Harlan Coben

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Harlan A Coben
Born (1962-01-04) January 4, 1962 (age 54)
Newark, New Jersey,
United States
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Alma mater Amherst College
Period 1990–present
Genre Mystery, Thriller
Notable works Myron Bolitar series of novels
Notable awards Anthony Award (1996),
Edgar Award and Shamus Award (1997)
Spouse Anne Armstrong-Coben
  • Charlotte
  • Benjamin
  • Will
  • Eve

Harlan Coben (born January 4, 1962) is an American author of mystery novels and thrillers. The plots of his novels often involve the resurfacing of unresolved or misinterpreted events in the past (murders, fatal accidents, etc.) and often have multiple plot twists. Both series of Coben's books are set in and around New York and New Jersey, and some of the supporting characters in the two series have appeared in both.


Coben was born to a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, but was raised in Livingston and schooled at Livingston High School, together with childhood friend and future politician Chris Christie.[1] While studying political science at Amherst College, he was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity with author Dan Brown.[citation needed] After Amherst, Coben worked in the travel industry, in a company owned by his grandfather. He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben, a pediatrician,[2] and their four children: Charlotte, Benjamin, Will and Eve.[3][4]


Coben was in his senior year at college when he realized he wanted to write. His first book was accepted when he was twenty-six, but after publishing two stand-alone thrillers in the 1990s (Play Dead in 1990 and Miracle Cure in 1991) he decided on a change of direction and began a series of thrillers featuring his character Myron Bolitar. The novels of the popular series follow the tales of a former basketball player turned sports agent (Bolitar), who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.

Coben has won an Edgar Award, a Shamus Award and an Anthony Award, and was the first writer to have received all three.[citation needed] He is also the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the New York Times op-ed page.[citation needed] He wrote a short story entitled "The Key to My Father," which appeared on June 15, 2003.

In 2001 he released his first stand-alone thriller since the creation of the Myron Bolitar series in 1995, Tell No One, which went on to be his best-selling novel to date. Film director Guillaume Canet made the book into a French thriller, Ne le dis à personne in 2006. Coben followed Tell No One with nine more stand-alone novels. His 2008 novel Hold Tight was released on April 15, 2008, and became his first book to debut at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Coben's most recent novel, Fool Me Once will be published in March 2016.[5]


Myron Bolitar series[edit]

  1. Deal Breaker (1995, Paperback, ISBN 978-0-440-22044-2) (2006, Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-385-34060-1)
  2. Drop Shot (1996, Paperback, ISBN 0-440-22045-9) (2007, Hardcover, ISBN 0-385-34210-1)
  3. Fade Away (1996, Paperback, ISBN 0-440-22268-0) (2008, Hardcover, ISBN 0-385-34250-0)
  4. Back Spin (1997, Paperback, ISBN 0-7528-4916-6) (2010, Hardcover, ISBN 0-385-34356-6)
  5. One False Move (1998, ISBN 0-385-32369-7)
  6. The Final Detail (1999, ISBN 0-385-32371-9)
  7. Darkest Fear (2000, ISBN 0-385-33433-8)
  8. Promise Me (2006, ISBN 0-525-94949-6)
  9. Long Lost (2009, ISBN 0-525-95105-9)
  10. Live Wire (2011, ISBN 0-525-95206-3)

Mickey Bolitar series[edit]

  1. Shelter (2011, ISBN 0-399-25650-4)
  2. Seconds Away (2012, ISBN 0-399-25651-2)
  3. Found (2014, ISBN 978-0-399-25652-3)

Stand-alone novels[edit]

  1. Play Dead (1990, ISBN 0-945167-28-8)
  2. Miracle Cure (1991, ISBN 0-945167-39-3)
  3. Tell No One (2001, ISBN 0-440-23670-3)
  4. Gone for Good (2002, ISBN 0-440-23673-8)
  5. No Second Chance (2003, ISBN 0-525-94729-9)
  6. Just One Look (2004, ISBN 0-525-94791-4)
  7. The Innocent (2005, ISBN 0-525-94874-0)
  8. The Woods (2007, ISBN 978-0-525-95012-7)
  9. Hold Tight (2008, ISBN 978-0-525-95060-8)
  10. Caught (2010, ISBN 978-0-525-95158-2)
  11. Stay Close (2012, ISBN 978-0-525-95227-5)
  12. Six Years (2013, ISBN 978-0-525-95348-7)
  13. Missing You (2014, ISBN 978-0-525-95349-4)
  14. The Stranger (2015, ISBN 978-0-525-95350-0)
  15. Fool Me Once (2016, ISBN 978-0-525-95509-2)


Coben has won a number of awards from the mystery fiction community for his work. He won the 1996 Anthony Award in the "Best Paperback original" category for his début novel Deal Breaker, which also received an Edgar award nomination in the same category.[6][7] Fade Away was also highly acclaimed, winning the 1997 Shamus Award and Edgar Award for "Best Paperback original",[7][8] being nominated for the Anthony Award and Barry Award in the same category,[6][9] and picking up a Dilys Award nomination also.[10] The following Myron Bolitar novel, Back Spin, won the 1998 Barry Award and was also nominated for both the Dilys Award and the Shamus Award.[8][9][10] Coben's 2001 stand-alone novel Tell No One was very well received the following year. It was nominated for the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, the Edgar Award and the Barry Award.[6][9][11][12] In 2010, Live Wire won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing, worth €125,000.[13]


  1. ^ Coben, Harlan (November 5, 2009). "Chris Christie Confidential". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bio". HarlanCoben.com. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.bergen.com/mobile/other-news/moms-in-medicine-part-6-dr-anne-armstrong-coben-1.807562
  4. ^ http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2531:a-conversation-with-harlan-coben&catid=38:profile&Itemid=191
  5. ^ Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben - Amazon.com
  6. ^ a b c "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Best Paperback Original Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Mystery Net. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Barry Awards". Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "The Dilys Award (IMBA)". Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees in the Private Eye Genre". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Harlan Coben wins the 4th RBA International Prize for Crime Writing with his novel ‘Live Wire’". Catalan News Wire. 10 September 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 

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