Crime fiction aficionados will likely be familiar with at least one of US author Harlan Coben’s works.


The author has penned 33 novels including Tell No One, The Wood and the Myron Bolitar series, which have reportedly sold over 80 million copies around the globe.

Coben has also adapted several of his novels into Netflix thrillers. The latest, Fool Me Once, landed on the streamer in the New Year and is just as gripping as you'd expect from the master of twists and turns!

However, given the size of the Coben universe, picking up one of his novels may seem like a daunting task.

So, whether you’ve stumbled upon Harlan Coben for the first time this New Year, or you’ve watched his shows for years but have yet to pick up one of the sacred texts, we’ve put together a list of 10 top novels to try.

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This list is completely spoiler-free and will simply give you a taste of what’s in store for each novel, so get your thinking caps on and get ready to solve a mystery.

Shop Harlan Coben novels at Waterstones

For a closer look at this latest drama, take a look at our Fool Me Once release date page and our Fool Me Once ending explained – although watch out for spoilers!

Best Harlan Coben books at a glance:

Best Harlan Coben books to read in 2024

Fool Me Once

Michelle Keegan in Fool Me Once wearing a black dress looking sad
Michelle Keegan in Fool Me Once (Netflix) Netflix

We just had to start with this one – Now a Netflix drama, Fool Me Once follows the story of Maya, a newly single mum grieving the loss of her husband. Until one day after the funeral, she sees him alive and well on her nanny cam. Was he actually murdered? Or are there darker powers at play? Fool Me Once was first published in 2016 and became a Sunday Times Top 10 Best Seller.

Buy Fool Me Once for £9.99 at Waterstones

Tell No One

Eight years ago, David Beck suffered the worst night of his life when his wife was kidnapped and murdered. Now, he’s received an anonymous email showing a picture of his wife. As he tries to figure out what really happened to her all those years ago, the net starts to close in around him with the FBI turning him into a suspect and everyone around him suffering tragic deaths.

Buy Tell No One for £8.99 at Waterstones

The Stranger

Another Netflix series from 2020, The Stranger focuses on Adam Price, an ordinary American man who gets approached by a mysterious stranger. In one second, Adam’s life changes forever as the stranger tells him a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, which later seems to lead to her disappearance. But there's more secrets to be revealed.

Buy The Stranger for £9.99 at Waterstones

The Woods

Paul Copeland is still grieving the loss of his sister who, 20 years ago, walked into the woods never to be seen again. But now, a murder victim is found with evidence linking him to her disappearance – could he have vanished on the same night as Paul’s sister? In 2020, The Woods was adapted into a Polish miniseries set in 1994 and 2019, the show is now available to watch on Netflix.

Buy The Woods for £8.99 at Waterstones

Six Years

Six Years follows Jake Fisher, a man who watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man (shockingly) six years ago. But when he stumbles across her husband’s obituary in the newspaper years later, he finds a grieving widow who is not Natalie. Jake soon discovers that Natalie hasn’t been seen in years and will do anything to find the truth.

Buy Six Years for £9.99 at Waterstones

Gone For Good

Gone for Good
Gone for Good (Netflix)

Ten years after his brother was accused of murder and promptly disappeared, Will Klein becomes wrapped up in another mystery as his girlfriend suddenly disappears. In his efforts to find her, two dark and violent dramas unfold around Will and he soon discovers that someone is willing to murder in order to keep their secrets buried.

Buy Gone For Good for £9.99 at Waterstones


Harlan Coben’s tenth standalone novel Caught is steeped in his trademark suburban drama, violence and loss. It features the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl, the devastating reactions of her community, and Wendy Tynes, a reporter trying to uncover the truth on live TV.

Buy Caught for £9.99 at Waterstones

Stay Close

Yet another Netflix drama, this story focuses on Megan Pierce, a suburban mum with a dark past, Ray Levine, a talented photographer whose life was destroyed by the loss of his wife, and Michael Broome, a detective looking to exercise his demons. When another man goes missing, all their lives are in danger.

Buy Stay Close for £8.99 at Waterstones

Missing You

NYPD Detective Kat Donovan is going through the motions of online dating when she finds a profile for her ex-fiancé, the man who broke her heart 18 years ago. But just when she thinks there’s hope of reuniting, Jeff’s answers start to make her suspicious and open up a mystery that brings her whole world into question.

Buy Missing You for £8.99 at Waterstones

Hold Tight

Tia and Mike Baye aren’t the type to spy on their kids, but when their 16-year-old son Adam starts to grow distant, they have no choice but to get involved. Before his sudden disappearance, they find a cryptic message: “Just stay quiet and all safe.” What follows is a tragic tangled web that consumes the whole neighbourhood, and ends up with devastating consequences.

Buy Hold Tight for £9.99 at Waterstones

What Harlan Coben books are on Netflix?

Harlan Coben's The Stranger
The Stranger (Netflix).

Netflix has a full collection devoted to Harlan Coben. Their partnership began with the original series Safe in 2018 and in the years since the streaming service has adapted seven of his novels into dramas.

Here’s the full list of shows you can find on Netflix:

  1. Fool Me Once
  2. Safe
  3. The Stranger
  4. Stay Close
  5. The Innocent
  6. Hold Tight
  7. The Woods
  8. Gone For Good

Coben also wrote a mini-series called The Five in 2016, which is available to purchase on Amazon Prime Video or Now TV’s Premium Subscription.


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