NEW HARLAN COBEN BOOK FOR 2023 – I WILL FIND YOU – AND LOOKING BACK AT THE INNOCENT
Harlan Coben is one of the most popular authors in the world today and his books are always a ‘must read’. In recent years the success of his twisty, unpredictable novels has been enhanced by a well produced succession of Netflix
mini-series based on his books, which have ramped up interest and cemented his standing as a leading storyteller.
Harlan has a new book coming out in March 2023, I Will Find You, but before looking ahead to that one, I thought I would look back at one of my favourite Coben novels, The Innocent from 2005.
Harlan had enjoyed reasonable success with his Myron Bolitar books, but it was the twisty stand alone novel, Tell No One (2001), which really pushed his career along. Utilising an typical suburban location, Coben inserted his everyday characters into a clever, gripping plot, which pitted them against extra-ordinary villains and a wicked mystery.
It proved to be very successful, and Coben followed it up with Gone For Good, No Second Chance and Just One Look, all of which were set in familiar suburban locations and featured characters you could relate to.
The Innocent came out in 2005 and had what was then becoming to be a typical Coben plot of old secrets and unexpected twists. The central character is Matt Hunter, an ordinary guy who made a mistake years ago that led to him being imprisoned for four years. Since then he has turned his life around and now has a job that he can be proud of, and a beautiful wife. The suburb that he lives in is showing wear, but he and his pregnant wife are in the process of moving to a better location. However, as I noted in my review of The Innocent for Canberra Times on 8 May 2005 below, things begin to go wrong for Hunter again when he receives “a seemingly compromising video message on his mobile phone from his wife. Before he can discover the reason for the message he finds that he is being followed by a violent mobster and pursued by a local cop. Suddenly the peaceful life he has rebuilt is under threat and Hunter finds himself on the run with no-one to trust.”
The Innocent was one of my two favourite crime novels from 2005 and on recently re-reading it, it has lost none of its appeal. The story moved at a good pace and Coben was very adept at that developing that sense of “can you really trust those that you love”, long before it became a psychological thriller cliché. It was also interesting to re-encounter its 2005 setting when camera phones were just becoming a thing.
As I noted below:
“With considerable skill Coben unfolds his story at a breathless pace and keeps the reader guessing as the story veers down some unexpected paths. The characters have a credible feel to them and while some of the plot twists strain belief most readers will be too busy turning the pages to notice or care”
Harlan Coben’s new novel, I Will Find You (Century), is due out in March 2023 and seems to have slight touch of The Innocent about it.
The publishers have provided the following information about I Will Find You:
” David and Cheryl Burroughs are living the dream – married, a beautiful house in the suburbs, a three year old son named Matthew – when tragedy strikes one night in the worst possible way.
David awakes to find himself covered in blood, but not his own – his son’s. And while he knows he did not murder his son, the overwhelming evidence against him puts him behind bars indefinitely.
Five years into his imprisonment, Cheryl’s sister arrives – and drops a bombshell.
She’s come with a photograph that a friend took on vacation at a theme park. The boy in the background seems familiar – and even though David realizes it can’t be, he knows it is.
It’s Matthew, and he’s still alive.
David plans a harrowing escape from prison, determined to do what seems impossible – save his son, clear his own name, and discover the real story of what happened that devastating night.”
Hard to resist a plot summary like that! I know that I will be keenly awaiting my copy to read!
I Will Find You is released in Australia and the United States (with a different cover to the one above) on 14 March 2023 and in the United Kingdom on 16 March 2023. Put it down on your To Watch Out For list!