From the book jacket: Some mistakes
can change your life forever. For Matt Hunter, that mistake
came in one terrible moment when his attempt to help a friend
and stop a fight resulted in an accidental death. Matt was
convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison. Time that his
peers spent in college, Matt endured behind bars. Now nine
years after his release from prison, his innocence long
forgotten, he's an ex-con who takes nothing for granted. With
his wife, Olivia, pregnant and the two of them closing on a
house in his home town, things are looking up. Until the day
Matt gets a shocking, inexplicable video call from Olivia's
phone. And in an instant, the unraveling begins.
Comment: There's a direct correlation between the quality of meals in our house and how much I'm enjoying the audio book that I happen to be listening to. Suffice to say that for the two to three days it took me to listen to The Innocent the family sat down to three-course meals each night in a kitchen that positively gleamed with polishing - instead of the usual all hands on deck scramble to get something on the table!
Coben had me hooked from the first chapter with an all too credible scenario. By the time the plot reached its denouement, and the credibility had long since stretched to the point of improbability, I couldn't have cared less - I'd signed on for the ride and was enjoying rooting for the good guys - right up to the somewhat too tidy but eminently satisfying ending!
His latest novel, Promise Me, was published a few weeks ago. Again, he starts with a very probable opening premise in which his long time series lead, Myron Bolitar, overhears two teenage girls chatting about driving home drunk from parties. He promises the girls that if they ever need a lift or are in trouble that they should call him. A few nights later the call comes and he drives the girl to a friend's house, but the following morning she has disappeared, and the guilt-ridden Myron must use all his resources to find out what happened to her.
This review was originally published in May 2005, and has been updated for the April 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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