Authors Like Harlan Coben (8 Book Recommendations)

If you’re interested in mystery and crime thriller novels that involve fatal accidents, murders, and mysteries from the past, you probably already know a lot about Harlan Coben. Famous for his crime and mystery Novels, Harlan Coben is an award-winning American author that has been publishing his books since 1995.

Authors Like Harlan Coben (8 Book Recommendations)

Famous for his Myron Bolitar series, Wilde, and a wide range of standalone novels, he is widely regarded as one of the best in the business.

An Anthony Award and Edgar Award winner, some of Coben’s best-selling novels include The Stranger, Tell No One, and The Woods, with The Stranger even having its own television adaptation.

To date, Harlan Coben has more than 35 novels to his name and has sold more than 75 million copies worldwide.

If you enjoy Harlan Coben’s novels and you want to find books by similar authors, you’ve come to the right place. This post looks at 4 authors like Harlan Coben and their best work.

If you love Harlan Coben’s Tell No One, then you’ll also love the works of similar authors such as Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Deaver, David Baldacci, and Jonathan Kellerman. Keep reading if you want to find out which books you need to read next!

Books By Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is most famous for his standalone psychological thrillers that feature complex relationships, awesome twists, complicated crimes, and various timelines. One key feature of most Harlan Coben books is the idea of past crimes.

More often than not, Coben’s novels will take the reader on a journey back into the past to uncover new clues and solve the toughest of mysteries.

Coben first shot to fame when he released Deal Breaker, which went on to be the first book in his Myron Bolitar series. 

This series follows the life of Myron Bolitar, a sports agent who deals with the dark side of his business, lies, and secrets, as he fights a losing battle to solve the mystery of a woman that was believed to be dead.

Coben’s best-selling book is Tell No One. This is a fast-paced novel that tells the story of Dr. David Beck whose wife was kidnapped and murdered 8 years ago. In typical Coben fashion, this novel focuses heavily on murder, mystery, suspense, and deceit.

Other popular Harlan Coben novels include Hold Tight, Win, and Stay Close. All three of these novels, like most Coben novels, contain themes of murder, family, love, deceit, unresolved mysteries, the past, murder, and fatal accidents.

These are the common themes you’ll find across Coben’s collection of novels, of which there are currently 35. Other themes the reader can expect to encounter include danger, violence, drama, and crime.

Authors Like Harlan Coben

Patricia Cornwell


Patricia Cornwell is an American crime writer and best-selling author famous for writing a string of novels inspired by a series of horrific murders in Richmond Virginia. Her best-selling novels feature medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.

Readers quickly find themselves gripped by Cornwell’s novels, with the thought that some elements of each novel are true, making things even more intense and thought-provoking.

One of her best reads is Scarpetta which was published in 2008. This is a thrilling installment of Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, which follows the life of Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

With twists and turns around every corner, this is a must-read. Harlan Coben fans will also enjoy Chaos.

This novel sees a 26-year-old woman killed in mysterious circumstances on a cold autumn day. The story follows Dr. Kay Scarpetta on her mission to clear things up.


  • Cornwell takes inspiration for her work from real cases.
  • There are more than 40 different novels to read.
  • Cornwell is a best-selling crime writer so you can expect to be kept on the edge of your seat.


  • Most of Cornwell’s novels are part of a series.

Themes: Murder, mystery, kidnap, death, the past, family, crime, love, and forensics.

Jeffrey Deaver

Hunting Time (A Colter Shaw Novel)

Another author that publishes work similar to the novels written by Harlan Coben is Jeffrey Deaver. Deaver is an American crime and mystery writer with a bachelor of journalism degree from Missouri University.

He is an international number-one best-selling author that has sold more than 50 million books in more than 150 countries. Like Coben, Deaver’s novels are psychological thrillers that feature epic twists, shocking crimes, and mysteries from the past.

One of his latest novels is Hunting Time. This is the fourth novel in Deaver’s collection that centers around reward seeker Colter Shaw. In this book, Shaw faces a race against the clock to solve a mysterious case that continues to surprise him.

A dark and mysterious novel set in the woods, this novel shows us that Deaver is a master of suspense.

Another great novel by Jeffrey Deaver is The Cutting Edge. In this story, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Stack discover a killer targeting couples in New York City.


  • Deaver writes in a very similar style to Coben.
  • You have multiple book series to choose from.
  • Deaver’s Colter Shaw series is gripping.


  • Jeffrey Deaver’s novels don’t focus on the past as much as Coben’s novels.

Themes: Mystery, danger, suspense, crime, murder, love, investigation, and unsolved crimes.

David Baldacci

Absolute Power

The next author on this list is David Baldacci. David Baldacci is an American novelist famous for his suspense novels and legal thrillers. One of the best things about David Baldacci is that he once practiced law.

Therefore, most of his novels are accurate when it comes to legal proceedings. To date, Baldacci has published more than 46 best-selling novels. Whilst most of his novels are aimed at adults, he has also published several novels aimed at younger readers.

Baldacci’s first novel was Absolute Power. This novel took Baldacci three years to write. Released in 1996, this novel contains a story of deceit, disloyalty, criminal conspiracy, and abuse of power at the very highest level.

A novel Harlan Coben readers will love is No Man’s Land. This novel follows John Puller on his mission to find out what happened to his mother when she vanished 30 years ago.


  • David Baldacci has a background in law so he knows what he’s talking about.
  • Baldacci’s novels follow the theme of unsolved mysteries like Coben’s stories.
  • Baldacci’s novels vary a lot in terms of how different each mystery is.


  • Some Baldacci novels are a bit heavy going in terms of the legal side of things.

Themes: Murder, conspiracy, deceit, betrayal, disloyalty, loss, crime, and mystery.

Jonathan Kellerman

City of the Dead: An Alex Delaware Novel

The final author similar to Harlan Coben in this post is Jonathan Kellerman. Jonathan Kellerman is an American novelist and psychologist best known for his mystery novels that feature the popular character Alex Delaware.

Like Harlan Coben, Kellerman is an Edgar and Anthony Award-winning author that has published a long list of exciting crime thrillers. One of his most exciting pieces of work is one of his latest.

City Of The Dead is a psychological thriller in which Alex Delaware’s past comes back to haunt him when they uncover a grisly murder with an unspeakable motive. Another novel that features themes of past trauma is The Murder Book.

The main protagonist in this novel is once again Alex Delaware. This time, Delaware and his homicide detective friend Milo Sturgis are shaken up by a killing that eerily resembles a homicide Milo failed to solve two decades earlier.


  • A lot of the novels Jonathan Kellerman has written feel very similar to Coben’s style of writing.
  • Kellerman is a master when it comes to creating suspense.
  • Kellerman’s novels are all very different despite centering around the same themes.


  • Some would say Kellerman’s novels are too similar to Coben’s.

Themes: Crime, unsolved murders, trauma, mystery, friendship, commitment, psychology, violence, and betrayal.

Final Thoughts

Harlan Coben is easily one of the best crime thriller authors in the world. His psychological crime thrillers have been sold in their millions all over the world. Some of his most popular novels include Tell No One, The Stranger, and Stay Close.

Luckily for you, there are other authors out there that write impressive crime thrillers similar to Harlan Coben. This post has shown you four. Those four were Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Deaver, David Baldacci, and Jonathan Kellerman.

After learning about these authors, you now have 8 book recommendations that you’ll enjoy if you love the work of Harlan Coben. With that in mind, why don’t you pick out the next novel you want to read?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Harlan Coben Still Writing?

You’ll probably be very pleased to hear that yes, Harlan Coben still writes. Whilst his latest novels were released in 2022, he is still keen to publish more novels in the future, so stay tuned.

What Harlan Coben Shows Are There On Netflix?

Harlan Coben is responsible for a number of amazing Netflix shows. Arguably the most popular are The Stranger and Stay Close. Other popular shows include Hold Tight and Safe.

What Was Harlan Coben’s First Novel?

Harlan Coben’s first novel was a book called Play Dead. He started writing this novel shortly after graduating in 1984. The novel was first published in 1990.

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Noah Burton