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The Woods Hardcover – 16 May 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,214 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition edition (16 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752874411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752874418
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,214 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This stand-alone thriller will keep him on the bestseller lists and assures him VIP treatment at this summer's Harrogate Crime Festival. (Daneet Steffens TIME OUT)

Coben is skilled at weaving this kind of mystery and keeps us guessing till the end (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Coben's novels are becoming more and more popular with each release, and this one cements his reputation as a top-class mystery writer. (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

A powerful thriller (SUNDAY EXPRESS)

Coben is one of America's best thriller writers, and his touch doesn't desert him here (THE LONDON PAPER)

Coben will keep you guessing to the end (NEWS OF THE WORLD)

Perfect pace and precision tool plotting... The Woods will pick you up by the scruff of your neck and not put you down until you finish it (Paul Connelly LONDON LITE)

A cracking thriller that whizzes along at top speed (DAILY EXPRESS)

A plot which is satisfyingly thick in a story that produces shocks and twists by the cartload. Writing so taut it almost twangs (DAILY SPORT)

Harlan Coben has never been hotter...his latest mystery The Woods is published to widespread adulation (METRO)

The Woods is completely unputdownable ¿ and this summer¿s must read book! (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)

Coben's innate ability to tell a story that is exhilarating, absorbing, uplifting and poignant without his ever revealing the strings he uses in order to pull at the emotions. All in all, this is a superb read and deserves every ounce of success it is guaranteed to receive. (CRIME TIME)

A gripping thriller (THE WORKS)

As it shifts between first and third-person narrative, the novel powers on relentlessly and carries the reader with it. A page-turner with a crocodile bite. (SHOTS)

Another wonderful, wonderful Coben (SOUTHAMPTON DAILY ECHO)

A compulsive read (BOLTON NEWS)


The Woods is a story where nothing is as it seems and is a compulsive read. (IRISH EXAMINER)

A story that keeps you guessing to the very end... a thoroughly good read. (THE AMERICAN)

Wonderful idiomatic dialogue, pithy characters and ever-surprising plotting (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

An enjoyable read (IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

The brilliant stand-alone from Number 1 bestseller, Harlan Coben

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Paul Copeland is good at what he does and as a prosecutor for the County it's pretty important that this is the case. His current case is to try and convict two rich students who used their influence to rape a poor stripper. Unfortunately for Copeland one of the father's will do anything to protect his son so he sends out PIs to investigate Copeland's past. Over 20 years before Copeland was a suspect in the murder of four teenagers in a wood. Could his recent case cause the past to be unearthed?

'The Woods' is a fast paced and fun thriller that contains some of Coben's favourite themes e.g. the past, lost loves etc. Although in many ways it is similar to other books that he has written I still enjoyed the book as he is able to convey great emotion in his characters and get you liking them instantly. I recommend this to anyone who likes an easy to read thriller.
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By Suzan VINE VOICE on 1 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You think you have it all worked out and then along comes another twist which leaves you guessing again - and this is true of the plot to the last page.
The theme of the past is not new but it is familiar to life in that the past has a habit of resurfacing.
I liked the conflicting personality traits of the central character - Paul Copeland - strong in his sense of justice and basically a good friend and father but weak in personal traumas. This makes him more human - more alive.
The style of writing is emotional at times but full of suspense - I found it difficult to put this down.
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Format: Paperback
Another reviewer and I commented on the same book (dreadful piece of "writing" called Severed) and we disagreed on it somewhat, and on his recommendation I read this, my first Coben novel. I totally owe him a beer, because The Woods is fantastic.

The term "unputdownable" is used a lot (and horrible grammar), but this book really is. Unputdownable, that is. The grammar is top-notch. It's also funny. That came as a very pleasant surprise. The lead character, Paul "Cope" Copeland is a marvellously sardonic fellow, and in several places throughout, he has a few one-liners which made me laugh out loud.

The style of writing initially threw me a little. Coben is a fan of brief sentences; he often strings together 6 or 7 of them that only contain 3 or 4 words. It reads as a pot-boiler in some respects, and at first I found it incongruous. But as you begin to understand his characters more, you see that the rapid-fire dialogue and sentence structure fits perfectly.

All of his characters are extremely likeable and 3-dimensional, which is a feat considering how many of them there are. Even the bit-players of the piece are intriguing. For example, there is a coroner/pathologist called Tara O'Neill who features in only 2 scenes, but she's absolutely fascinating. (In fact, I'd rather like to see a book solely about her.)

The twists aren't quite as twisty as I expected. But, actually, for a good reason. The story is so involving, and the reader so drawn in, I spent time thinking up every possibility, such was my intrigue. So, when one of those possibilities turned out to be what happens next, I was a little let down. But that's not the fault of the author. It's my own. Pondering every conceivable answer is akin to reading the back of the book first.
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Format: Hardcover
...... when I see a new Harlan Cobden book in the shops, I know it's time to buy in some ready-to-eat meals for the family cos I'm checking out of this reality and into a different one.

I find it fascinating how 'normal' these people are in the light of their extraordinary pasts, the fact that they can get hurt, can bleed, make mistakes - they are real. I really enjoyed it, and it's a keeper along with all the other Harlan Cobden's on my shelf.

If you are a fan of Myron, no this might not be for you - it is a totally different 'world' if you like, but nevertheless the class of writing remains stellar and I heartily recommend it to you.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul "Cope" Copeland has more than a few monkeys riding on his back. Not all of them relate to his past; his chosen career of county prosecutor doesn't always make him everyone's best friend and there are always going to be those that take offense to his stance in the court room. There has been a lot to overcome for Cope and he questions whether he is really holding his head about water every day. A single parent, Cope has to rely heavily on the family of his deceased wife to look after his six year old daughter when his job goes crazy, and it frequently does. This isn't always comfortable, but it has been necessary.

Taking the case to prosecute two teenage "party" rapists, Cope is aware that his client isn't the type to wring the tears out of the jurors when she is up there on the stand. The father of one of the accused is the local big man about town, not at all happy with Cope's decision to pursue criminal charges against his son. A little pressure here, a few veiled threats, and Cope is backed into a corner. The whole town knows about his past; brother to a girl who disappeared at summer camp when the teenage Cope was supposed to have been keeping watch, and that his family life disintegrated in the aftermath. Four teenagers went into the woods that day; two of were found murdered and Cope's sister vanished, along with her boyfriend Gil Perez. Suspicion was once on Cope and perhaps it has never really been lifted. Called out of his daughter's school acrobatic competition by two snarly cops, Cope is taken to view the body of a murdered man who was found with clippings of the camp disappearances on his person. Not only that, the man has a ring that Cope recognises in an instant. It belonged to his sister Camille.
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