Written on: 17/03/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Dutton, Apr 2007, $26.95
At a summer camp, with their counselors preoccupied with one another, four teenagers snuck into the woods at night never to return. Two were found dead (Doug Billingham and Margot Green); two vanished, but are assumed dead (Gil Perez and Camille Copeland); all victims of the Summer Slasher serial killer. No one was caught as two families mourned their loss but were able to obtain some closure with funerals; the other two families didn't even have a body to inter.
Though the guilt lingers as he was one of the counselors, two decades later Paul "Cope" Copeland has somewhat moved past the loss of his sister Camille, whose body was never found because of another tragedy. The Essex County prosecutor mourns the loss of his wife to cancer, but more important he is a single father raising a six-year-old daughter Cara. However, the past returns when a murder victim in Manhattan turns out to be the male missing teen Doug. Cope needs to know the truth even as he works a high visibility rape case. He meets up with the other neglectful counselor from that fateful night, his first true love Lucy Gold, who also feels the guilt of failure.
Though very exciting as the audience wants to know whether Camille lives and if yes why did she fail to contact her family, there are too many distracting side-plays involving the lead couple that take away from the prime suspense. The storyline is action-packed and will hook readers who will want to know where Harlan Coben is taking them. With a final slam dunk twist that will stun and please readers, THE WOODS is an exhilarating, investigative thriller.
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