Harlan Coben fans, assemble: Netflix is adapting another thrilling novel from the prolific author, with Coronation Street and Brassic star Michelle Keegan stepping up to lead the cast - and now filming on the new series has kicked off.


Fool Me Once follows Maya Stern (Keegan), whose life is upended by the brutal murder of her husband Joe (Richard Armitage).

However, when she instals a "nanny-cam” in her home to ensure the safety of her daughter, she sees unthinkable footage that leads her to believe her husband might not be dead after all.

Alongside Keegan, Dame Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous), Adeel Akhtar (Sweet Tooth) and Emmett J Scanlan (Peaky Blinders) are amongst the supporting cast.

Ever since Coben struck a five-year deal with Netflix in 2018, the streamer has been adapting the US author’s works with titles including The Stranger, Stay Close and Safe.

If you're excited to dive into this latest mystery, read on for everything we know so far about Netflix's Fool Me Once.

Fool Me Once release date speculation

Netflix is yet to confirm when Fool Me Once will be released on the streamer, although we have a suspicion that it could be looking to replicate the success of its previous English-language Harlan Coben series.

Stay Close dropped on the service on New Year's Eve 2021 and proved very popular in that slot, reaching number one on the Netflix global top 10 in mid-January, when almost 54 million hours of the show were binged in a single week (via RED).

The series had very long legs indeed, remaining a strong performer throughout the month as subscribers looked for entertainment to fill the post-Christmas lull.

We should emphasise again that Fool Me Once has no confirmed release date at this time, but given how Stay Close dominated with a New Year's Eve release, we wouldn't be surprised to see Fool Me Once go down the same route.

Filming is currently underway, so it could certainly be ready in time assuming there are no unexpected delays.

Fool Me Once cast

Richard Armitage
Richard Armitage. Rob Latour

Richard Armitage just can't stop himself from boarding Harlan Coben adaptations, it seems.

The star of The Hobbit trilogy, who recently launched an audio book, is set to co-star in Fool Me Once as Joe Burkett, the (possibly) dead husband whose true fate is shrouded in mystery.

Previously, Armitage starred in Coben's The Stranger and Stay Close, playing very different individuals each time, telling RadioTimes.com that he expected the latter to be their final project together.

"I'm always looking to do something radically different to what I've done before," he said. "I'd be really surprised, as much as I like Harlan and he likes me, I think it would be pushing our luck to do a third [collaboration]. But never say never."

Apparently, Fool Me Once was too tempting a proposition to pass up!

The series co-stars Michelle Keegan (Brassic, Coronation Street) as Maya Stern, Tom's widow who is determined to uncover what really happened to him after finding evidence he could still be alive.

Michelle Keegan
Michelle Keegan. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal

She's not the only one digging for clues, however, with Adeel Akhtar (Sherwood) playing DS Sami Kierce, who leads the police investigation into Joe's apparent death – and is harbouring some secrets of his own.

Dame Joanna Lumley (Finding Alice) also stars as Joe's protective mother Judith, while Emmett J Scanlan (Peaky Blinders) and Dino Fetscher (Years and Years) have been cast as Shane Tessier and Marty McGreggor respectively.

Completing the cast is Marcus Garvey (The Suspect), Hattie Morahan (Enola Holmes), James Northcote (The Last Kingdom), Dänya Griver (Malory Towers), Daniel Burt (A Very British Scandal), Adelle Leonce (Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything), Natalia Kostrzewa (Save Me) and Laura Gibbons.

Fool Me Once is written by Danny Brocklehurst (who worked with Keegan on Brassic), with David Moore (Outlander) and Nimer Rashed (The Good Karma Hospital) on directing duties.

What is Fool Me Once about?

Fool Me Once follows Maya Stern, a widow still adjusting to life alone following the shocking murder of her husband when she encounters jaw-dropping evidence that he could still be alive.

Fearing for the safety of her infant daughter, Maya installs a so-called 'nanny-cam' in her home so that she can keep an eye on her at all times – but playing the footage back, she is startled to see her husband on the recording.

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Harlan Coben thrillers are known for their "double-twists", so this isn't necessarily confirmation that her husband survived the brutal attack inflicted upon him - but it certainly raises an awful lot of questions that demand answers.

Is Fool Me Once based on a book?

Yes! Fool Me Once is based on the novel of the same name by Harlan Coben, which was first published in March 2016.

In the year of release, the book was nominated for a GoodReads Choice Award in the category of Best Mystery/Thriller.

The novel is set in the United States but events will be shifted to the UK for the screen adaptation, which was also the case for Stay Close.

If you'd like to read Fool Me Once ahead of the Netflix series debut, you can buy it now on Amazon.

What are the other Harlan Coben adaptations on Netflix?

Cush Jumbo stars in Stay Close
Cush Jumbo as Megan Pierce in Stay Close. Netflix

In 2018, Netflix closed a deal with Coben to adapt 14 of his novels into streaming shows and Fool Me Once will push this over the halfway mark as the eighth title in the streamer's collection.

Here are all the entries in the Harlan Coben collection on Netflix:

  • Safe (British, 2018)
  • The Stranger (British, 2020)
  • The Woods (Polish, 2020)
  • The Innocent (Spanish, 2021)
  • Gone for Good (French, 2021)
  • Stay Close (British, 2021)
  • Hold Tight (Polish, 2022)
  • Fool Me Once (British, 2023 – upcoming)

Is there a Fool Me Once trailer?

There's no trailer for Fool Me Once just yet, but Netflix and Century Publishing did share this footage of Michelle Keegan reading the novel that inspired it to mark the start of production. Watch below:

Fool Me Once is coming to Netflix in the future. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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