"The Boy From the Woods"

Harlan Coben, a prolific writer of mystery thrillers, picks up from where he left off in his previous book, “Run Away.” One of the main characters is Hester Crimstein, renowned lawyer.

“Run Away” ends with Hester being the one to defend a wealthy New Yorker from Wall Street who is accused of pummeling a homeless person in Central Park for apparently no good reason. Readers of “Run Away” will know whether the investor is guilty or not.

Now Hester, in Coben’s newest book, is tasked with helping solve a kidnapping case that involves a prominent television producer and a devious reality television star plotting to become president of the United States. The kidnappers aren’t demanding money. They want copies of old tapes from the reality program that show the star, Rusty Eggers, admitting to actions that could doom his political aspirations.

The kidnapping victim has been taken from the grounds of his home, a massive mansion with views of New York just beyond the hills. He is the teenage son of the producer who is a confidant and close friend of the would-be politician. It’s the producer who filmed the ruinous tapes and whose own career will end if the tapes are exposed.

Coben introduces characters that intertwine in mysterious ways. He manages to mingle romance and personal family drama with suspense and crime. It is a tribute to his skilled writing that he is able to unravel their connections in surprising ways.

Good and evil actions by characters in this book, who are given interesting and sometimes harrowing back stories, lend a touch of reality to the story.

As with all of Coben’s books, this one leads the readers to think that they have the ending figured out. That is rarely true. Coben has a knack for surprising, heart-stopping ends that provide the “thriller” aspect to his books.

Fans of Harlen Coben will not be surprised that “The Boy from the Woods” is another superior tale from this popular author.