The Match by Harlan Coben #Review

The Match
Domestic Crime Thriller
2nd in Wilde Series
Setting – New Jersey
Grand Central Publishing (March 15, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1538748282
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1538748282
Kindle ASIN ‏ : ‎ B096RVLPV8

From the creator of the #1 hit Netflix series Stay Close comes a gripping new thriller in which Wilde follows a tip that may finally reveal the truth behind his abandonment—only to end up in the sights of a ruthless killer.

After months away, Wilde has returned to the Ramapo Mountains in the wake of a failed bid at domesticity that confirms what he’s known all along: He belongs on his own, free from the comforts and constraints of modern life.

Suddenly, a DNA match on an online ancestry database brings Wilde closer to his past than he’s ever dreamed, and finally gives Wilde the opening he needs to track down his father. But meeting the man brings up more questions than answers. So Wilde reaches out to his last, most desperate lead, a second cousin who disappears as quickly as he resurfaces, having experienced an epic fall from grace that can only be described as a waking nightmare.

Was his cousin’s downfall a long time coming? Or was he the victim of a conspiracy as cunning as it is complex? And how does it all connect to the man once known as The Stranger, a treacherous fugitive with a growing following whose mission and methods have only turned more dangerous with time?

Dollycas’s Thoughts 

We first met Wilde in The Boy From The Woods. He has tried the domestic life and failed. He now returns from Costa Rica to the Ramapo Mountains to his mainly solitary life in the woods. Then he receives news of a DNA match at one of the many ancestry sites. Will this match be what he needs to find the answers he has been searching for? Will he finally find out how he ended up in the woods alone? or will his search be thwarted by uncooperative relatives? or sources outside his control? And how will his connections affect others?

I am so happy Mr. Coben has returned to add to Wilde’s story. Hester Crimstein, Laila, Matthew, Sutton, and Oren have all returned as well. But we are introduced to a group of new characters as well that all connect with Wilde’s life in some way. A character from one of Coben’s other books makes an appearance too. All the characters develop nicely over the course of the story in good ways and bad. It was intriguing to see the relationships evolve, expand and play out.

While Wilde searches for his biological connections he comes up against cyberbullying, internet bots and trolls, vigilantes, a reality show and its fallout, a missing person or two, murders, and a search for a serial killer. Wilde also reconnects with people very important in his life. The pace isn’t fast as much as it is constant, there is always something happening, drama somewhere. Coben plotted this story out precisely. His descriptions of time and place allowed the reader to be right in the middle of every scene.  I did find the DNA information and explanations very interesting.

As a mom, I did have issues with the way a key event played out and was explained. The character’s actions just didn’t feel right and were accepted too easily. Maybe this will be addressed if there is a third book in this series. I hope so. I was loving the book until this point and it really stopped me in my tracks. This is the first time I will be giving this author who is one of my favorite authors less than 5 stars.

The Match was an enjoyable read with plenty of twists and a huge surprise of a reveal. The author does give enough information about Wilde for this book to be read on its own but I feel you should really read The Boy From The Woods first because you will meet Wilde and know his story from the start but it is also an excellent and compelling read. One of my Best Reads of 2020.

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About the Author

Harlan Coben is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading storytellers. His suspense novels are published in forty-five languages and have been number one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, with seventy-five million books in print worldwide. His Myron Bolitar series has earned the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, and five of his books have been developed into Netflix original series, including his adaptation of The StrangerThe InnocentGone for GoodThe Woods, and Stay Close, which was released on December 31, 2021. He lives in New Jersey.

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his books on his webpage here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”