Twenty years ago Paul’s sister went missing, presumed dead along with her friends at the hands of the Summer Slasher, after a trip to a summer camp. Wayne the slasher is now in prison and Paul is working as a County Prosecutor. Ira the owner of the camp where the incident happened has dementia and is in a home. His Daughter Lucy was with Paul at the time of the disappearance.The body of one of the missing camp friends turns up which sparks the reunion of Paul and Lucy, who both still feel guilty for the events of that night. In the meantime Paul is defending a rape victim, against two young boys whose parents will do anything to clear their names.
I’m a big fan of Harlen Coben and whilst this wasn’t one of my favourite of his books it was still a very enjoyable read. It seemed very different to Harlen Coben’s other novels, and I felt that some of the storylines were a little bit unnecessary. To me the novel could have concentrated on the slasher story and didn’t need the addition of the dead wife and charity and sister. However this also helped build the tensions and I suppose was necessary to show the pressure that Paul was under from every angle.
As with all of Harlen Coben’s novels there was a lot going on, but everything gets tied up at the end which always appeals to my natural sense of justice. His writing is flawless and I don’t think he can be faulted for the way he tells a story.
As I said I don’t think this was one of his best novels, but as always personal preference comes into play and this would probably appeal to fans of John Grisham. The legal part of it was not really the main plot, although I suspect some could argue with me depending on your particular taste in storylines. I found some of the actions of Paul a little far fetched. However whilst not the most original, the slasher camp storyline was interesting and had some good twists and turns.
If you have never read Harlen Coben novels before I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one, but it’s definitely worth a read.
2 responses to “The Woods by Harlen Coben – a review”
I do like Harlen Coben, but with a toppling TBR list anyway, I think I can safely keep this one off if. Thanks for a great review.
Absolutely. I always have a huge pile of books to go at, too many books too little time!