until the last 2 chapters do you know what's coming next. There were many jaw dropping, oh my God moments. I was beyond pleased and I can see me adding the actual book to my library in the future. Great author, great story, great reader ..... a definite must listen.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne F.
  • Philo, CA United States
  • 07-14-09

How did this one become an Essential??

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.

42 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Listen

In my opinion the story was well written, the narrator was very good, and if you lived in the 60's & 70's during the cold war and wide drug use it is all very feasible.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful