THE INNOCENT by Harlan Coben
Kirkus Star


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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.

Pub Date: April 26th, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-94874-0
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2005


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