Friday, November 11, 2016

Review of "The Innocent" by Harlan Coben


 

Matt Hunter is doing fine until he accidentally kills a fellow college student during a drunken brawl and goes to prison for 4 years. Now, 9 years after his release Matt is happily married to Olivia, expecting a baby, working as a paralegal, and looking to buy a house in his New Jersey home town. He's also a big support to his sister-in-law Marsha and his nephews since his brother recently died.

And then Matt's life starts to unravel. A mysterious nun - with ties to Las Vegas - is murdered, and it's found she recently made a phone call to Marsha's house. While Olivia is at a conference in Boston Matt receives photos from her phone showing her dressed as a hooker in the company of a black-haired man, but Olivia denies everything. Matt tracks down the black-haired man - also from Las Vegas - who soon turns up dead. As the dead bodies pile up local investigators as well as FBI agents from Las Vegas look to Matt, the ex-con, as a likely suspect.

Determined not to go back to prison Matt embarks on his own investigation, but everyone in this story has secrets to keep and Matt and his family are soon in danger. There are a lot of characters in the book - parents, thugs, strippers, law enforcement agents, private detectives, family, friends, etc. - which can be confusing, but most are decently enough developed. And the story is a page-turner as we go from the quiet streets of the suburbs to the roiling sex clubs of Las Vegas. Some of the twists in the story are telegraphed but I didn't anticipate all the surprises toward the end. All in all a good read.  

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