Book Review - Fool Me Once

by Harlan Coben (Arrow) ISBN: 9781780894195

Fool Me Once stars Maya, a former special ops pilot with a secret she’d prefer remained in the war-zone. When the body count in her family begins to rise, she undertakes a mission to unravel the apparent link between the murder of her husband and the death of her sister. 

Maya is a tough, no-nonsense hardened war veteran, but it seems her exposure to war may have tampered her sanity: She witnessed her husband’s murder but then he appears on a nanny-cam – or does he? 

Maya is a soldier, a mother, a wife, a sister. She is resourceful and brave and I admire her chutzpah. Yet she is also vulnerable and very flawed – the extent of which is revealed through subversive secrets that incorporate a seedy strip joint, a posh boys’ school, the exposé of an online conspiracy, and a fateful accident involving boys in a boat. 

Superbly plotted with multiple parallel threads and gasp-worthy twists, this crime thriller demonstrates why Harlan Coben has had eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers. Fool Me Once concludes in ways you’d least expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Deborah Minors


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Stay Close

by Harlan Coben (Orion) ISBN: 978 1 4091 12563


Harlan Coben, the master of the twist, is back with another hard-paced, unputdownable thriller. 


The convoluted plot is not easy to summarise but easy to follow once it pulls the reader in. Detective Broome has to solve a baffling mystery—on Mardi Gras night in Atlantic City each year, some no-good loser guy goes missing, never to be seen again. 


After almost twenty years of these suspicious disappearances, he is determined to break the pattern. When Megan, ex-stripper turned suburban soccer mom, comes forward with some vital information, she doesn’t realise she’s put herself—and her ex-lover, a battle-scarred photographer called Ray—in some serious danger.


Atlantic City is a great setting, kind of like Vegas without Celine Dion and the big electricity bill, and this added to the great atmospheric noir elements of the story. Coben doesn’t only do the plot twist like a pro—he does the sardonic humour well too. It was especially great to see how he brought in some clever and absorbing observations about human nature through his colourful characters’ voices. The theme of the novel—wanting to go back and change the past—was pretty damn poignant.


Stay Close is a great novel, told in a great narrative voice. It’s a really immersive entertainment. Pick it up on a Friday night and when you’ve come up for air, your whole weekend will have disappeared. Trust me.


Anthony Ehlers 


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Book Review - Live Wire

by Harlan Coben (Orion) ISBN 978-1-4091-1253-2

First off, let me admit that I adore Harlan Coben and his books… and this one is no exception.
I feel like I know Myron Bolitar, the quirky sports agent and all-round defender of his clients.  Perhaps because this is the 20th book in the series!

This story takes a very personal look at Myron’s family as his father suffers a severe heart attack and he must find his long lost brother in order to honour his father’s last wish. At the same time, he needs to discover why his client, retired tennis star Suzze T, is being threatened.

As he follows his client’s case and searches for his brother, he uncovers secrets about his client and his family, and is drawn into a web of deceit created by decisions of the past. Certain aspects of the book are slightly fanciful, but in the spirit of the story, I can accept that the gorgeous and proficient multi-billionaire, Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III) can and will do anything to save his friend Myron.

Like the other books in the series, this is a trip into the world of Bolitar, his family, friends and clients that will keep you turning the page… highly, highly recommended.
Shelley Roe-Berning 

Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.