The bestselling author of Fool Me Once returns with a new thriller about a man known as Wilde, who was found as a boy living feral in the woods. Now, 30 years later, Wilde is back living in the woods on the outskirts of town when a local girl goes missing and he is asked to use his unique skills to help find her.
Coben knows how to weave a compelling story with intriguing characters, and Wilde is one of his best. Wilde’s journey to search for answers not only for the people he cares about, but his own personal journey, provides an intriguing plot. The supporting characters also shine. Once the big reveal happens, it would be the end for most stories, but Coben has just gotten started. The narrative veers into such unexpected directions that even a true thriller aficionado will not see the multiple surprises the ending delivers. Coben’s name on the book cover continues to mean quality.
Coben is excellent, as always, at showing the perils of the everyday and the bit-by-bit escalations of cruelty. But the mystery seems hastily constructed, and the ending comes out of nowhere. Not up to Coben’s usual level; this Natty Bumppo should return to the forest.
Readers who can tune out all the subplots will find the kidnappers easy to spot, but Coben finds room for three climactic surprises, one of them a honey. Now that Coben’s added politics to his heady brew, expect sex and religion to join the mix.