Although Harlan Coben's Shelter only finished on Prime Video a couple of weeks ago, fans of the mystery novelist will be excited to learn that his next Netflix project, Fool Me Once, will be coming to our screens soon.


It's safe to say that Coben's Netflix thrillers have been a hit for the streamer, with major series such as Safe, Stay Close and The Stranger dominating the charts upon their releases.

Well, Fool Me Once is set to be another edge-of-your-seat watch, with Michelle Keegan leading the cast as Maya Stern.

The Brassic and Ten Pound Poms actress will be joining the Harlan Coben universe as a woman struggling to come to terms with the brutal murder of her husband – until she spots him on her daughter's nanny cam.

Speaking exclusively to about Keegan's role in the new series, Coben told us that Keegan's character, Maya Stern, is actually based on a real person that Coben had met when out on a United Service Organizations (USO) tour as an author, meeting troops around the globe and in England.

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He explained: "Michelle’s character is a military pilot. A number of years ago, I went on a USO tour. In the old days, Bob Hope used to go on USO tours, like Marilyn Monroe, to entertain troops. So I went on a USO tour to talk to soldiers about writing, visit them and entertain them to some degree. We went to Kuwait, all over, including a military base in England.

"When I was there, I met one of the first women combat helicopter pilots that had served in the Gulf War. She was a big reader and we’d talk for hours on end, and I thought, 'I need to create a character like this.'"

Talking about using the real-life woman in question as inspiration for Maya, Coben continued: "I’ve written 35 books, I think it is, so I’m always looking for a character I hadn’t done before - and almost the entire book is written from her perspective.

"Speaking to her, and speaking to other people who had served in the military [about] some of the PTSD that they suffer, but also the fact that there’s part of them that’s also a little bit of an adrenaline junkie, as well.

"What happens when that person is trying to come back into the real world? The distance and the disconnect that they sometimes will feel. How do I throw that into a compelling mystery story?"

Michelle Keegan in Fool Me Once wearing a black outfit, looking sad
Michelle Keegan in Fool Me Once. Netflix

As for what fans can expect to see of Keegan in Fool Me Once, Coben teased: "So, Michelle is coming back from serving in the war, and is a combat pilot suffering from some of what she saw there.

"Then something happens at home – her husband gets murdered, and after a couple of days, she sees him on her nanny cam a lot.

"It’s a pretty good hook to get people in... and Michelle is an actress who can really pull off both being strong and tough. She just really delivers it."

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As for how it's been working with Keegan on the upcoming drama, Coben said: "She’s terrific. She’s also just a great person, but to have her as your number one and be able to bring, every day, something positive to the set, everyone loved her. She’s exactly what you think she’s going to be.

"She’s really great. I knew a bit about her beforehand, but obviously I don’t know her as well as my British counterparts. I took a deep dive when we were discussing who to play the role, and she really delivered, she works so hard and she’s also just a delight on set."

As well as Keegan in the lead role in Fool Me Once, the cast also boasts the likes of Richard Armitage, Joanna Lumley, Adeel Akhtar and Emmett J Scanlan, among others.

Aside from exploring Maya's own mind-bending mystery, the series will follow Akhtar's Detective Sergeant Sami Kierce as he leads the investigation into Maya's husband's death, while also battling some secrets of his own.

But that's not all to look forward to, as according to the synopsis: "Maya's niece and nephew, Abby and Daniel, are trying to find the truth about their mother's murder, several months earlier.

"Are the two cases connected? Fool Me Once follows these characters on a thrilling hunt for the truth that will reveal shocking secrets and change their lives forever."

Fool Me Once is coming soon to Netflix. 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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