Fool Me Once by Harlan CobenTitle: Fool Me Once

Author: Harlan Coben

Pages: 400

Publisher: Century

Publication Date: 24 March 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley

If your husband was murdered,
And you were a witness,
How do you explain it when he appears on your nanny cam?
You thought you trusted him.
Now you can’t even trust yourself.

Dark secrets and a terrifying hunt for the truth lie at the heart of this gripping new thriller.

If I had to describe my whole experience with this book, it would be intense. Everything about it was intense from the story itself, to the characters to the fact that I got so encapsulated in it and didn’t even notice the pages whizzing by. It is just one of the books I wish hadn’t ended because it really sucked me in and I loved every minute of it.

Fool Me Once is a standalone thriller from Harlan Coben. Former army helicopter pilot Maya Stern is in a local park with her husband Joe when he is shot and killed by two masked men right before her eyes. However, a couple of days after Joe’s funeral Maya is checking the video from her nanny cam when she finds that a mysterious man has been inside her house. The only problem is that the man is Joe.

This book is right up there as one of the best mysteries that I have ever read. It kept me on my toes guessing what was happening the whole way through until I was sure I knew how it would end. Except I wasn’t even close. That’s the sign of a good mystery for me, that ability for an author to craft a plot that points in one direction yet ends with a big twist that is equally plausible and I think Coben has that ability in spades.

Normally, plots like the one in this book annoy me. I’m not really a fan of when a whole heap of coincidences keep happening to one person because I find that unbelievable. However that didn’t worry me in this case. Coben was really good at making me believe that the plot was real, through his use of a type of unreliable narrator. I enjoyed Coben’s writing style because it was quite economical in that he is able to convey a lot of information without making it too wordy.

I also liked Coben’s character work in this book. Maya was a great lead character that I could relate to, or at least it felt that way as I was reading. I don’t usually read mysteries that often, so I also really enjoyed Coben’s ability to really turn the tables and present the good guys as bad guys and vice versa, which is something I don’t see often in the books I read.

I’ll admit that this is actually the first Harlan Coben book I’ve ever read, so I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve been meaning to read some of his stuff, but just never got around to it. If his older stuff is even half as good as Fool Me Once is, then I think I may have found one of my new favourite authors. It is seriously that good.

Worth a read? I think Fool Me Once is probably worth a read for everyone who enjoys mysteries and thrillers. It is written with a fast-paced and gripping style and Coben’s mastery of twists is right up there with the likes of Jeffery Deaver. It has a little bit of everything that would make it appealing to everyone regardless of which subgenre of thrillers you usually read.



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