10 Of The Best Harlan Coben Books That Are Guaranteed To Have You Hooked

If you ever find yourself in a reading slump, then a thriller is always a good book to get you out of it. A good thriller will always be a page-turner, and it will have you hooked from the very first chapter.

10 of the Best Harlan Coben Books That Are Guaranteed to Have You Hooked

Most thrillers will have you unable to put the book down, and wishing that you could read it all in one sitting.

If you are looking for a good thriller author to check out, then look no further than Harlan Coben.

Harlan Coben is a New York Times #1 bestselling author, with more than 34 published books to his name.

He has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, and several of his books have been made into television shows. That’s without even taking into account the original screenplays that he has created.

In this guide, I’m taking a look at 10 of the Best Harlan Coben books that are guaranteed to have you hooked straight away!

So if you need a book to get you back into reading, be sure to check this guide out.

10 Best Harlan Coben Books You Should Read

Before you start reading any of Harlan Coben’s novels, being a fan of thriller novels is an absolute must.

In this guide, I’ve included 10 of his best thrillers, including some which have been adapted for television. These novels really are the best of the best, so be sure to check them out.

Don’t Let Go

Don't Let Go: A Novel

Don’t Let Go focuses on a Suburban New Jersey detective nicknamed “Nap”.

Nap hasn’t been the same since his senior year of high school when his brother and his brother’s girlfriend were found dead on the railroad tracks, and his girlfriend broke up with him before disappearing.

In the 15 years since then, Nap has been searching for explanations – explanations of why his brother died, explanations of why his girlfriend disappeared, and explanations for the events that changed his life. Finally, after 15 years, he has a breakthrough.

When his ex-girlfriend’s fingerprints turn up on a car that is associated with a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for the truth.

But instead of giving him answers, his quest just leaves him with more questions. And as the truth behind the deaths of his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend, becomes more sinister, Nap realizes that sometimes secrets are best kept untold.


  • A thrilling read that you won’t be able to put down.
  • A well-developed plot with twists and turns throughout.
  • A satisfying ending that won’t leave you disappointed.


  • There are some unrealistic aspects, but this is common in thrillers.

The Boy From The Woods

The Boy from the Woods

As well as writing a lot of standalone novels, Harlan Coben also has several series attached to his name – the Wilde series is one of them.

The first novel in the Wilde series is titled The Boy From the Woods and it centers on a boy called Wilde.

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a young boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past.

In the current day, Wilde still does not know his past, and this becomes even more worrying when another young child goes missing.

When Naomi Pine goes missing, nobody seems to take her disappearance seriously. Not even her father.

One person is interested in her case – Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester shares a tragic connection with Wilde, and she knows he will take interest in the case, so she approaches him.

Unable to ignore Naomi’s case, Wilde finds himself having to return to a place where he has never fit in.

A place where the powerful are protected with secrets that could ruin the lives of millions. But Wilde must uncover these secrets before it’s too late if he wants to find Naomi alive.


  • The first novel in the series.
  • An interesting plot develops throughout the book.
  • Lots of twists and turns.


  • You’ll want to buy the sequel as soon as you finish this book.

Six Years

Six Years

Six Years is a little different from the rest of the Harlan Coben novels I have looked at so far, and that is what makes it so great.

At the heart of this novel is Jake Fisher, a man who watched the love of his life marry another man six years ago.

In the six years since Jake watched Natalie marry her new husband, Todd, Jake has thrown himself into his career as a college professor in a bid to ignore his broken heart, and prevent him from breaking his promise to leave Natalie alone.

But after 6 years, Jake is still as in love with Natalie as he was on that day, and when he stumbles across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral.

Jake goes to the funeral in hopes of catching a glimpse of the love of his life, Natalie, but the glimpse he gets of Todd’s wife isn’t what he was hoping for. That’s because Todd’s wife isn’t Natalie.

Through his search for the truth, Jake finds himself slipping further away from reality. Mutual friends that they shared either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake, and nobody has seen Natalie for years.

His picture-perfect memory of Natalie is slowly unraveling, and in his quest for the truth, Jake puts himself in incredible danger as he discovers the secrets and lies that love can hide.


  • A fast-paced, thrilling read.
  • A main character that you really connect with.
  • Twists and turns make the ending a complete mystery.


  • A long book – nearly 500 pages long.

The Woods

The Woods

Despite the similarities in their titles, The Woods is not connected to The Boy From The Woods. In fact, this novel came out many years before that one.

The Woods has been made into a Netflix series, and it really is a thrilling read!

This novel focuses on Paul Copeland – a New Jersey prosecutor who is still traumatized by the loss of his sister 20 years earlier.

Twenty years ago, his sister walked into the woods never to be seen again, and a new case is set to bring back all the horrible memories associated with this event.

As a homicide victim is found who is understood to be associated with Paul’s missing sister, it brings with it hope that his sister could still be alive.

But with dark family secrets threatening to tear things apart, is Paul Copeland strong enough to hold it together?


  • An incredibly suspenseful novel.
  • A very unpredictable thriller.
  • Entertaining for fans of murder mysteries as well as thrillers.


  • There is some filler in this novel, so it could benefit from being a little shorter.



Another thoroughly enjoyable Harlan Coben thriller to check out is Caught. This novel is a fascinating tale of how a man with the best of intentions finds himself in the worst possible circumstances.

Wendy Tynes – a reporter – is really starting to make a name for herself through a series of televised national sting operations destined to bring down sexual offenders.

But when she traps social worker Dan Mercer, the story becomes a lot more complicated than she ever could have expected.

Dan Mercer is tied to the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl from New Jersey, but the shocking consequences of her sting operation will leave Wendy questioning everything.


  • A classic Harlan Coben thriller.
  • A thrilling story from start to finish.
  • More twists and turns than you could ever anticipate.


  • Some unrealistic aspects to this thriller that you need to not read into too much.


Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood III)

Win is one of Harlan Coben’s more recent novels, and it is the first novel in a series that has yet to be expanded. At the center of this series is William Horne Lockwood III, or as his friends call him, Win.

Twenty years ago, Win’s cousin, Patricia Lockwood was abducted and held captive during a robbery of the family estate.

After a few months, Patricia escaped, but so did her abductors, and the stolen items were never recovered.

Until 20 years later when a recluse is found murdered in an Upper West Side apartment with one of the stolen paintings, and a suitcase with the engraving ‘WHL3’.

After years of dead ends, the police finally have a lead, and that lead takes them straight to Win – whose suitcase was found in the apartment.

Win’s interest is piqued, especially when the police tell them that the case has links to an act of domestic terrorism from many years prior.

With this new information, Win sets out to solve this cold case with three things on his side: a personal connection, his own brand of justice, and an unfathomable family fortune.


  • A twist on Harlan Coben’s classic novels.
  • The start of a new and interesting series of books.
  • Connections to Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series.


  • The character, Win, is a little more difficult to relate to than Coben’s usual protagonists.

Run Away

Run Away

Run Away tells the story of a father who is desperately trying to save his daughter.

She has gone missing, she’s addicted to drugs, and she’s made it crystal clear that she doesn’t want to be found. But that isn’t going to stop Simon from trying to find her.

On a walk through Central Park, Simon stumbles across his missing daughter playing the guitar. But she isn’t the same girl that went missing.

She’s frightened and in trouble, and when Simon approaches her to ask her to come home, she runs.

But Simon isn’t going to give up on his daughter, and that’s how he finds himself in a dark and dangerous world where his missing daughter and his entire family are at risk.

In a bid to save his daughter from evil, Simon’s actions have threatened to turn his entire family’s world upside down.


  • An enjoyable read that is easy to follow.
  • A truly mysterious storyline.
  • A wonderful example of a parent’s love, and what they will do to protect their children.


  • Heartbreaking themes throughout.

Stay Close

Stay Close

This next novel was made into a Netflix series and released back in 2021, so if the plot sounds familiar, it might be worth checking your Netflix history before assuming you’ve read this book before.

Stay Close tells the story of Megan – a suburban soccer mom with the perfect life, who secretly used to live a wild life.

It also tells the story of Ray – a talented documentary photographer who now spends his life working as a paparazzo.

The final character that is central to this book is Broome – a detective who can’t let go of a missing person cold case from 17 years prior.

In this novel, the lives of these three individuals clash together as events from long ago resurface and turn all of their lives upside down.


  • Suspenseful throughout.
  • Well-developed characters.
  • Dual timeline gives more context to the novel.


  • Long novel – nearly 500 pages long.

The Stranger

The Stranger

Another Harlan Coben novel that was made into a successful Netflix series is The Stranger.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of differences between the book and the show, so you can easily enjoy both independently of one another.

The Stranger tells the story of Adam Price – a man whose life is turned upside down when a stranger reveals a devastating secret about his wife to him.

When he confronts his wife about the secret she’s been keeping, she disappears, and Adam finds himself traveling on a path into danger in a bid to find his wife.

This novel is filled with twists and turns, and it will keep you guessing until the very end. It is a classic Harlan Coben novel, and definitely one to pick up!


  • A page-turner you won’t want to put down.
  • Seamless integration of different characters throughout the novel.
  • Satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends.


  • A long novel – almost 500 pages in length!

Deal Breaker

Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar 01)

Finally, I had to include a novel from Harlan Coben’s famous “Myron Bolitar” series. Deal Breaker is the first novel in this series, so it is the perfect place to start.

At the heart of this story is investigator and sports agent – Myron Bolitar – who is on the edge of making it big time.

However, that all turns upside down when his prized client – Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback – receives a phone call from a former girlfriend. A former girlfriend who everyone believes is dead.

As Myron is thrown into a baffling mystery of sex and blackmail, he finds himself up against the dark side of the business. The side where the truth can get you killed.


  • The start of Harlan Coben’s best series.
  • Excellent character development throughout the novel.
  • A thrilling storyline that will have you hooked.


  • Some loose ends are left at the end of the novel.

Buyer’s Guide

Choose A Series Or Standalone Novel

Harlan Coben has written a lot of books throughout his career, and these books include several standalone novels, as well as some series.

So, when you are deciding what Harlan Coben novel to read, you first need to decide if you want to dive into a series, or simply read a standalone novel.

Choose By The Length Of The Novel

Harlan Coben’s novels also tend to vary a lot in terms of length. So, when you are deciding which novel you want to read, you should consider the length of the novel.

A lot of his novels are around 300–350 pages long, but some are closer to 500 pages in length.

Choose By The Cover

While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the covers of some of Harlan Coben’s novels can give you a lot of insight into the novel.

So, if you’re struggling with which book to pick, take a look at the cover for inspiration.


If you are looking for a good thriller novel to get you out of a reading slump, or to dig your teeth into, then Harlan Coben is an excellent author to check out.

With more than 30 novels to his name, there are plenty of books to choose from regarding this author. So there is definitely a novel for you!

From the first page, Harlan Coben will have you hooked. So, if you don’t know where to begin with his books, the books in this guide are an excellent place to start.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Read the Myron Bolitar Series In Order?

More information is revealed about Myron Bolitar throughout the series, so for the best results, you should read these books in order of publication.

How Many Novels Has Harlan Coben Published?

At the time of writing, Harlan Coben has more than 34 books published, with contracts in place for new books to be released.

Are The Netflix Adaptations Identical To The Books?

No, the Netflix adaptations aren’t identical to the books. In fact, there are a lot of differences between the novel and the Netflix adaptation of all of his books, so you could easily enjoy both independently of each other.

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Anna Davis