Book Review: The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

“Memory makes demands that you often can’t keep. Memory is faulty because it insists on filling in the blanks.”

The 2020 book by Harlan Coben, The Boy From The Woods follows a man with a mysterious past who must find a missing teenage girl. Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing. No one seems to take Naomi’s disappearance seriously, not even her father. Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble. But in order to find Naomi, he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbour secrets that could destroy the lives of millions… secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.


The Boy From The Woods is my first Harlan Coben read even though I have hoarded a selection of his books already. So I couldn’t wait to get my first experience of his acclaimed thrillers.

And although I wasn’t particularly blown away by this one, I did really enjoy it. There’s a lot of great action in this well-plotted crime thriller with a lot going on, including political scandals, outcast characters, bullying and disappearing teenager, and I love how the narratives all come together. However, I wasn’t completely gripped and, therefore, not overly impressed with the outcome.

Still, I loved the character of Wilde and I would definitely read another book with him in the lead if Coben were to write one. Coben is undoubtedly a great writer and, although I didn’t love this one, it has made me eager to read more of his work.

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