“THE THEMES I love best involve family—
the ties and bonds we all know,” says author
Harlan Coben of his approach to fiction. “I
enjoy stories where the past reverberates and
sends shock waves to the present. I enjoy novels
about old secrets and missing people who may
still be alive, about loss, about redemption.”
Coben’s latest novel, The Woods, is a prime
example of these themes. One night, 20 years
before the action in the novel begins, four
teenagers at a summer camp walked into the
woods. Two were found murdered; the other
two were never seen again. For Paul Copeland,
the county prosecutor, these events are deeply
personal: One of the missing teens was his
sister. When a homicide victim is discovered
with evidence linking Copeland to that night
two decades earlier, the prosecutor must confront the past.
Coben, a Costco member, knew he wanted
to write when he was a college senior at
Amherst, but first spent a few years working in
the family travel business. His first two novels
were stand-alones, written before he launched
a series of thrillers featuring Myron Bolitar, a
wisecracking former basketball player turned
sports agent who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.
Coben departed from the series with
The Woods, though he says he’s open to bringing Bolitar back when “the story is the right
one for him.”
With 14 novels to his name, Coben says
he’s learned to write when and where he can.
COSTCO HAS five copies of
Harlan Coben’s The Woods
to give away. To enter, print
your name, membership
number, address and daytime
phone number on a postcard
or letter and send it to: Harlan
Coben, The Costco Connection,
P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA
98124-1088, or fax it to (425)
No purchase is necessary.
Only current Costco members are
“I write wherever it works—sometimes
in a coffee shop or the library or on an airplane,
because writing at home can present distractions,” says Coben from his home in New Jersey, which he shares with his wife, Anne, four
children and two dogs.
Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code,
has called Coben “the modern master of the
hook-and-twist.” It’s a skill that likely contributed to Coben being the first writer to receive
an Edgar, a Shamus and an Anthony—all prestigious awards for mystery writers.
“I don’t think of thriller or mystery writing
as a separate genre, but as a form of literature,”
Coben tells The Connection. “Shakespeare,
Dickens, Oscar Wilde—many of the greats
included murder and mystery in their work.”
He adds, “I think that it takes three things
to make a writer: inspiration, perspiration and
desperation, that last one being the conviction
that you don’t want to get a real job.”
Whatever it takes, Coben certainly has an
abundance of it.—Valerie Ryan
eligible to win. One entry per house-
hold. Entries must be received or
postmarked by June 1, 2007.
Winners will be randomly selected
and notified by mail on
or before July 2, 2007.
The value of the prize is
$26.95. Void where
prohibited. Winners are
responsible for all applic-
able federal, state and
local taxes. The decision
of the judges is final.
Employees of Costco or
Penguin Group and their
families are not eligible.
Harry Bosch is back!
In his first case since he
left the LAPD’s Open
Unsolved Unit for the
Special squad, Harry
Bosch is called out to
investigate a murder that may have chilling
consequences for national security.
Hardcover / Little, Brown and Company
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