Having read and enjoyed my first Harlan Coben novel recently (THE WOODS), I read THE INNOCENT, which shares a couple of supporting characters with the other book. In this one, the protagonist is Matt Hunter, a young man who gets involved in a fight at a frat party in college, winds up going to prison for manslaughter when one of the people he was fighting with dies, and then tries to rebuild his life after being released. He seems to be doing so: he has a good job as a paralegal, and he’s married to a beautiful woman who’s now pregnant. And then, of course, everything goes haywire as all sorts of trouble from the past crops up. Before you know it, Matt is on the run from the cops, suspected of two murders, and somebody wants him dead.
I enjoyed this one every bit as much as THE WOODS, maybe even a little more. I like the way Coben writes. He has one of those styles that just seems to resonate with me and keeps me turning the pages. And I always like incredibly complex plots where nothing is what it seems to be at first. This one relies a little heavily on coincidence in a place or two, but hey, coincidences happen. For what it’s worth, Coben saves one little twist for the very end, and that one I saw coming, even though I didn’t figure out much of the rest of the book ahead of time.
I have another Coben novel sitting on the shelf waiting to be read soon, JUST ONE LOOK. I’ve been told it’s one of his best. And I plan to get around to his Myron Bolitar series one of these days, too. In the meantime, I recommend THE INNOCENT. It’s a very entertaining book.
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