Ex-con Matt Hunter is trying to rebuild his life and move forward after his four year prison sentence. His future was changed forever by a justice system that ignored his claim of self-defense. It has been nine years since his release but the fear of prison, the fragility of freedom, is something that is always there in the back of his mind.

His rebuilt life begins to unravel when he gets a strange cell phone call from his pregnant wife—or at least from her cell number. A photograph appears of a man mockingly waving at him. Considering how rare his wife, Olivia, used the camera equipped cell phone, Matt is perplexed. The man seems proud of himself and Matt has no idea who he is. Matt’s emotions quickly get the better of him when a second call comes in from her phone. This time it is a video sequence that seems to depict his wife cheating on him with the man from the still picture.

Matt can’t reach her where she is supposed to be and when he finally does, he realizes without a doubt that his beautiful wife, the mother of his child to be, is lying to him. He doesn’t know why. Nor does he know why a man was tailing him and why that same man is now dead. Nor does he know why his name has turned up in an investigation concerning a murdered nun. He does know that he can’t trust the system to clear him having failed him before. He needs answers to a past that both he and Olivia had sought to put behind them before they have chance to live, let alone have a life together like their dreams.

While an enjoyable read with interesting characters and plenty of action filled plot twists, coincidence plays a heavy role in the work almost to the point of absurdity. All the coincidences can’t be detailed in this review as to do so would remove any need whatsoever to read the book. However, there are so many, including two in the final twist sequence, that the read generates a laugh out loud moment as opposed to the shocking suspense intended.

However, if the reader can totally suspend disbelief for the entire 370-page novel, the result is an entertaining read that easily passes a few hours. This hardback also features a short story “The Rise and Fall of Super D” containing his very much missed character Myron Bolitar.

The Innocent

By Harlan Coben

www.HarlanCoben.com

Dutton

www.penguin.com

2005

ISBN 0-525-94874-0

Hardback

$26.95 US

$39.00 Canada

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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