THE INNOCENT (Suspense-US-Cont) – Ex Coben, Harlan – Standalone
Dutton, 2005 – Hardcover

Matt Hunter is an ex-con whose life seems to be coming together. He has a wife he adores, a baby on the way and is about to buy a home in his old hometown. So why, on his cell phone, does he receive pictures of his wife in a blond wig with another man? But things really take a turn when Matt realizes he's being followed, the man turns up dead and Matt is a suspect.

I made the mistake of starting this on a Tuesday morning, read until I had to leave for work, read at lunch, and stayed up way too late to finish it. As always with Coben, it was suspenseful, exciting and full of twists and turns. But one of the things I like best about his work is that he never loses the dimensionality and strength of his characters in the action. You know who they are and what motivates them, which gives the book a bit more depth than your basic thriller. The story includes the themes of love, trust, loyalty, friendship, forgiveness, commitment and family. In the U.S. edition, you even receive a special treat in the form of a Myron/Win short story at the end of the book. Highly recommended.

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