Harlan Coben

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Harlan Coben
Bornc. 1962 (age 61–62)[1]
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma materAmherst College
GenreMystery, thriller
Notable worksMyron Bolitar series of novels
Notable awardsAnthony Award (1996),
Edgar Award and Shamus Award (1997)
SpouseAnne Armstrong

Harlan Coben (born c. 1962) is an American writer of mystery novels and thrillers. The plots of his novels often involve the resurfacing of unresolved or misinterpreted events in the past, murders, or fatal accidents and have multiple twists. Nine of his novels have been adapted into Netflix series.

Coben has won an Edgar Award, a Shamus Award, and an Anthony Award—the first author to receive all three.[2][3] His books have been translated into 43 languages and sold over 60 million copies.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Coben was born into a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in Livingston,[5] where he graduated from Livingston High School, with his childhood friend, future governor Chris Christie.[6]

He studied political science at Amherst College, where he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, along with Dan Brown.[7][8] Coben was in his senior year at college when he realized he wanted to write.[9]


After graduating in 1984, Coben worked in the travel industry, in a company owned by his grandfather.[7][9] It was during that time when he wrote his first book, romantic suspense thriller Play Dead, which was accepted for publication when he was 26 and released in 1990.[9] It was followed by Miracle Cure in 1991. He then began writing a series of thrillers featuring a former basketball player turned sports agent, Myron Bolitar, who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.

Tell No One, his first stand-alone thriller since the creation of the Myron Bolitar series in 1995, was published in 2001. A French-language film adaptation based on the book was released in 2006.[10] Coben followed Tell No One with nine more stand-alone novels. His novel Hold Tight, published on April 15, 2008, was his first book to debut at number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.[11]

In 2003, Coben published a short story about his father, who had died of a heart attack at the age of 59 in 1988.[4][12] Entitled "The Key to My Father," the story was published in The New York Times on Father's Day, June 15, 2003.[13] Besides The New York Times, his essays and columns have appeared in Parade Magazine and Bloomberg Views.[14]


Series Year Title
Myron Bolitar 1995 Deal Breaker
1996 Drop Shot
Fade Away
1997 Back Spin
1998 One False Move
1999 The Final Detail
2000 Darkest Fear
2006 Promise Me
2009 Long Lost
2011 Live Wire
2016 Home
Mickey Bolitar
(1st Myron Bolitar spin-off series)
2011 Shelter
2012 Seconds Away
2014 Found
Wilde 2020 The Boy from the Woods
2022 The Match
Windsor Horne Lockwood III
(2nd Myron Bolitar spin-off series)
2021 Win
Standalone novels 1990 Play Dead
1991 Miracle Cure
2001 Tell No One
2002 Gone for Good
2003 No Second Chance
2004 Just One Look
2005 The Innocent
2007 The Woods
2008 Hold Tight
2010 Caught
2012 Stay Close
2013 Six Years
2014 Missing You
2015 The Stranger
2016 The Magical Fantastical Fridge
Fool Me Once
2017 Don't Let Go
2019 Run Away
2023 I Will Find You


Coben won the 1996 Anthony Award in the category "Best Paperback Original", for Deal Breaker, the first volume of the Myron Bolitar series; it was also nominated for an Edgar Award in the same category.[15][16] Fade Away won the 1997 Shamus Award and the Edgar Award for "Best Paperback Original",[16][17] was nominated for the Anthony Award and the Barry Award in the same category,[15][18] and was nominated for a Dilys Award.[19] The following Myron Bolitar novel, Back Spin, won the 1998 Barry Award and was nominated for the Dilys Award and the Shamus Award.[17][18][19] In 2002, Tell No One was nominated for the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, the Edgar Award and the Barry Award.[15][18][20][21] In 2010, Live Wire won the crime fiction award, the RBA Prize for Crime Writing, worth €125,000.[22]

In 2023, the Japanese edition of Win, translated by Toshiki Taguchi, was nominated for the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Mystery Fiction in Translation.[23][24]

Films and TV series[edit]

Coben's first book to be adapted for the screen was Tell No One. Director Guillaume Canet made a French-language film, based on the book, titled Ne le dis à personne, in 2006.[10]

Coben's 2003 book No Second Chance became the basis for the 2015 French miniseries of the same name. Two years later the same happened to Just One Look.

Coben is the creator of the British crime drama television show The Five, which first aired in April 2016 on the Sky 1 channel in the United Kingdom.[25][26][27] Coben also created the French-British crime drama television show Safe, which premiered on Netflix in 190 countries on May 10, 2018.[28][29]

In 2024, Fool Me Once was released on Netflix.[2] The eight part television series is an adaptation of the 2016 novel.

Film Contracts[edit]

In 2022, Amazon Studios announced plans to produce a series based on the first Mickey Bolitar novel Shelter.[30] Jaden Michael stars as Mickey, alongside Constance Zimmer, Adrian Greensmith, Abby Corrigan, and Sage Linder.[31][32][33] The series, Harlan Coben's Shelter, was released on August 18, 2023.[34]

In August 2018, Coben signed a multi-million-dollar five-year contract with American company Netflix. Under the deal, 14 of Coben's novels would be developed into original Netflix series or films, with him serving as executive producer on all projects.[35] The first title released under the deal was The Stranger, based on his novel of the same name, which premiered in January 2020.[36] In October 2022, it was announced that Netflix had extended the deal for another four years, with the Myron Bolitar series now also available for adaptation.[37] On February 20, 2023, Fool Me Once was announced as an upcoming adaptation in production for Netflix.[38]

List of Netflix Original Series Under the Deal
Title (English & Lote) Country of origin Language Release date Notes Ref
The Stranger (English: The Stranger) United Kingdom English January 30, 2020 [39]
The Woods (Polish: W głębi lasu) Poland Polish June 12, 2020 [39]
The Innocent (Spanish: El inocente) Spain Spanish April 30, 2021
Gone for Good (French: Disparu à jamais) France French August 13, 2021
Stay Close (English: Stay Close) United Kingdom English December 31, 2021 [40]
Hold Tight (Polish: Zachowaj spokój) Poland Polish April 22, 2022 [41] [42]
Fool Me Once (English: Fool Me Once) United Kingdom English January 1, 2024 [43]
Missing You (English: Missing You) United Kingdom English [44]
Run Away (English: Run Away) United Kingdom English [44]

Personal life[edit]

Coben lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife Anne Armstrong-Coben, a pediatrician, and their four children.[14][45]


  1. ^ "Mysteryscenemag". www.mysteryscenemag.com.
  2. ^ a b Khomami, Nadia (January 1, 2023). "New thriller from master of twists and turns Harlan Coben comes to Netflix". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  3. ^ "Harlan Coben". www.fantasticfiction.com.
  4. ^ a b Black, Michael Ian (August 30, 2016), How to be Amazing with Michael Ian Black, Stitcher.com (podcast), retrieved September 21, 2016
  5. ^ Cowles, Gregory (March 29, 2013). "Inside the List". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  6. ^ Coben, Harlan (November 5, 2009). "Chris Christie Confidential". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Harlan Coben Books in Order". Books Reading Order. September 13, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  8. ^ "Authors". Psi Upsilon Fraternity. March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Lochte, Dick (2004). "A Conversation With Harlan Coben". www.mysteryscenemag.com. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Ne le dis à personne (Thriller) : la critique Télérama". Télérama (in French). March 1, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  11. ^ Finn, Robin (April 2, 2009). "Local Writer, Worldwide Following". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  12. ^ Coben [@HarlanCoben], Harlan (June 21, 2020). "My dad died 32 years ago. I post this short story I wrote about him in 2003..." - via Twitter. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  13. ^ Coben, Harlan (June 15, 2003). "Opinion | A WORK OF FICTION; The Key To My Father". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Coben, Harlan. "Bio". harlancoben.com. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Best Paperback Original Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Mystery Net. Archived from the original on December 20, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c "Barry Awards". Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  19. ^ a b "The Dilys Award (IMBA)". Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  20. ^ "Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  21. ^ "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees in the Private Eye Genre". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  22. ^ "Harlan Coben wins the 4th RBA Prize for Crime Writing with his novel 'Live Wire'". Catalan News Wire. September 10, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
  23. ^ "Mystery Writers of Japan is pleased to announce a new award for Mystery Fiction in Translation". www.mystery.or.jp. Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. April 27, 2023. Retrieved May 14, 2023.
  24. ^ "第76回日本推理作家協会賞受賞作決定". www.mystery.or.jp (in Japanese). Mystery Writers of Japan, Inc. May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 14, 2023.
  25. ^ Sarah Hughes (March 7, 2016). "Harlan Coben on 'The Five' for Sky, his obsessive nature, and missing his friend David Foster Wallace". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 9, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  26. ^ "Harlan Coben : "The Five est ma première série originale"". TVMag Le Figaro (in French). April 21, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  27. ^ Neil Procter. "The Five (TV Series 2016– )". IMDb. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  28. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (July 11, 2017). "Michael C Hall To Play It 'Safe' In Netflix, Canal+ Drama From Harlan Coben". Deadline. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  29. ^ Ryan, Maureen (April 11, 2018). "TV Review: Harlan Coben's 'Safe' on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 15, 2022). "'Harlan Coben's Shelter' YA Drama Starring Jaden Michael Picked Up To Series For Prime Video". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  31. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 23, 2021). "Harlan Coben Amazon Studios YA Pilot 'Shelter' Casts Jaden Michael in Lead Role (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  32. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 5, 2021). "Constance Zimmer Boards 'Shelter' YA Pilot at Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  33. ^ Otterson, Joe (October 27, 2021). "Amazon YA Pilot 'Shelter' Adds Three to Cast (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  34. ^ Barraclough, Leo (June 15, 2023). "Prime Video Reveals Premiere Date, Debuts First-Look Image for Thriller Series 'Harlan Coben's Shelter'". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2023.
  35. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 27, 2018). "Harlan Coben Inks Overall Deal With Netflix For TV Series & Movie Adaptations Of His Books". Deadline. Archived from the original on January 19, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  36. ^ Kanter, Jake (May 19, 2020). "Netflix Lines Up 'Stay Close' As Its Next Harlan Coben Adaptation From 'The Stranger' Producer Red". Deadline. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  37. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 3, 2022). "Myron Bolitar Series In Works At Netflix As Harlan Coben Extends Overall Deal At Streamer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  38. ^ "Fool Me Once' Adaptation in the Works With Richard Armitage & Michelle Keegan to Star". Collider. February 20, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  39. ^ a b Scott, Sheena (March 5, 2021). "'The Innocent' Trailer: New Harlan Coben Adaptation From Spain On Netflix". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 7, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  40. ^ "Stay Close: Release date, cast, plot, trailer and news for new Harlan Coben Netflix series". Radio Times. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  41. ^ Netflix (April 4, 2022). Hold Tight | Official Trailer | Netflix. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  42. ^ Amazon Prime (July 11, 2023). Hold Tight | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  43. ^ "Netflix Adapting Harlan Coben's 'Fool Me Once' With Star Michelle Keegan". The Wrap. February 20, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  44. ^ a b "Netflix Greenlights Two More Harlan Coben Series Adaptations After Success of 'Fool Me Once'". Hollywood Reporter. January 22, 2024. Retrieved January 22, 2024.
  45. ^ Dick Lochte (2004). "A Conversation With Harlan Coben". mysteryscenemag.com. Retrieved May 9, 2016.

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