The Boy from the Woods. Finished 4-18-20, 4.5/5 stars, fiction, 370 pages, pub. 2020
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. from Goodreads
Wilde was found in the New Jersey woods as a boy and no one knew who he was or how he got there. He grew up in foster care with people who loved him. He spent time in the military and working security with a foster sister, but when we meet him he is living in a small moveable home out in the woods, with monitors that alerted him to intruders coming his way. His best friend’s son comes to him scared because a girl at his school goes missing. Wilde finds her with little effort and finds that he likes the outcast. So, when she runs away/goes missing again he steps into the action and gets way more than he bargained for.
The backdrop of this is money and politics. I don’t know how deeply I want to delve into it because everyone will bring their own leanings into what is said. I saw one group of people very clearly, but someone on the other side of the political spectrum might see something else. The world we live in is full of extremism and lies and Coben addresses the fallout.
A lot is happening in this book, but every twist and turn in the last fourth of the book was very satisfying for this reader.
I’ve read that Wilde will be back sometime in the future and I am so excited about this. I loved Wilde and his relationship with Hester. I’ve read all of Coben’s books and they are all good, but more than a few are great and this is one of those. If you’ve not read Coben this is a good place to start (although Tell No One is still my fave). His sense of humor always comes through and he always has his pulse on what is going on in the world, so the stories always feel relevant and just crazy enough for some thriller fun.