Sunday, September 7, 2014
THE WOODS by HARLAN COBEN
I'm a latecomer to the Harlan Coben bandwagon but here I am happily jumping on board. He's been on my radar for years but somehow I just never got around to trying one of his books until now. I had time to read something from my TBR uh pile (no mere shelf for this collection) and I grabbed this paperback from the top. So glad I did.
The story is about Acting Essex County (NJ) Prosecutor Paul Copeland and the tragedy of his life. He is raising his four-year-old daughter with the help of his late wife's sister and brother-in-law. He has political ambitions too, but overlying all of his life is the night 20 years earlier when his sister disappeared and although she was assumed dead, her body was never found. Four teenagers, two couples, had gone out into the woods from a summer camp, probably following that teenage malady, raging hormones. They didn't return. Two bodies were found, two of the four simply disappeared. Until now . . .
Copeland is taken by NY detectives to see if he can identify a body since the victim had information about Copeland in his pockets. He is astonished to see a resemblance to the young man who disappeared when his sister did. He remembers a scar, and sure enough there it is. That boy survived. Maybe Copeland's sister did too?
This leads him on a journey to the past. His parents broke up after that night and his mother left, never to return. His father mourned to his dying day. Copeland was inspired to become a lawyer, and treasured his wife and daughter. Going back those 20 years is heart-wrenching and someone else involved in the events of that night will return to his life. Meanwhile he is prosecuting two college students from wealthy families for the rape and beating of a young black stripper. As a result, someone is out to get him.
Fascinating characters, especially Copeland, and a fascinating story. I loved this book and the tangled family stories. Now to look in that pile for more Harlan Coben books.
Source: Book sale find