18 Best Harlan Coben Books

You have not experienced a thriller until you have read at least one Harlan Coben book.

Harlan Coben is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 novels, including Tell No One, Gone for Good, and Just One Look. His books have been translated into over 40 languages and sold in more than 80 countries. Join us as we explore the top 10 Harlan Coben books that you should read immediately!

List of Top 18 Best Harlan Coben books

Here’s a list of the best Harlan Coben books you should read immediately.

This was the first Harlan Coben novel I ever read and it immediately hooked me on his writing. Four people with seemingly nothing in common are about to die, but only one of them knows it. The tell-all narrative jumps between characters as we learn more and more about each of their pasts and what they’re all connected. You’ll be on the edge of your seat to learn the truth about these characters and what happens next!

Harlan Coben’s first stand-alone thriller is the winner of the 2005 International Thriller Writers Award for best paperback original. A family on vacation has a fatal car accident after witnessing something they shouldn’t have. Years later, another tragedy brings their three children back together again to rehash the past and find out what really happened to their parents.

The Innocent is a gripping and fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. It’s narrated by Myron Bolitar, who enjoys sports and solving mysteries in equal measure, and this story takes it to the next level. The twists and turns in this novel will leave you guessing about what will happen next until the very last page.

In the Book Innocent, Myron Bolitar, the main character of several Coben novels, is hired to find a missing pro-golfer.

This novel won the 2008 Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original and was chosen as one of Library Journal’s best books of 2007. A shocking video surfaces after years without contact with a family friend. It’s a conversation with a child about her kidnapping and it seems suspiciously like the girl being depicted is the daughter of the person who received the video. This story takes twists and turns as we learn more about the characters’ motives and what really happened that day.

In this part mystery, part thriller, we get to know the families of two best friends who went missing at their tenth birthday party. After years without any leads or arrests, DNA evidence surfaces that could help solve the case and finally give closure to the victims’ loved ones. Coben’s novels will keep you guessing until the very end and this one is no exception!

6. The Boy from the Woods

This novel won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel and was chosen as one of Booklist’s top 10 thrillers of 2020. A boy is found in the woods with no memory of how he got there or who his parents are. The only thing he knows is his name, Robby. But Robby didn’t always have this name and he doesn’t quite fit in with the other boys at his new school. He’s determined to discover the truth about who he is, where he came from, and what really happened to him.

7. Darkest Fear

The riveting story is narrated by Myron Bolitar, the main character of several Coben novels, who was introduced in Promise Me. This time, he’s hired to locate a missing person whose husband doesn’t seem too concerned about her disappearance. There are twists and turns around every corner in this novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.

If you’ve never read a Harlan Coben book before, this list is a great place to start. He’s one of the best thriller writers around and his novels are always an engrossing read!

8. The Stranger

Harlan Coben is a master of the thriller genre, and The Stranger might be his best work yet. A woman runs away from home to find her missing boyfriend but quickly realizes that she’s in way over her head. She calls on Myron Bolitar to help figure out what happened, and the clues lead to a billionaire who has ties to both of their pasts. Who is the stranger? What happened to her boyfriend? It’s nearly impossible to put this book down as the tension builds and the suspense leads you on an exhilarating chase for the truth.

9. Tell No One

This frenetic, fast-paced novel has kept readers on the edge of their seats since it was first published in France in 1998. When Dr. David Beck’s wife is murdered, he thinks he’ll never find out what really happened to her. But when he receives an anonymous email that accuses him of killing his wife and contains clues only the two of them would know, David decides to take a chance and look into it.

10. Caught

The only thing better than a new Harlan Coben book is an entire collection of his best stories in one place. This anthology includes almost all of the novels that have made him famous, beginning with his first novel and moving through to some of his latest works. The short thriller “Hold Tight” which was later turned into a full-length novel is also included.

11. Gone For Good

This gripping novel about family ties features darker themes than most of Coben’s other stories. It’s narrated by Myron Bolitar, who is investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. The twists and turns in this book will keep you guessing until the very end.

12. The Woods

One of Harlan Coben’s most memorable characters, Myron Bolitar, is at his best in The Woods. It features all the classic thrillers elements: shocking twists, visceral suspense, and a dash of romance. When Emily Downing’s fiance disappears without a trace after their engagement party, everyone assumes he just left her.

13. No Second Chance

Another edge-of-your-seat thriller from Harlan Coben, No Second Chance takes a different perspective with its protagonist being a father rather than a detective. When Dr. Marc Seidman wakes up in the hospital after being shot in the head, he is told that his wife and two children were killed in an accident. But he doesn’t remember any of it and struggles with grief and guilt as he tries to solve the mystery.

14. Just One Look

Harlan Coben’s novels about family and redemption features some of his most compelling characters. Just One Look is narrated by Myron Bolitar, who plays a key role in the events that unfold in this story. When beautiful Alison disappears, her husband soon finds himself in over his head trying to find the truth. It ‘s a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

15. Six Years

Fans of Harlan Coben’s suspenseful writing style will want to pick up Six Years, which is full of the twists and turns that have earned him a global following. This novel opens with Jake standing on a street corner in New York City when he sees his wife walk by without stopping to say hello. He follows her at a distance, trying to figure out what she’s up to. It becomes clear that there are two sides to every story, and the truth isn’t always so black and white.

The Book six years is one of the best novels on the Harlan Coben books list. The book features a man named Jake and his wife, living happily together in New York, having two children, and living good lives, until one day when his wife Kaitlyn walks past him without stopping to greet him. Intrigued by this behavior, Jake follows her at a distance , trying to figure out the mystery of her actions, but it later becomes clear that each person has two sides, and there is more than meets the eye.

16. Missing You

This is another Myron Bolitar novel, which is all full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. Someone has been sending the detective threatening postcards, forcing him to wonder if he did kill his girlfriend many years ago. It’s a powerfully gripping story about loss, betrayal, desire, and revenge.

Missing You will have you turning pages long into the night. It’s yet another compelling mystery by Harlan Coben, who’s one of the best-selling authors of all time.

17. Stay Close

When people close to him start dying, Winston starts to wonder what secrets he has been keeping and whether they might be connected. It’s a gripping novel full of unexpected twists that will keep you turning pages until the very last one.

In this book, Coben teaches his readers what he has learned about writing, even including the rejection letters that he received early on in his career. This is an eye-opening read for avid thriller writers.

18. Play Dead

The gripping novel Play Dead is narrated by Myron Bolitar, who becomes involved in a murder mystery that’s more complicated than it seems at first. This story takes place throughout one night as he gets dragged into what becomes an all-consuming passion to find out what happened.

Play dead is an amazing book that is just filled with plot twists! Harlan Coben really outdid himself in this book.

About Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is a New York Times Bestselling author and one of the most acclaimed thriller writers of our time. He is best known for brilliantly crafted stories that feature plots with countless twists and turns!

Over 80 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, and he has been the recipient of many prestigious awards. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

Coben was in senior year at college when he realized he wanted to be a writer. He published his first book at age of twenty-six and has gone on to publish 18 additional novels since then. The Harlan Coben books you should read are all thrilling, suspenseful page-turners that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning.

He won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1996, ABA’s Lifetime Achievement award, Anthony Awards for Best Paperback Original, and Shamus Award in 1997.  He has also received the Nero Wolfe Award, an Edgar Allen Poe Award, five International Thriller Awards, and a Steel Dagger from The British Crime Writers’ Association.


What are the best Harlan Coben novels?

Six Years (2011), Just One Look (2004), and The Woods (2016) are the best Harlan Coben novels.

Which of Harlan Coben’s books is his most popular?

His most popular novel is “The Woods” which debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and sold over 400,000 copies in hardcover.

What is Harlan Coben’s genre of books?

Harlan Coben’s genre is mystery and crime thrillers.

Is his latest book good?

Yes, his latest book is the best one which also premiered at #1 on New York Times Bestseller list.

How many awards has he won in total?

Harlan Coben has won 15 awards in total.

Who is his most popular character?

Myron Bolitar is his most popular character.

How many Harlan Coben novels have been made into movies?

There are currently 24 Harlan Coben novels that have been made into movies.

What made Harlan Coben want to become a writer?

Harlan Coben wanted to become a writer because he loves telling stories and hearing people’s reactions.

Final Thoughts:

Many of the Harlan Coben books we’ve reviewed today are intense and fast-paced. The plot twists will have you on the edge of your seat as you turn page after page as quickly as possible to find out what happens next! If this is a genre that interests you, be sure to check them all out now so you can start reading before bedtime tonight!

If you enjoyed reading about the best Harlan Coben books,  you can read more here. If you have any suggestions , please leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to include them in our next article!

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