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Harlan Coben books that could be Netflix’s next top thriller after Fool Me Once success

Harlan Coben books that could be Netflix’s next top thriller after Fool Me Once success

The love-in between Netflix and Harlan Coben's novels grows stronger by the day

When you've got your own Netflix page named after your work, you know the vibes are good.

That's certainly the case for Harlan Coben, who has seen eight of his novels turned into small screen exclusives for the global streaming platform.

And The Harlan Coben Collection is only expected to grow significantly, with the American author only part-way through his deal with Netflix.

The latest release stars Michelle Keegan in Fool Me Once, with it becoming the most-watched show on Netflix by some distance.

Tens of millions of people have tuned in see her star as Maya Stern as she uncovers a web of historic secrets and lies following the deaths of her husband and sister.

A total of 14 of Coben's books will be turned into shows or films, with two more currently in development.

The thing is, Coben has 35 books to his name, so not every one of them is going to be transformed into moving pictures under his current Netflix deal.

In terms of what comes next, Coben's novel Just One Look is probably the book we can expect to watch on Netflix next.

Fool Me Once is the TV series of 2024 so far.

Coben told the Radio Times: "We’re doing one right now in Poland based off my book Just One Look, we’re filming and Netflix Poland is working on.

"Also working on one in South America, believe it or not. There’s no doubt that if Netflix wants us back, which hopefully everyone watching will make this happen."

But what about after then? According to reviews, the following three books are where Netflix should be looking:

Six Years

Six Years front cover
Six Years front cover

Coben's 2013 novel Six Years is one of the most popular with fans, with a 3.84 rating on Goodreads.

The synopsis reads: "Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man.

"Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

"But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral.

"There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for… but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out."

One reader posted: "Talk about a roller coaster of a ride book! This was the first Harlan Coben novel I read and knew from then on I had to read more of his."

Bringing Six Years to life on our screens has been mooted before, with a film initially announced in 2013 starring Hugh Jackman.

It was also resurrected as a film for Netflix in 2020, with Suicide Squad's David Ayer lined up to direct and write the screenplay, but so far little has been said since then.

Here's hoping it's quietly on the way.

Tell No One

Harlan Coben's Tell No One has already seen itself turned into a French-language film.
Harlan Coben's Tell No One has already seen itself turned into a French-language film.

Another one of Coben's best-loved pieces of work, Tell No One was released back in 2001.

It's got a 4.08 rating on Goodreads, and has already been turned into a French language film five years after the novel was released, but given the popularity of the book, Netflix would be foolish not to consider an English language adaptation for its UK and US audience.

The synopsis reads: "For Dr. David Beck, the loss was shattering. And every day for the past eight years, he has relived the horror of what happened. The gleaming lake. The pale moonlight. The piercing screams. The night his wife was taken. The last night he saw her alive.

"Everyone tells him it's time to move on, to forget the past once and for all. But for David Beck, there can be no closure. A message has appeared on his computer, a phrase only he and his dead wife know. Suddenly Beck is taunted with the impossible - that somewhere, somehow, Elizabeth is alive."

One reader said: "Harlan Coben strikes again."

A second posted: "OH MY LORD! Coben delivers again!! I'm always left in awe after reading one of his mysteries and this time I was thrown all over the place!"


Harlan Coben's Caught
Harlan Coben's Caught

One of Coben's more recent pieces of work, 2010's Caught has an impressive four out of five rating on Goodreads.

The synopsis reads: "17-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her.

"Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

"Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission, to identify and bring down sexual predators via elaborate — and nationally televised — sting operations.

"Working with local police on her news program Caught in the Act, Wendy and her team have publicly shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target.

"Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined."

Readers love this piece of work, with one saying: "This is a terrific read, and for me, another example of why Coben is so popular."

A second posted: "Wow! When you read this one you will need to take notes, create a flow chart, etc. and I bet you still won't see anything coming. Not only did keep thinking that I had guessed where the story was going, Coben had me convinced I was right and the BAM! Nope... wrong again."

Featured Image Credit: Vishal Sharma / Netflix / Ian West / PA Wire

Topics: Netflix, TV and Film, Books