Summary and book reviews of The Innocent by Harlan Coben

The Innocent

by Harlan Coben

The Innocent
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 528 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A twisting, turning, emotionally charged story, and a compelling tale of the choices we make and the repercussions that never leave us.

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.

A mysterious man who begins tailing Matt turns up dead. A beloved nun is murdered. And local and federal authorities—including homicide investigator, Loren Muse, a childhood schoolmate of Matt's with a troubled past of her own—see all signs pointing to a former criminal with one murder already under his belt...Matt Hunter. Unwilling to lose everything for a second time, Matt and Olivia are forced outside the law in a desperate attempt to save their future together.

An electrifying thrill-ride of a novel that peeks behind the white picket fences of suburbia, The Innocent is at once a twisting, turning, emotionally charged story, and a compelling tale of the choices we make and the repercussions that never leave us.

Prologue

You never meant to kill him.

Your name is Matt Hunter. You are twenty years old. You grew up in an upper-middle-class suburb in northern New Jersey, not far from Manhattan. You live on the poorer side of town, but it's a pretty wealthy town. Your parents work hard and love you unconditionally. You are a middle child. You have an older brother whom you worship, and a younger sister whom you tolerate.

Like every kid in your town, you grow up worrying about your future and what college you will get into. You work hard enough and get good, if not spectacular, grades. Your average is an A minus. You don't make the top ten percent but you're close. You have decent extracurricular activities, including a stint as treasurer of the school. You are a letterman for both ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
  • award image

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

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.

Publishers Weekly

Some readers have felt that Coben has been treading water with his last two outings, but this one should re-establish his credentials.

Booklist - Connie Fletcher

Starred Review. As usual with Coben, an intriguing start, hinging on one out-of-whack technological trick, hurtles into a fast-paced hunter-and-hunted drama. First-rate.

Reader Reviews

Nelly Kallini

Great book!!
This book is a very good, talking all about fiction. At first, I wasn't really...in love with the book. But when I first arrived threw the good part, it's like you just want to continue the book and always want to know what will happen. Will he kill ...   Read More

lewismom

Exciting
I thought this book held your interest. I can't say it was excellent because I lost a little of the story line while reading this book. I have read a lot of Harlan Coben books and he does give his books twists and turns.

Ernest H.

Not So Innocent
Rarely are the innocent fairly depicted. Corben almost suceeds in getting them pinned in this halfway profound dissection of who gets what out of criminality, whether perpetrator or victim (so-called). Some dull spots but all in all it moves along.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Harlan Coben was born in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Amherst College as a political science major, he worked in the travel industry. He has won each of the three big mystery awards - the Edgar, the Agatha, and the Shamus.  He now lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, medical director of Covenant House in Newark, and their four children.

He is the author of 8 mystery/thrillers about sports agent Myron Bolitar, and a number of standalone novels:

...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Innocent, try these:

  • Jack of Spades jacket

    Jack of Spades

    by Joyce Carol Oates

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    An exquisite, psychologically complex thriller about the opposing forces within the mind of one ambitious writer and the line between genius and madness.

  • The Blade Itself jacket

    The Blade Itself

    by Marcus Sakey

    Published 2007

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Danny Carter started his life as a petty criminal, living from score to score with his friend Evan. Years later, Danny has built a new world for himself: a legitimate career, a girlfriend, and a clean conscience. He’s normal, successful. Happy. Until he spots his old partner staring him down in a smoky barroom mirror. Prison-hardened Evan, ...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.