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Netflix’s thriller king Harlan Coben’s releases new book | Books | Entertainment


Life has been ab fab for Netflix thriller king and bestselling author Harlan Coben of late. First, actor and comedian Jennifer Saunders appeared in his Netflix series The Stranger – and now Joanna Lumley is filming his new eight-parter Fool Me Once.

The 61-year-old novelist and screenwriter says: “Joanna is shockingly down to earth and kind. Everyone on set just loves her.

“I was up on set in Manchester yesterday and they were all giddy over how nice she was – and they’re all hoping for a scene with Joanna.”

Fool Me Once tells the tale of a military combat pilot (Michelle Keegan) suffering from PTSD. Her husband (Richard Armitage) is murdered. But, as with all Coben’s work, nothing is quite as it seems.

Lumley plays Armitage’s mother: “She’s very posh, she’s very rich, she’s very cold – but she’s also a psychiatrist, so she’s clever and has a very interesting relationship with her daughter-in-law.”

The author from New Jersey – whose Netflix hits include Stay Close, Safe, The Innocent and The Woods – acts as executive producer, involved in writing, casting and watching rough cuts of scenes.

With more than 80 million books in print worldwide, his novels are published in 46 languages. His latest, I Will Find You, is a
page-turner about a man wrongly convicted for the murder of his son.

He’s in jail when he discovers that the boy is still alive. After a prison break, he and the police play a game of cat and mouse.

Coben has four grown-up children and wife Anne Armstrong-Coben is a paediatrician. When Covid struck, all his children ended up back at home. Coben caught the virus twice.

“I’d been home so much, I wondered if I’d still be good at being social – then I went to the first [book tour] event and saw all these smiling faces. The audience was so happy to be out.”

Coben will travel back and forth between his home in New Jersey and Manchester while Fool Me Once is being filmed.

He reveals he’s drawn to the UK because he believes it allows more artistic freedom.

“It’s a little more laid-back here. I feel like I have more control,” he says. “Hopefully Fool Me Once is our best show. I work on it really hard. I want to try not to just fool you but to move you.”

  • I Will Find You by Harlan Coben is out now (Century, £20)

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