Monday, May 21, 2007

The Woods by Harlen Coben

It's not often a book will capture my attention from the first page to the last, but I can honestly say that I had trouble putting THE WOODS down. I've gone through several books of not getting past page 50 which is my rule, if I'm not engaged in the first 50 pages, I don't read the book. No such problem here. The story revolves around a multiple killing that took place at a summer camp twenty years ago. The narrator of the story, New Jersey county prosecutor Paul Copeland, was a counselor at the camp. Paul left his guard duty to spend some time with his girlfriend while four campers who included his sister Camille were murdered that night. Two of the campers were found and the other two which included Camille were never found, but presumed buried in the woods. Two years later a psychopathic camp counselor was arrested, tried, and convicted in a different state for similar killings. Fast forward to present day, a body of a man murdered in NYC has Paul's name in his pocket. After being contacted by the police, and having viewed the body, Paul is shocked to see that the man is Gil Perez, the other camper besides Camille who was never found. This case is very personal to Paul. By the resolution of the case, Paul has to confront his family's past, and come to terms with the skeletons in the closet. This novel is so intricately plotted that there is never a moment where there is no suspense. In fact, there are twists until the very last page. Even though, Paul is dealing both with rape case that he is prosecuting and investigating the camp killings the novel never becomes confusing, both stories are interwoven masterfully. The characters were fleshed-out and interesting. It's been a while since I liked a book this much. Highly Recommended

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