Tha Match by Harlan Coben


Year Published:2022


The Match
Harlan Coben

Whenever a new Harlan Coben or John Grisham book comes out, I am straight to the shop to buy it, but I never read the blurb on the back as I always just like to be surprised. Lately a few of the Grisham books have been themed around sport, so when I saw the title of this one, The Match, I immediately thought that Coben was doing something similar. And for someone who isn’t really into games involving team sport, I must admit to sighing: ‘ here we go again’. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I should really ‘never judge a book by its cover’ or in this case, its title.

Now, I’m sure most people have heard stories of a children growing up wild in a forest, their parents unknown, living a wild existence. It goes back at least as far as Romulus and Remus, raised by a she-wolf: the founding legend of Rome. It sounds like an urban myth, and most will recall cases from fiction, like Mowgli from The Jungle Book, but there have been cases reported over the years. This story starts with ‘Wilde’, the boy from the woods, and ‘the match’ could be no further from a sporting field. Instead, the title relates to a DNA match, which is how the young man, now repatriated into human society, discovers of a close relative using science, since his childhood years are cloaked in mystery.

There are a number of companies that offer DNA matching services. Of course, they are bound by privacy regulations, so they only allow certain information to be passed on, depending upon circumstances, which means there are transferability issues between companies that are not affiliated.

So when Wilde discovers he has a part match, that of a close relative, he is at first determined to find out more: perhaps it will provide him an answer to all his questions about his life and give him a ‘real’ family. He contacts a direct relative, but due to circumstances, rather than risk exposing his contact’s life to unwanted scrutiny, he decides to sever contact. Instead, Wilde reaches out to an anonymous contact linked to the DNA site he had used, who at first contacts him, but then disappears online, unable to be reached again. With help from his adopted family, including Hester Crimstein, a celebrity defence attorney, Wilde has many more resources at his disposal, as he tries to dig deeper and in the process uncovers a secret group who expose online trolls, acting anonymously.

However, his motives and alibis are called into question by the FBI as one after another, people to whom Wilde has been linked start to die, targeted by what appears to be a serial killer.

Will Wilde be able to find his family and in the process stop further murders? Or will he be hunted down as well?

Only Coben can so masterfully weave these disparate plot elements together the way he does, leaving you guessing right until the end. This one is no exception. If you like a legal and crime thrillers, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

Harlan Coben even comes with his own promotional videos! This is a one minute promotional video for The Match
In this video you can watch Harlan Coben reading the beginning of the book. It is only a minute long.
Widget is loading comments...
Harlan Coben
Harlan Coben
Feral Children - Dina Sanichar
Feral Children
While extremely rare, there have been a number of reported cases, even in modern times, of children growing up in the wild, sometimes raised by animals. This image shows Dina Sanichar who was found by hunters in 1867. He was being raised by wolves. He was taken to an orphanage where he was named, but he never learned a human language or to interact with humans properly. His story is said to have inspired Rudyard Kipling's character, Mowgli, from The Jungle Book. There are a number of tabloid-style websites with this kind of information. Click here to visit the site I took this information from.