EXCERPT: From the North Jersey Gazette April 18 1986
ABANDONED “WILD BOY” FOUND IN THE WOODS
Huge Mystery Surrounding Discovery of ‘Real Life Mowgli
WESTVILLE, N.J.- In one of the most bizarre cases in recent history, a wild-haired young boy, estimated to be between six and eight years old, was discovered living on his own in the Ramapo State Forest near the suburb of Westville. Even more bizarre, authorities have no idea who the boy is or how long he had been there.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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.
MY THOUGHTS: I have read better books by Harlan Coben, and I have read worse ones. The Boy From the Woods sits somewhere in the middle. It’s not a bad read, but neither is it anything special. I wasn’t tempted to abandon this read, but I was easily distracted by things I normally ignore when I am reading.
None of the characters were completely convincing. Even Wilde, who was easily the most interesting, was a mass of contradictions. I did enjoy the way Naomi’s disappearance was wrapped up.
There are a lot of current issues incorporated into this novel, fake news, political machinations, bullying in the school system and the home. Sometimes less is more.
I think that this may make a better movie than book. There is quite a lot of unbelievable ‘action’ that would be better portrayed on the big screen.
‘Being a parent is like being a car mechanic-you can repair the car and take care of the car and keep the car on the road, but you can’t fundamentally change the car. If a sports car drives into your garage for repairs, it isn’t driving out a SUV. Same with kids.’
THE AUTHOR: Harlan Coben was born in Newark, New Jersey. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone, Century via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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