this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: "The Woods", by Harlan Coben

I started my love affair with books late. While members of the family were already enjoying novels, I was still stuck with Enid Blyton's children's stories, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. I started reading the more serious novels in college.
Not too many few people know that I try to finish at least two books in a week. Yep, that's my goal. If I get to finish three in a week's time, then that means I have a lot of extra time in my hands. (Gasp! I do?!?!!?!)
Anyway, a year ago, someone (Ms. Dawn) visited me in my former office and saw a book I was currently reading perched on my table. After that, she gifted me with a copy of "The Woods" by Harlan Coben, her favorite author, and another book, the first book in the series of the same author. The name was so unfamiliar, I was scared that I won't be able to finish the book (what a waste!)

I started reading The Woods, just a few page turns and I was hooked. This was also the start of my love affair with Harlan.  I've read all his books, and I thought I'd share with you The Woods by giving a review.
The setting of this book was 20 years ago, in a summer camp, where four teenagers walked into the woods one night. Two of them were later found dead, while two went missing.
Meanwhile, Paul Copeland is the new county prosecutor, and he is coping with being a single dad. His wife died six years ago.  Paul's sister was also one of those teenagers who went missing.  Someone was arrested for the murder but that someone never confessed to the killings.
Paul finds the surprise of his life when  a murdered guy is found and he is one of the two missing teenagers from 20 years ago. Paul's life is turned upside-down, his family is tested and his past is unearthed. Secrets unfold and the truth finally comes out.
This book is fast -paced and an easy read. Its twist and turns are like the Enchanted Kingdom's Space Shuttle. One moment you speculate what the ending would be, but when you turn the page, there's something more that you didn't see.  I like the witty dialogues and the profound reflections on simple matters. One is a reflection made by Lucy, and this struck me as a teacher:
"It was hard to teach students. She often tought back to her own education, the hours of mind-numbing lectures, and could not remember one thing from any of them. The lessons she had truly learned, the one she internalized and recalled and pit to use, were the quick comments a teacher would make during discussion time. Teaching was about quality, not quantity.  You talk too much, you become Muzak- annoying background music. If you say very little, you can actually score."
I like Paul. I think he's really a great guy. I love it how he defended Chamique Johnson, the rape victim. When I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. Even if I was riding the train, standing up, I had to fish out my book from my bag just to get on with my reading.

This is also where Loren Muse is first mentioned; and Cingle too. Harlan Coben's characters somehow meet each other in some other novels, which is one thing I like about his writing style. You should read his other books so you'd know what I mean.

Anyway, I give this 5  out of 5 smileys:

:) :) :) :) :)



Rae said...

I'm currently reading Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. I'm looking for more books to read this year. Glad you wrote about this. Sometimes I lose my momentum when I run out of books to read.

jaja said...

Oh I've been meaning to read that for years... Lagi ko lang nakakalimutan. Hehehe. Buti you mentioned it pala.

Thanks for reading.