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Matt Hunter made a mistake when he was 20 years old and paid for it with a four-year stint in prison that left him with a determination never to be locked up again. Finally, his life is back on the promising track he was taking before he accidentally killed a man: He has a good job, a newly pregnant wife he adores, and is about to close on the home of their dreams. Then he gets a couple of bizarre photos on his cell phone that seem to show his wife in a compromising position with a black-haired stranger. But before he can sort out who sent the anonymous pictures and why, he's running from the law--especially from the cop who was his best friend in grade school, and a sharp young detective who's stepped right into the middle of an FBI investigation spurred by the discovery that a dead nun who wasn't who she claimed to be is somehow mixed up in Matt and Olivia Hunter's life. Coben deftly wields a complicated plot involving a missing stripper, a dead gangster, an incriminating videotape, and a couple of agents who aren't quite who they seem to be, while Hunter manages to hold onto his faith in Olivia despite her clouded past and uncertain future. Like all Coben's protagonists, (including the hero of his popular series starring sports agent turned detective Myron Bolitar) Hunter is a nice, middle-class New Jersey boy who's still the innocent of the title, despite the miscarriage of justice that sent him to prison. Or was it? That's the moral question at the heart of this tightly constructed thriller, which will no doubt shoot directly to the top of the bestseller list, and deservedly so. --Jane Adams
Amazon.com Exclusive Content
A Bit of Bolitar: An Exclusive Essay by Harlan Coben
Beloved series character Myron Bolitar appears in a new short story included with Harlan Coben's latest thriller, The Innocent. In this Amazon.com exclusive essay, Coben shares his thoughts on Bolitar's return.
Some mistakes can change your life forever-. The horror of one night is forever etched in Matt Hunter's memory: the night he innocently tried to break up a fight-and ended up a killer. Now, nine years after his release from prison, his innocence long forgotten, he's an ex-con who takes nothing for granted. With his wife, Olivia, pregnant and the two of them closing on a house in his home town, things are looking up. Until the day Matt gets a shocking, inexplicable video call from Olivia's phone. And in an instant, the unraveling begins. A mysterious man who begins tailing Matt turns up dead. A beloved nun is murdered. And local and federal authorities--including homicide investigator, Loren Muse, a childhood schoolmate of Matt's with a troubled past of her own-- see all signs pointing to a former criminal with one murder already under his belt: Matt Hunter. Unwilling to lose everything for a second time, Matt and Olivia are forced outside the law in a desperate attempt to save their future together. An electrifying thrill-ride of a novel that peeks behind the white picket fences of suburbia, THE INNOCENT is at once a twisting, turning, emotionally-charged story, and a compelling tale of the choices we make and the repercussions that never leave us. Includes the exclusive short story 'Rise and Fall of SuperD' Featuring Myron Bolitar
- Strong stand alone
Matt Hunter, college student turned 'accidental killer' ends up in prison. Upon his release, he begins trying to reassemble his life. He works with his brother, married Olivia, buys a house in the old neighborhood, and after years of trying, has a child on the way. But then he gets an odd call on his cell phone, one leading to his wife having an affair and then his life begins to unravel again.
Coben may have a formula to his stand alone novels but this is the better of those books. I thought I had it figured out around page 180 but I fell for the swerve and then I became engulfed in the story and was hungry for more... until the ending wrap-up. That's what keeps this book from getting five stars, suddenly - boom - it's over and everyone gets what they want. It's an intriguing, engrossing story that closes a little to fairy tale-ish. Fans of Coben will eat this up. This one could so easily be made into a hit movie with a strong cast. Definitely recommended as a thriller/mystery even if you don't know who Coben is....more info
- Fantastic - clearly a 5-star effort
Over the last four or five months, my wife has read a number of books from Harlen Coben. With each successive effort, she has sung Coben's praises and strongly encouraged me to give one of his books a try. Having just finished The Innocent, I must say that I should have taken her advice months ago. The Innocent was fantastic - completely captivating and nearly impossible to put down. Coben presents a compelling, complicated, fast paced thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the final few pages. Prepare to stay up too late reading. You should, however, find the sleep deprivation to be worth it. ...more info
- Mini-Review: "The Innocent" by Harlan Coben
I am a bit of a snob when it comes to choosing what books I will read. I don't pay much attention to what is on the "Best Seller" lists. I am usually not interested in reading what everyone is reading on the beach this summer!
Generally, I choose what to read by following two main criteria. First, I will read a book by an author whose work I have already read, enjoyed and who I respect. Second, I will read a book recommended to me by someone whose tastes in literature I respect. As a result, I don't often read what is currently popular. So, I was a little taken aback last week when on several occasions - while riding on the "T" in Boston and while dining in restaurants - people noticed the book I was reading and stopped to say: "He is one of my favorite authors; that is a great book." The book I was reading was "The Innocent," and the author is Harlan Coben, "modern master of the hook-and-twist," according to author Dan Brown.
I do not want to give away any of the delicious plot twists of this page-turner, so I will limit my comments to a few hors-d'oeuvres. Here is the scenario:
A nun turns up dead in a convent in Newark, New Jersey, and suspicions are aroused when it turns out that she had breast implants! Just who was Sister Mary Rose? A man who has served time in prison for involuntary manslaughter finds himself accused of a crime he did not commit. His wife appears to be having an affair and her "lover" seems to be flaunting it in front of the husband. An orphaned girl tries to find her birth mother, a Las Vegas stripper who was murdered years ago - or was she? Let the games begin!
From these "base" and basic ingredients, Coben concocts a zesty ragout that guarantees surprises in every bite.
Ultimately, believe it or not, this suspense novel evolves into a very moving story about unconditional love, redemption and second chances.
I have read the book twice. What does that tell you?
- Another great one by Coben
This book follows the typical Coben formula, a regular guy who gets falsly accused of a crime and his fight to save his family and clear himself. As usual, this is a complicated novel with many twists. I listened to this one on CD, and I recommend reading most of Coben's books so that it can sink in a little better. I found myself getting lost listening to it on CD. Coben's books are so complex and intricate that you really need to pay attention to every detail. I almost feel like taking notes so that I dont miss anything! Overall, another satisfying triller from the master....more info
AND HARLAN COBEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Does this guy know how to write a thiller with twists or what??????? One of the best books I've read in a while. You won't want to put it down....more info
- Reviews by Nan Kilar and Bobby Miller
I'll try not to write a confusing review about a confusing book. Matt Hunter, the main character, and the other assorted characters are each introduced in a separate chapter. Then the chapters start bouncing back and forth with one character's activities, then another's, and so on.
In his college days, Matt was sent to prison for manslaughter after he broke up a fight and killed a guy. Nine years later, he's happily married to Olivia and they're expecting their first child. Then, thanks to modern technology, he receives provocative pictures of her on his camera phone. Loren Muse, an investigator in the DA's office, a murdered nun with [...] implants, and assorted references to Nevada round out the various plots that the reader hopes will eventually come together.
The author artfully ties hundreds of threads together, throws in a few surprises near the end, and brings this well-crafted story to an end. His subtle sense of humor here and there helped the story move right along, too.
- MISTAKES ARE MADE, MISFORTUNE FOLLOWS
Some mistakes can change your life forever. In "The Innocent" the past comes back with a vengence to haunt the lives of ex-convict Matt Hunter and his pregnant wife Olivia.
Nine years ago Matt went to prison for manslaughter, convicted for an accidental death that occurred when he attempted to help a friend. While his friends were in college, Matt was serving his time in prison. Now a free man and happily married, Matt will do anything to protect and maintain his new life.
Suddenly a series of events put Matt and Olivias "happily ever after" in jeopardy. First, an admired and well loved nun is murdered, then Matt begins receiving anonymous and compromising photos on his cell phone and suspects he is being followed by a mysterious stranger. He enlists the help of a female detective friend to help unravel the mystery. Unfortunately dead folks begin popping up all over the place and all of them seem to be connected to Matt in one way or another. The local and federal authorities think him a likely suspect to pursue and, worst of all, it seems that sweet Olivia has a few secrets of her own she hasn't shared with her hubby.
What M. Night Shymalan did with unexpected plot twists in his movies, notably The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, Cobin does with his books. Both men ably tell compelling tales about the interaction of fate coupled with the choices we make in life. The Innocent seems to prove that no one is completely innocent.
- up to standards?
Good but Coben has done better, I did enjoy it however even though the plot was far fetched and kind of hard to believe!...more info
- Good read
This was a very good read, not his best book but well worth reading.THE INNOCENT' is non-stop action and will have you turning the pages so quickly your fingers will burn. Every character is strong and well developed and the story is thoroughly engrossing. So you may be wondering why with all of this high praise did I only give it 4 stars? Well, while I knew to expect Coben's signature twist at the end, I thought that maybe there was just one twist to many in this ending. ...more info
- He got me again!
Mr. Harlan and I are old friends. I know him but he does not know me, how sad. I am ahead of him. I can read faster than he can write. I devour his books. I also miss Myron. However he still writes terrific reads, this one is right up there with his best....more info
Another excellent book from Harlen Coben.
Finished the book in 2 days and kept me up til 5am until the birds outside the window told me that I absolutely had to have some shuteye in order to function the next day.
His stand alone books usually start with some unbelievable premise, such as seeing your long dead twin brother drive by, or a note from your drowned ex-girlfriend asking to meet you tonight, or your loving wife suddenly disappearing after getting a phone call in the middle of dinner. In fact these jump start beginnings have been so good that a host of other authors have been copying them. (Or it may be that some other author invented this, I just don't know.)
Anyway, without giving away any of the story, I would say that this book is good because:
1) Coben has an easy writing style and that the book is easy to read. It does not require a lot of thinking, you just follow along. He knows how to write for an audience, unlike some authors.
2) The characters are likeable and fairly realistic. It is very important that the characters are well fleshed out and likeable.
3) Plot is exciting, you eagerly follow along, unlike some books where you keep reading in the hopes that something exciting will come in the next 50 pages.
1) Dislike chapters jumping from one subplot to another. It's annoying when you want to find out what happens to a character. The chapter ends, and instead of continuing, you have to read the next chapter about something else and then get back to that subplot. That's what kept me up to 5am as I kept wanted to follow both subplots.
2) Too many twists to end the book. For example, you find out it's the police chief who was the murderer. Then 2 pages further on you find out, no, it was actually the chief's assistant who had a beef with so and so and was the actual murderer. Then 2 more pages further on, no it was actually the chief's assistant's daughter who was raped and was doing it for revenge and ad infinitum...... After 2 or 3 twists you no longer care who really was the murderer you just want the twists to end......
3) Dislike the new larger paperback format. Publisher charges $2 more for a book with extra large margins; print size and everything else the same. It mocks the reader in the front that it's "specially designed for comfortable reading". How? Because the book is so tall, you can't just use one hand to keep it open like a normal paperback can. Basically you need 2 hands to keep the book open so you can read it. Highly annoying. It should have said "specially designed by the publisher for more profit." Everyone immediately write the publisher to complain.
Summary: All in all a highly enjoyable book. 8 hours of my life I didn't mind losing. Harlen Coben's parents should have had twins, then we would have double the number of books to read. ...more info
- Simple Plot with Complex Twists
Harlan Coben has yet to disappoint me. The Innocent is really not an overly complex plot, yet at the same time it offered depth that really kept me interested. The characters have complex personalities and the plot twists, as with all of Coben's books that I've read, continue to surprise the reader....more info
- One of My Favourite Thriller Writers
Harlan Coben continues to prove that he is one of the best thriller writers around at the moment. A page turner is a much used phrase but in this case it is really appropriate. The author's books are always so well structured and his character's well rounded. He is obviously comfortable with his style and ability and this transmits itself to the reader making the reading of his books sheer pleasure from start to finish. Coben has now got a string of best selling crime novels behind him and all I can say is that I hope he continues to write for many years to come. The author lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.
This particular book seems to have attracted a mixed bag of reviews and to a degree I can understand why, but the fact the reviews are mixed tells its own story. It is very difficult as a reviewer to criticise a book or an author too much, as your thoughts on the book are personal to you. This does not mean that others who read it will also dislike it. In fact they may think totally the reverse and love the book..
I personally found the book an entertaining read, yes in parts the plot did stretch the imagination a little, but it is after all a work of fiction, a fantasy, there to entertain rather than educate. All I can really add is if you have read Harlan Coben before, you will probably enjoy the book immensely and if you haven't but like thriller writing, give it a try....more info
- Fun Book
I read this several months ago but never got around to writing the review. It is interesting to write a review of a mystery so much after finishing the book. What stays with me is the character development. Matt Hunter is terrific character. Portions of the book were far fetched but on the whole it was great fun. ...more info
I like Harlan Coben. Tell No One is a wonderful thriller. This is not. The story seemed forced and contrived. The narrator on the audio CD is HORRIBLE. I listen to a ton of audio books and this was the worst I'd heard. I'll never listen to another one he does....more info
- A little familiar, but still a great read
Reading The Innocent by Harlan Coben, I couldn't help but get a feeling of been-there-done-that with its plot of a man having his whole life uprooted when he discovers his wife/lover has a secret life. I've read similar stories by Coben before, but fortunately, Coben is good enough to keep the story going well even if he is revisiting old ideas.
In this story, the lead character is Matt Hunter, whose life was disrupted in his college years when he tried to break up a fight and wound up killing another student. After serving time for manslaughter, he's rebuilt his life and is married to the beautiful Olivia who's just become pregnant. While she is away on business, Matt gets a call to his cell phone: what he receives are pictures that make it look like Olivia is having an affair. What's worse is that the call came from her phone and now she is unavailable.
Meanwhile, homicide detective Loren Muse is called back to her old Catholic school where the Mother Superior wants Loren to look into the past of a recently deceased nun. It turns out the nun had a mysterious life before she entered the convent (revealed because she had cosmetic surgery), and that her death was a murder. As Loren tries to ascertain her identity, the FBI gets involved and tries to cover up the whole thing.
A phone call from the nun to Matt's sister-in-law's house provides a link between the two stories, and a series of circumstances will lead to Matt being suspected of murder. Matt knows that he could eventually prove his innocence, but his prison time has made him fearful of ever being locked up again, however briefly. Therefore, he will need to become a fugitive to get the answers he needs, both to prove his innocence and to determine what's going on with Olivia.
Once again, Coben has written an effective page turner. If there is a fault with it, it's what I stated before: it is familiar ground that Coben is revisiting. However, this will not keep most current fans from enjoying this book, and if you're new to Coben, this book should also be a pleasure to read....more info
- Couldn't wait to get into the car to hear more.....
We started listening to this book on the way to our beach vacation. Characters are very compelling. It's confusing, yes, but it all comes together -- especially with a neat surprise at the end. The bad guys are very bad, all but one completely unsympathetic. Lots of plot twists and turns. Follow it closely or you will miss a clue. Loved the narrator. He has a great voice for this type of book (also does Night Fall by Nelson DeMille) and he carries it very well. ...more info
- another great coben read!
the master of fast paced thrill reads!great book for coben fans and sure to make new fans as well....more info
- Book review of The innocentby Harlan Coban
This was my first contact with the writing of Mr. Coban, and I started reading the prologue while walking from my mailbox, into the kitchen and on to my favorite chair without lifting my eyes from the pages. The book was fast paced, interesting and had a thousand quirks and turns. I felt sorry for the protaganist, wished him luck and was happy with the final outcome. It was a book I could not put down until I turned the final page....more info
- Never got into the flow
This is my first Coben book after getting several recommendations to read him. If you like psychological thrillers with lots of twists and turns you will like this book. This is a fast-paced, easy read. Imo, it starts with a bang but ends with a whimper. I was constantly distracted while trying to read this book so that may have some impact on my review. I just never seemed to get into the flow of the book. There are plenty of twists and turns and just when you think you have someone figured out, something happens to alter your view of the character. It was a good book. I'll try Coben again and hopefully, I will be able to read more than a page at a time without interruption.
- Bet you're wondering how I knew, 'bout your plans to make me blue
The lines from Marvin Gaye's classic "Grapevine" could be the soundtrack opening if "The Innocent" is made into a movie. Matt Hunter is a Jersey kid (can you hear Bruce Springsteen's raspy voice in between the lines?) when he is in an accidental brawl that leaves one young man dead. Matt spends 4 years in a hard core prison. I don't know. Maybe Rahway State Prison. Brrrr.
An event just like this happened on Long Island a few years back. After High School a big party is held and two rival groups exchange taunts. Alcohol is involved. That incident left one promising athlete with a closed head injury and one promising college athlete in prison. I believe that upon release the defendant even developed a relationship with the victim's mother, as Matt does here with Stephen's Mom.
Matt's search is for redemption and to become the man he was impeded from becoming. He marries his high school sweetheart and life is indeed better than it should be, he believes, even though he is discriminated against when he tries to move back to his old neighborhood and keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop.
His family has some bad luck, grandparents dying, father passing on, older brother a surprising stroke death in his early thirties. But Matt has Olivia, the girl of his dreams, the Mother Teresa who pulls him from the descending whirlpool of his hope and heals his soul.
Or does she?
This is by far the most riveting of the Coben books. I like Myron but I tire of the wisecracks. Life ain't like that. Ditto Elvis Cole, for those of you who know what I'm talking about. But Matt is the real deal. There's a little of Matt in all of us, something in our past we would do anything or give anything to have not done. And, in the best of marriages, (the hell with you Dr. Phil) we all have moments when we're just not sure what's going on.
I don't get 'addicted' to a book. Some books I do read through the night and I'm disappointed when they're done. But "The Innocent" was the first book in a couple of years I was just into to so much I got to the point of ignoring phone calls and kids. And, I was turned on to it by my wife.
Where is she today, by the way?
5 stars. Larry Scantlebury ...more info
- The last 100 pages made it worth the read.
I had heard Harlan Coben's name for years in book chats, but had never read him until this book. Since the voracious readers that I chatted with in years past had spoken of Mr. Coben reverently, I must admit that I was disappointed in the first half of this book--this was just not the caliber of writing that I had been expecting.
While the writing may not have been as strong as I expected, Coben's storytelling was good. "The Innocent" is a dense, multi-layered mystery involving a large cast of generally-well-drawn characters. I really liked the main character, Matt Hunter--a good guy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was young and ended up in prison. Coben uses this good-guy-with-a-bad-rap theme as a major thread in the story, especially when Matt and his wife Olivia try to move back to Matt's old neighborhood and are met with prejudice due to his past.
Like most stories of its ilk, "The Innocent" requires quite a suspension of disbelief--there is some really wacky stuff going on that I sometimes found difficult to take seriously--but, all in all, it is a satisfying story. The last 100 pages, in fact, were outstanding and I was able to end the book on a MUCH higher note than I started it. Given that the book was 500 pages long and I thought only the last 100 pages were great, I wished that the book had been edited down to a tighter 350 or so and maybe it would have been an overall more enjoyable experience....more info
- Coben is addicting!
If you don't want to get addicted to Coben's fast and often funny mysteries, don't buy this great read. The term page-turner could've been coined for this author!...more info
- Like All Coben Books, You Can't Put it Down
When he was younger Matt tried to help out a friend in a fight, the other guy wound up dead and Matt went to jail. When he got out he studied law and his brother Bernie got him a job as a paralegal in his firm and after Bernie died, they kept Matt on. He marries and his wife Olivia is pregnant. Olivia goes to Boston on a business trip, but before she leaves the couple buys matching cell phones. And today, cell phones do so much more than just let you talk to someone who is far away. Matt learns this the hard way when he gets some disturbing images of his wife on his phone.
Then a mysterious someone starts tailing Matt, but not for long, because he winds up dead and the authorities think Matt looks good for the crime. Matt's been on the wrong side of the law before so he doesn't like how things are working out. He believes he has to solve what's going on himself, so he and Olivia are on the run in true Coben style. Matt is a great character, Olivia is too, but I especially liked Matt's long time acquaintance, turned cop Loren Muse and how she evolved in the story. In a way, this book is like all Harlan Coben books, you can't put it down. That's a good thing....more info
- Wow, a superb mystery thriller, should have been six stars
This is the best of the eight HC novels that I have read. "Innocent" not only has spectacular twists and turns but has whirlwinds of them, all packaged together to suddenly put everything in question all over again. This is not a book to read casually at the beach. The many characters, subplots, and plot twists requires the reader to follow closely to stay on board and live the journey.
Some scenes are repeated by different characters so that you get a better feel of what has happened. The author paints his characters with vivid details and strong emotions to bring them to life. It is like you are there. Feeling their emotions. Seeing danger and being concerned for their safety. Of course there were a few times where the victims did stupid stuff and didn't hear me when I warned them.
I must warn you that other reviews think the plot is so convoluted that it is over the top, but I love this kind of plot; where you almost need a flow chart to keep the prose in context. I do admit that I kept a list of the different characters so that I never needed to look back in the book to keep everything straight.
Here is how it all began; Matt Hunter is released from a four year prison sentence that he got when he accidently killed someone in a wild frat party - Kimmy, a thirty-five-year-old stripper in Reno told the young girl that knocked on her door that her mother, Candace Potter, was dead - Years later Matt receives images on his cell phone that shows his wife in a motel room with a strange man - Loren Muse, homicide investigator, is requested by Mother Superior to quietly investigate the background of a recently departed nun that had breast implants - Adam Yates, SAC of Nevada, is told by Cal that, "She is dead. Living as a nun in New Jersey" - and then . . . .
The author or an editor must have spent extra time on making the chapters end so that the reader had a burning desire to find out what was going to happen next. Great job to keep readers not wanting to stop. The book had a good ending with no loose ends. Well there was one thing; how the villain(s) found one of their victims. This was minor compared to the weight of the entire novel and most readers may not even notice in all the whirlwinds.
Author al-Qaeda Strikes Again...more info
- The Innocent and the Not So Innocent
Matt Hunter is an ex-con. He served four long years hard time for the accidental slaying of a young college student, while trying to break up a fight at a fraternity party. After his release, his brother Bernie got Matt work with his legal firm as a Paralegal (an ex-con cannot become a lawyer).
After a little research and a planned, accidental/on purpose encounter with the lovely, Olivia Murray, Matt and Olivia get married. Matt had been carrying a king size torch for Olivia for years, even before prison, when he met Olivia and spent the most memorable, though chaste, evening of his life with Olivia, in Las Vegas.
Life is great. Matt and Olivia are enormously happy and in love. Olivia discovers she is with child. Matt is ecstatic. Things couldn't be better. But they could be worse and all of a sudden Matt experiences Murphy's Law, firsthand.
Olivia drags Matt down to a mobile phone dealer where they pick up matching camera phones, before one of her scheduled business trips. Not much later, while Olivia is allegedly in Boston, Matt is sent a cell phone photo. Thinking at first it was from his wife, he is surprised when the picture turns out to be some unknown smug looking guy. Another picture some time later shows the same guy and Olivia in a blond wig.
Other things are happening and happening fast. Matt is questioned by a county investigator about the murder of Sister Mary Rose, a nun and school teacher who had breast implants - a person Matt has never heard of. Then he is being tailed and after another murder, Matt's life begins spinning out of control. Olivia is almost murdered and he's on the run from the police. The answers to these events point toward Nevada and Olivia and Matt agree to meet there.
Harlan Coben is an interesting writer. The Innocent is the third novel I have read by him and each book had a compelling plot. In the case of The Innocent, the story reminded me of a rockslide. Coben starts with a disclosure, like a pebble on an incline, which dislodges more pebbles, (more disclosures) which in turn dislodge rocks, then boulders, then a full fledged avalanche.
Coben's writing style is lucid and easy to follow. His choice of verbiage seems to coincide with the vocabulary of the average reader. At least this average reader. His character development is a little weak, in this novel but as the book goes on, you realize it was purposeful. He does use some well used clich¨¦s and throws in a moldy joke occasionally, and that's okay. It fits with the story.
What's not okay and the reason I didn't give The Innocent, five stars is the several stretches and loose ends that are evident. Yes, there are a few things that don't ring true, like Matt's nebulous, almost invisible connection to the murder victim, Sister Mary Rose, was enough for the U.S. Attorney to decide to indict him for murder and issue a warrant for his arrest. This, and about a half dozen other problematic revelations, were enough to lower my rating to four stars. Those problems aside, The Innocent is a great read that will keep those pages turning late into the night. ...more info
- I miss Myron
Over the years, I've become addicted to Coben and his sports agent hero, Myron. The Innocent does not feature Myron and subsequently does not live up to the level of other Coben books. While The Innocent is well written with lots of plot turns and surprises, the characters are not as interesting and dynamic as in the Myron novels. I will still recommend this book, but, If I was steering someone to Coben, there are better choices.
Ron Lealos author of Don't Mean Nuthin'...more info
- He really knows how to write them
I just have to say that Harlan Coben is a fantastic writer. I've now read 9 of his books and LOVE every one of them. (I'm starting #10 tonight). He is great at hooking you into the book & it's characters right off the bat and just when you think you have it all figured out....well think again. He's a master at plot twists and turns. He leaves you guessing right up until the end where he always closes things perfecftly....he doesn't leave you hanging. ...more info
- GOOD TILL THE END
I was really into this book until the end. I get very annoyed when a book is exciting and suspenseful and then in the end beyond belief. My big question at the end was how did Sister Mary Rose know where the daughter was to contact her in the first place. (I had guessed who she was early on.) Maybe I missed something along the way - I did go back to see if I had, but could find nothing.
I definitely enjoy Coben's style and wit. However, this is the second book I have read of his where the ending just didn't stack up to the overall book. However, I might try one more, as he is an entertaining writer.
- a fast-paced thriller
*The Innocent* is a fast-paced thriller that'll make you read through fast and before you know it, you're done.
Matt Hunter has paid for his crime, which was really an accident. A young college man was killed during their brawl. With trying to move on, he has a new life with his pregnant wife and a good secure job.
However, before he knows it, he receives a picture, on his cell, of his wife, who is currently out of town, in a compromising situation with a man. While trying to reach his wife, he soons finds himself on the run from two childhood friends, both of them in law enforcement. At the same time, a nun has been contacted Matt's sister-in-law.
Just who is the man in the picture? And why would his wife jeopardize their marriage? Why are his 2 childhood friends after him? Who is this nun that contacted his sister-in-law? How are they all connected? Thanks to his stint in prison, he's able to block out his emotions, rely on his survival skills and get to the bottom of this mess.
Definitely a nail-biting thriller. I liked all aspects of this thriller except one character, whom I felt was wasteful. Matt visits this particular character in secrecy. When Matt feels trapped, he goes to this character for help but is turned away. So, this particular character is really useless in the storyline. Other than that, it's still a good thriller....more info
- Twist, Twist, Hook, Twist=too much and too unrealistic
You are probably like me in that you love a good fiction thriller. Although this thriller is interesting and I finished it rather quickly, I found that Harlan Coben has begun to add TOO MANY hooks and twists in his novels just for the sake of trying to confuse and entertain. His older work is much better.
You may find yourself confused at times with the large number of characters that you don't care about and the myriad of plot twists that are completely out of this world weird and unrealistic. I'm all for reading fiction for fiction's sake, but this one is just a bit too much. There are better thrillers out there. Especially those written by Mr. Coben himself....more info
- A "can't stop" read
I never read 500 pages in two weeks before, I'm usually a slow reader, but this is great ! It's one of the best suspense novels EVER. The chapters are very short and they end with a twist, a bit like the Da Vinci Code. The pages just fly by... I recommend it !...more info
- Another perfect thriller by Coben
I rarely give 5 stars when rating a book, since few books deserve it, but Harlan Coben is a force to be reckoned with. A perfect work of fiction doesn't necessarily have to be believable or even plausible, such as horror novels, but it does have to be well written. Mr. Coben has the monopoly on well written works of fiction. What I enjoy about his style of writing is that he doesn't waste either paper, nor the readers time by bulking up a book with hundreds of pages of filler. He gets right to the story, stays on track, and delivers a stunningly fantastic thrill ride.
The Innocent is about Matt Hunter, a man with a past that he would like to put behind him. He is married to the beautiful Olivia Hunter, a woman who also has a past but hasn't shared that past with her husband, yet. Events transpire that forces Olivia to come straight about her past, and threatens to bring Matt's past back to haunt him yet again. Matt has spent time in prison for an accidental murder that took place while he was in college. It was a fight gone wrong. Matt has served his time and is trying to put that past behind him and create a new life for himself. Olivia is his chance to change his unhappy past into a bright future, but a cell phone call changes all that, when Matt receives a video of his wife, wearing a platinum blond wig, in a bedroom with another man. Matt's world is rocked. Meanwhile, Sister Mary Rose, a nun at St. Margaret's is found dead in her bedroom in the convent. A young girl shows up in Nevada at the trailer of a stripper asking about a woman who has been dead for years, and claiming that the dead woman is her mother.
How does all this tie in together? Buy the book and find out. I promise you will have a hard time putting the book down until you read the last page. ...more info
- Fast paced and fun, if a little absurd.
Harlan always delivers a readable action packed story. This one was no exception although the end was just a tad over the top to the point of preposterous. Still I was entertained. There's nothing better then an afternoon with Coben and your couch....more info
- Very Entertaining
This was a well written thriller that kept me guessing right to the end. I've not read anything by Harlan Coben before, but I will definitly look for more!...more info
- Comfortable Reading Edition / Shocking Story
This paperback was designed for comfortable reading, which it was with it's larger print. With my aging eyes, I really liked that. The story itself was far from comfortable. Matt Hunter has been out of prison for a few years now; long enough to fall in love, get married, his wife is pregnant, and he is a well paid paralegal with a law degree. Then it all starts to fall apart when he gets a call from his wife's cell phone with a video of her in a motel room with another man. Then a nun who was just murdered had placed a 6 minuete phone call to his sister-in-law's house.
You'll have to decide if Matt deserved to go to prison in the first place for the event that changed his life forever. I was not able to tie it all together until the very end; Coben did a great job with this murder mystery. You will not believe the twists and turns in this one as it crosses state lines from Nevada to New Jersey.
This was a good, fast, and nail biting read. In the end only you can decide who is "The Innocent" and probably someone you know who reads this story will not agree with you. ...more info
- Incredible, Fast-paced, Well-written Thriller!
Matt Hunter went to prison nine years ago after a brawl at a frat party that went bad. Now an ex-con, he lives in New Jersey with his newly pregnant wife. After she leaves on a short business trip, he gets a call on his cell phone from his wife. It's a picture of a man waving at him. Then a minute later, he receives another call. This time, it's video footage of a woman who looks like his wife in a blonde wig sitting on a hotel bed. Is his wife cheating on him? She won't return his calls, and then he notices someone is following him. Thus begins an outstanding thriller. It's fast pace never lets up, and the reader is always caught off guard. Revelation after revelation and you're still stunned. But, as with all Harlan Coben thrillers, it all fits nicely into place in the end. This is truly one of the best thrillers I've read. It's right up there with my favorite thriller of all: Coben's "Tell No One." Highly recommended!...more info
- Excellent page-turner
Matt Hunter's life is changed forever when at a frat party he intervenes in a fight and he kills a man. Instead of the glory years of college as a fotball hero, he spends four years in prison. Nine years go by and he is now married to Olivia, and is a paralegal at a prestigious law firm, a job gotten him by his now deceased brother. Oliva and Matt are very happily expecting their first child. Soon strange events start shattering Matt's peaceful existence. He gets a compromising picture of Olivia with another man on his cellphone, he starts getting followed around town, a man that he meets up with ends up dead. When the death of a nun at a convent is connected to Matt, and the police seem eager to pin the murder on him, he knows he must help himself out of the mess his life is becoming.
Harlen Coben is the master of twists and turns. I was riveted to the story until the very last page. Matt and Oliva are extremely sympathetic characters and you root for their well being. Readers won't be sorry putting time into this book.
- A serious page turner
A thriller that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't disappoint. Characters and situations that are gripping and engaging. Not a classic by any means, but a good fun read if you are into thrillers....more info
I just finished this groaner. It could not conceivably have been more contrived and convoluted. When you get to the end (if you foolishly read it all, as I did) you will let out an AUDIBLE moan of utter disbelief.
If stars were awarded for "cringe factor," this book would earn a ten!...more info