Diane's Reviews > Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
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really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries-thrillers

The release of a new Harlan Coben book is something I mark on my calendar. Seriously. "New Coben book!" is a reason to celebrate.

I've been enjoying Coben's novels for several years now, so you can understand how excited I was when I received an advance copy to review. I think I jumped up and down and shrieked.

Fool Me Once is another good thriller, one that kept twisting and turning until the final pages. The story follows Maya, a battle-weary veteran whose home life is turned upside down when her husband is murdered. Now a single parent, Maya gets suspicious when she sees something strange on a nanny cam. The image looked like her dead husband — how could that be?

One of Coben's story trademarks is that you never know who to trust, and here it's heightened even more because Maya doesn't trust anyone. Not the nanny. Not the police. Not her husband's wealthy family. Not her sister's husband. She doesn't even fully confide in her fellow combat veterans or in her therapist.

One of the plot lines I liked in this book was how Coben featured the stress and trauma that veterans have suffered. Maya is haunted by the decisions she made during her service, and we see her struggle to find peace in her home life. In the Acknowledgments, Coben paid tribute to the veterans he has spoken with, and he recognized those who suffer from psychological injuries from war. Most of the Coben books I've read have featured male characters who had a background in law enforcement or they were regular folks swept up in a mystery, and I thought it was a nice change to have the main character in Fool Me Once be a female combat veteran.

Coben books are always difficult to review because the thrill is in reading them for yourself and watching the story unfold. I liked following Maya on this mystery and appreciated most of the surprises. I wasn't crazy about the ending, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ride.

Recommended for fans of suspense.

P.S. My favorite Coben book is Tell No One.

Favorite Quotes
"Maya had learned it in the military, but of course, it applied to real life. Your fellow soldiers had to know that you had their back. That was rule one, lesson one, and above all else. If the enemy goes after you, he goes after me too."

"People cannot police themselves when it comes to power and money. It's simple human nature. We twist the truth to suit our self-interest ... We humans are wonderful at self-justification."
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 19, 2016 – Shelved
March 19, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Deanna I have this on audio. I've only listened to one audio book so far so I'm wondering how this will go. Great review!


Diane Hi Deanna, I've never listened to a Coben audiobook, I've always read him in print, but I bet it will be thrilling. Coben is good at suspense and keeping the story moving, so it will probably be a fun book to listen to.


message 3: by Arah-Lynda (new) - added it

Arah-Lynda Superb review Diane. I have read some Coben of course but now I am thinking that I need to read more.


Diane Hi Arah-Lynda, Coben novels are a lot of fun! I like reading a suspensful book every so often, it's nice to take a break from heavier stuff. Coben is very prolific, and he has lots of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet.


Christine Zibas I loved "Tell No One" and this book has echoes of that for me. However, it wasn't nearly as good, and I didn't believe in the main character. Good twisty ending, however.


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