Introduction to Harlan Coben

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Harlan Coben has written 27 novels, seven of them New York Times No 1 bestsellers. He has 60 million books in print in 41 languages, and his advances are well into seven figures. He’s won the big three in mystery awards – the Edgar, the Shamus and the Anthony – and the blockbuster French film based on his novel, Tell No One, was nominated for nine Césars.

His latest project, the gripping TV drama THE FIVE, is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms, which sees four childhood friends – Mark, Danny, Slade and Pru – reunited when DNA evidence left at a murder scene is revealed to be that of Mark’s brother Jesse, who disappeared one summer’s day after playing in the park with the four friends.

Here, we take a look at the previous works from the fiendishly smart mind of internationally acclaimed thriller writer Harlan Coben, both on page and screen…

The Five (2016)

The Five aired on Sky 1 in the UK earlier this year to mass critical acclaim, with Harlan’s first shot at TV writing arguably a huge success. In the thrilling drama series, four friends who have been bound together by tragedy all their lives are forced to face the past in the most horrifying way. When they were 12-years old, Mark, Pru, Danny and Slade were out together in the woods. Mark’s five-year-old brother Jesse was bothering them, so they told him to get lost. Jesse ran away and was never seen again… Twenty years later, Danny – now a detective – learns that Jesse’s DNA has been found at a murder scene. Is Jesse alive? The four friends must reunite to discover the shocking truth… A thrilling ten-part series that will keep you guessing right to the very end, The Five is an unmissable maze of twists, turns and dark secrets.

Fool Me Once (2016)

In Harlan’s latest novel, this year’s Fool Me Once, former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe, who had been brutally murdered two weeks previously. For Maya to find the answers needed to understand what she saw with her own eyes, she must come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can truly face the unbelievable truth about her husband – and herself.

The Stranger (2015)

In 2015, Harlan’s stand-alone thriller The Stranger proved that a well-placed lie can help build a wonderful life– and that a secret has the same explosive power to destroy it. In the thriller, protagonist Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life. Then he runs into the mysterious Stranger, who whispers a few words in Adam’s ear and disappears. What he learns is a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne. He confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realises that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

Six Years (2013)

The master of suspense struck again in 2013 with Six Years, another shocking page-turner that explores the power of lost love and the lengths that a person in love might go to when trying to uncover the secrets and lies that such love can hide. 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 more than a decade, 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.

Live Wire (2011)

Harlan Coben published his first Myron Bolitar thriller, Deal Breaker, in 1995, introducing a hero that would captivate millions. Over the years, we have watched Myron walk a tight rope between sports agent, friend, problem solver and private eye, his big heart quick to defend his client’s interests so fiercely that he can’t help but jump in to save them, no matter the cost. In 2011, Harlan reprised the character of Myron for the tenth time in Live Wire, one of his best to date, wherein Myron becomes involved with a former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, who encounter an anonymous Facebook post questioning the paternity of their unborn child. Lex runs off, and Suzze – at eight months pregnant – asks Myron to save her marriage, and perhaps her husband’s life. An electric, stay-up-all-night thriller that unfolds at a breakneck pace, Live Wire proves Harlan Coben’s undying ability to shock us anew.

Tell No One (2001 book, 2006 film)

Tell No One, Harlan’s first stand-alone thriller since the creation of the Myron Bolitar series in 1995, was published in 2001, and is his best-selling novel to date. Director Guillaume Canet made a film (in French) based on the book, Ne le dis à personne, in 2006. Eight years after David’s wife Elizabeth (Margot in the Ne le dis à personne) is abducted and murdered by a serial killer, two unidentified bodies are found at Lake Charmaine, unearthed years after their deaths, and all evidence points to David. But even more disturbing, David gets a bizarre email that mentions a specific phrase – a phrase known only to him and Elizabeth…

The Five is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL. Enter Our competition now, ends 11th July.