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The Match (Wilde #2) – abandoned as a child, Wilde seeks answers in Harlan Coben's new thriller.

Wilde is a man in his 40s who gained notoriety when he was discovered as a young child living in the woods of New Jersey’s Ramapo Mountains. In The Match, book #2 following The Boy from the Woods, Wilde is back. After trying to live a traditional life of domesticity, Wilde returns to his small “ecocapsule” home located in the same woods he was found living in decades before. It’s time to finally find out the truth behind his abandonment. After sending his DNA to a genealogy website, some possible answers to his mystery emerge. After believing he has identified his biological father, another match is with a man who has gained fame on a reality TV show and saw his once stellar reputation destroyed on social media. This possible relative has gone missing after seeking Wilde’s help. Wilde finds himself investigating the disappearance. A murder and the discovery of a mysterious vigilante group, formed to serve as judge and jury to punish the most serious offenders of online trolling, keep raising more and more questions as to who is behind it all. And will Wilde ever learn who his parents are?

Author Harlan Coben does a good job recapping Wilde’s history, so it is not essential to have read book #1 but I’d recommend it to get the full backstory. There’s a strong group of supporting characters who have served as Wilde’s pseudo-family since he was found so many years before. (Including Hester Crimstein, her seventh appearance in a Coben book.) This support system is one of the strengths of the book as someone who seems so alone is anything but. I enjoyed the unraveling of the mystery, which provided some enjoyable twists and turns. If you’ve ever found yourself interested in taking a DNA test or have already started researching your family tree, you’ll find added appeal in the plot, as was the case for me. And you might look at reality TV a little differently moving forward.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing | Hachette Book Group and Novel Suspects Insiders for the opportunity to read The Match in advance of its publication. Coben is a talented author who consistently delivers.

Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.


Publication Date: March 15, 2022.

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