Part of my personal reading challenge for 2018 is to read a sample of the books my mother left behind. You can read about that here.
Paul Copeland, a New Jersey county prosecutor, is still grieving the loss of his sister twenty years ago—the night she walked into the woods, never to be seen again. But now, a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to the disappearance. The victim could be the boy who vanished along with Paul's sister. And, as hope rises that his sister could still be alive, dangerous secrets from his family's past threaten to tear apart everything Paul has been trying to hold together...
I finished this book in one day, and it is NOT light reading. Nothing else got accomplished, but I COULD NOT put it down. My daughter started trying to talk to me when I had twenty pages less. I confirmed that she was not on fire nor actively bleeding, therefore it could wait.
This story twists and unfolds in ways you don't see coming, but it doesn't cheat. Once everything is laid out, it all makes sense. I LOVE books that do that!
The writing style is casual, almost as if the author is speaking directly to you. There are a few minor POV shifts, but mostly the reader stays with Paul (who goes by Cope) and Lucy (who is important, but that's all I'll say about her.)
The plot is fast-paced and dares the reader to solve the crime, only to take a quick turn just as you think you've got it.
The one thing I thoroughly enjoyed about this book is that the characters are actually likable. They are flawed and make mistakes, but you like them. There is such a trend to have horrible people in thrillers and suspense. This was a nice departure from that.
I wholeheartedly recommend The Woods to anyone who likes solving the puzzle.
The one caveat I would give for some of my friends is: It is not a romance. HEA is not a guarantee.
So one more of Mom's books read. I will definitely be keeping all of the Harlan Coben titles, even if it did make me miss her. Several times I wanted to ask her if my prediction was correct or tell her that she needed to watch The Five, and that kind of sucks. But I understand why she liked these so much.