The Barnes & Noble Review
Get ready for a wild ride in award-winning suspense author Harlan Coben's The Innocent, a powerful story of unexpected connections…and consequences.
Everybody makes mistakes. But, whether these missteps result from poor judgment, good intentions, or circumstances completely beyond our control, they can change lives…our own and other people's. When Matt Hunter tries to break up a fight at a college party, he unintentionally causes the death of another student and finds his future derailed by a four-year prison term. After his release, he's got a lifetime ahead of him as an ex-con…but his real trials are just beginning. And when his past mistake makes him the prime suspect in the murder of a nun, Matt's desperate desire to prove his innocence leads him into deadly danger.
Fans will especially enjoy the bonus short story appearing in the hardcover edition of The Innocent -- "The Rise and Fall of Super D" is the first new outing in five years for Coben's delightfully unpredictable protagonist, sports agent Myron Bolitar. Sue Stone
Coben seems to delight in making bad things happen to good people (Tell No One; Gone for Good; etc.), and he does it again in this, his best book to date. A paralegal, devoted husband and soon-to-be father, Matt Hunter has a not-so-secret past: when he was 20, in an attempt to break up a fistfight, he killed a man and served four years in prison for it. He's been out five years, living in his New Jersey hometown, and life is pretty good. But when his beloved wife, Olivia, goes away on a business trip, he receives 15 seconds of digital video on his camera phone showing her in a hotel room with another man. Meanwhile, Loren Muse, Essex County homicide investigator, is working on an unusual case: an autopsy of a nun reveals breast implants, which hint at a previous, not so holy life. After the FBI is called in, evidence links Matt to the nun killing. Like all of Coben's stand-alone thrillers, this is a long, extremely complex tale with plenty of gunfire, betrayals, late-night chases and good people forced to go on the lam. All the characters have extensive, interesting histories, which makes their actions believable under the extreme circumstances that engulf them. Some readers have felt that Coben has been treading water with his last two outings, but this one should re-establish his credentials. Major ad/promo. (Apr. 26) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
When it comes to creating crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and numerous plots and subplots with the skill of a master weaver, Harlan Coben almost makes famed moviemaker Alfred Hitchcock look like an amateur. The Innocent enhances Coben's already enviable reputation as a peerless, high-concept author of thrillers in which seemingly ordinary people get caught up in unexpected, fearful and bewildering situations. If you start reading this at an airport, be sure to arrange beforehand for someone to tap your shoulder when your plane begins boarding, lest you miss your flight because you were so engrossed in this harrowing book. (23 May 2005)
Out of jail after a conviction for manslaughter (he was just trying to stop a fight), Matt Hunter suddenly finds himself suspected of multiple murders. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
An ex-con's carefully constructed new life in the New Jersey suburbs comes crashing down with a single call from his wife's new camera phone. Nine years ago, Matt Hunter was just another college kid when he accidentally killed another boy in a fight he was trying to break up. Now, five years after his release from prison, he can't believe the good fortune that gave him a paralegal job in his late brother's law firm and a beautiful, loving wife who's just found out she's pregnant. And maybe it's all too good to be true, as he can't help thinking when he answers a call from Olivia and sees a video of her wearing a blonde wig, walking around a strange hotel room with a strange man. As the unknown man keeps tugging on Matt's leash by phoning him with further taunts, Coben plays out a pair of plot lines-a young woman's search for information about her birth mother Candace Potter, aka Candi Cane, a Vegas stripper murdered ten years ago, and the much more recent death of Sister Mary Rose, a nun with breast implants-that couldn't seem more remote from Matt's suspicions about Olivia. As Matt starts to notice details about a mysterious car that's been following him and the weather outside Olivia's hotel room, though, the pieces of the puzzle start to fall together. As usual in Coben's suburban thrillers (Just One Look, 2004, etc.), there's a record number of jaw-dropping plot twists-this time, Coben surpasses Jeffery Deaver as the most generous plotter in the thriller racket-and as usual, more and more of them defy belief. The gaping improbabilities won't bother fans of rose-tinted nightmares a bit as they gasp their way through Matt's free-fall, scared and happy as kids on a roller-coaster.
Praise for The Innocent
“What Coben does best is take readers into his characters’ hearts and minds. His protagonists are just common folks, minding their own business when—bam!—they are drawn into a terrifying world of sordid crimes and mayhem.”—USA Today
“A twist-filled triumph.”—Life
“Intriguing right up to the final chapter.”—Associated Press
“Coben does for thrillers what Hitchcock did for the movies.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Ranks as one of his most exciting.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Modern suburbia unravels in this latest puzzler from Coben...Don’t make the mistake of not reading it!”—Library Journal
“Jaw-dropping plot twists...Fans of rose-tinted nightmares [will] gasp their way through Matt’s free fall, scared and happy as kids on a roller coaster.”—Kirkus Reviews