If mysteries, murders and multiple narratives are what you love, then you’re sure to be a fan of Harlan Coben. The American author, a master of devising ingenious thrillers with inventive plot twists, has 33 published novels that have reportedly sold 75 million copies and been translated into 43 languages. You may have read Tell No One, Play Dead or No Second Chance, or even his bestseller Myron Bolitar novels, in which a sports agent finds himself investigating crimes involving his clients. With Netflix having signed a five-year deal to adapt 14 of Coben’s works into limited series or films, here are the 5 best currently streaming on the platform:
1. Stay Close
Stay Close is the latest Harlan Coben novel to be adapted into a Netflix series. The eight-episode show follows the seemingly blissful domestic life of suburban Blackpool mother Megan Pierce-Shaw (Cush Jumbo), until secrets from her past as a stripper threaten to disrupt her family’s idyll. With colourful characters and fascinating plot twists, Stay Close has enough meat to be a perfect weekend binge-watch.
2. The Woods (W głębi lasu)
A crisp Polish series, The Woods is an effective mix of suspense and drama. As prosecutor Pawel Kopinski (Grzegorz Damiecki) grapples with the disappearance of his sister 15 years earlier, he is ordered to identify a murder victim who he finds is connected to a dark period in his past. With just six episodes, the series is a brisk watch, with sharp writing, alluring secrets and twisted mysteries.
3. El Inocente (The Innocent)
When a prolific thriller director like Oriol Paulo (Contratiempo, El Cuerpo) collaborates with a mastermind like Harlan Coben, you know you’re in for a rollercoaster. This eight-episode Spanish series is perhaps the most extravagantly produced of Coben’s works, tracing the life of Mateo (Mario Casas), a former inmate who tries to redeem himself after having accidentally killed a man. The show combines a sleek production with adept direction and a taut tale.
4. The Stranger
The life of family man Adam Price (Richard Armitage) is thrown into disarray when a stranger approaches him and reveals a dark secret about his spouse (Dervla Kirwan). The seed of doubt planted in his mind leads him down dangerous paths. Eight episodes long, The Stranger is a good old-fashioned thriller with a streamlined plot, intriguing characters and gripping episodic twists.
One of the earliest Harlan Coben adaptations to stream on Netflix, the eight-episode series is a brilliant concoction of tense drama and sumptuous twists. Safe is centered around Tom Delaney (Michael C Hall), a single father whose world is shattered when one his daughters go missing. What makes the case murkier is that Tom lives in a gated community with only one exit. It’s thrilling from start to finish.