9 Harlan Coben Books Everyone Should Read

Harlan Coben books will always keep you guessing until the very end


With over 30 novels to his name, Harlan Coben has created a vast collection of works that cater to all suspense enthusiasts. From his well-known Myron Bolitar series to standalone novels, there is something for everyone in his repertoire.

Here are the best 9 Harlan Coben books to start with. (In my opinion).

Just One Look

Published in 2004, "Just One Look" is a standalone novel by Harlan Coben. Although it is considered his sixth solo book, it still has connections to his beloved Myron Bolitar series. This gripping story revolves around a woman whose life takes a devastating turn when she discovers a missing photograph.

As the protagonist delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers a web of secrets and lies that will keep with lots of twists and turns as you would expect.

Fans of Coben's Myron Bolitar series will appreciate the subtle connections to the beloved sports agent. 

Play Dead

In "Play Dead," a young and seemingly perfect couple find themselves in a perplexing situation. David Baskin, a prominent professional basketball player, goes missing while on vacation, and a body that matches his description is found drowned. But here's where things get interesting...

After a couple of months, the widow left behind by David starts experiencing unusual occurrences. And to everyone's surprise, a relatively unknown basketball player suddenly emerges, imitating David's extremely competent and aggressive playing style. Cue jaw-dropping moments and shocking revelations!

"Play Dead" is the epitome of a page-turner. Coben's masterful storytelling keeps you constantly craving more. The thrilling plot unravels at a breakneck pace, leaving you no choice but to keep flipping the pages until the very end.

No Second Chance

Published in 2003, "No Second Chance" follows the story of Dr Mark Seidman, who wakes up in a hospital with a bullet wound, only to discover that his wife has been brutally murdered and his daughter has been kidnapped. But hey, who doesn't love starting their day like that?

As if losing his wife wasn't enough, Mark finds himself accused of both the murder and the kidnapping. It's like winning the lottery, but instead of money, you get a lifetime supply of suspicion and false accusations. Lucky guy!

But Mark is not one to sit around and wallow in self-pity. He embarks on a relentless search for his daughter, determined to bring her back safely and clear his name. 

As the plot thickens, "No Second Chance" delves into the complexities of fidelity and relationships. Mark's search for truth uncovers a web of lies, infidelities, and secrets that make you question if anyone in this world can be trusted. Spoiler alert: probably not.

Gone for Good

In "Gone for Good," Will Kleins life is turned upside down when his ex-girlfriend is found dead and his brother becomes the prime suspect in the investigation. But here's the catch - his brother mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead. Or is he?

As the Will delves deeper into the investigation, he uncovers a web of lies and secrets surrounding his brother's disappearance. With each clue, the tension builds, leaving readers eager to uncover the truth.

Eleven years later, there is evidence that suggests the brother may still be alive. But why did he disappear, and what has he been up to all these years? This intriguing mystery keeps readers guessing until the very end.

The Boy from the Woods

In "The Boy from the Woods," we are introduced to a character known only as Wilde. This enigmatic individual was found as a young boy living in the woods with no recollection of his past or where he came from. As the story unfolds, we delve deeper into Wilde's past and mysterious origins.

Harlan Coben expertly explores the complex themes of legality versus personal morality in "The Boy from the Woods." As Wilde's investigation unfolds, he uncovers a web of lies and secrets that forces him to question what is acceptable according to the law versus what he believes is fair.

Hold Tight

"Hold Tight," revolves around the devastating disappearance of a child, which takes place shortly after the funeral of his best friend. The book delves into the complex relationships and emotions of the child's family as they desperately try to uncover the truth behind his disappearance.

As the story unfolds, readers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns, keeping them guessing until the very end. Prepare to be captivated by the complex dynamics between the characters as they navigate through a series of shocking revelations.

Fool Me Once

"Fool Me Once" follows the journey of Captain Maya Stern Burkett, a former U.S. army fighter pilot whose life takes a tragic turn when her husband is murdered. Forced to take a break from her career, Maya must navigate the aftermath of the devastating loss and uncover the truth behind her husband's death.

Maya's journey is a rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists. As she delves deeper into the investigation, she discovers a web of lies and secrets that challenge her perception of reality. With each revelation, Maya's determination to uncover the truth grows stronger, leading her down a path filled with danger and uncertainty.

What makes "Fool Me Once" truly captivating is the unpredictability of Maya's character. She is not your typical damsel in distress; she is a strong and resilient woman who refuses to be fooled by anyone. Her sharp intellect and unwavering determination make her a force to be reckoned with.

Deal Breaker

In "Deal Breaker," the story revolves around Myron Bolitar, a sports agent representing wealthy clients. When one of his clients, quarterback Christian Steele, receives a message from his presumed dead girlfriend, Myron's world is turned upside down. Not only is Christian's career in jeopardy, but Myron is also forced to confront the darker side of the sports industry.

The consequences of Christian's message are far-reaching, leading Myron on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth. As he delves deeper into the mystery, Myron uncovers hidden realities beneath the glitz and glamour of the sports world. Prepare for shocking revelations and life-threatening situations that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

"Deal Breaker" explores the hidden realities of the sports industry, exposing the lengths people will go to protect their secrets. Myron's relentless pursuit of the truth forces him to confront powerful individuals who will stop at nothing to maintain their image. As he navigates this treacherous world, Myron must rely on his wit and resourcefulness to outsmart his adversaries.

Tell No One

In "Tell No One," we are introduced to a married couple, Alex and Margot, who have been together since childhood. Their lives take a devastating turn when Margot is brutally murdered. Fast forward to eight years later, and Alex receives a mysterious message that brings back haunting memories. As the story unfolds, prepare to be captivated by the unexpected turn of events.

The heart of "Tell No One" lies in a personal conversation that Alex receives, a conversation that only he and his wife knew about. This revelation sends him on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind Margot's murder and the secrets that surround it. Brace yourself for shocking revelations and a race against time.

If you're a fan of suspenseful thrillers that keep you guessing until the very end, "Tell No One" is a must-read. 

And if you've already read all of Coben's novels and are looking for more recommendations, I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below with your favorite crime and thriller authors or books. I'm always on the lookout for my next thrilling read.

Remember to give some of my other articles a read :)

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1 Comments
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this post. After watching Fool Me Once on Netflix I am eager to read more of these great stories. Sam - Thrift Plan Enjoy

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