The Innocent by Harlan Coben

Those who like Harlan Coben, seem to like him a lot. The Innocent was my first Coben book and while I didn’t love it, it did deliver enough curious twists and sympathetic characters to keep my interest.

The difficulty in writing about a suspense thriller is trying to avoid giving away too many important plot points. Briefly, The Innocent concerns Matt Hunter an ex-con (but only marginally because his crime was more accident than premeditated) who has returned to his home town after serving his sentence with his wife, Olivia. Olivia goes away on a business trip and Matt receives a cell phone picture of her in a hotel room with another man. The story unravels from there.

In some ways The Innocent’s convoluted plot doesn’t really work.Too many people have too small a part to play in the book’s nasty business…and some of the pieces seem gratuitous rather than helpful. Still, like a good book in this genre should, the book clicks along at a healthy pace and the lead character, Matt, is smart and likable.

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