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First Look: Fool Me Once

Everything we know so far about the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Harlan Coben's thriller.

There are plenty of new crime dramas coming to the small screen in 2024 – including a brand-new, eight-part series on Netflix. Fool Me Once is Netflix’s latest adaptation from crime writer Harlan Coben, and it’s available to stream from the start of January, 2024. Here’s everything we know about the show so far…

What do we know about the plot?

The drama follows Maya Stern, a widow still getting used to living alone after her husband’s shocking murder. The first big twist comes when she finds proof that her spouse might still be alive. Maya, now worried about her and her family’s safety, sets up a nanny-cam in her house to keep an eye on things. When she watches some of the footage back, she’s shocked to see her husband there. In the house.

Of course, Coben fans who have read the book will know significantly more about the plot than this briefest of synopses. But – hopefully – they’ll all keep it to themselves and avoid sharing spoilers until at least the New Year…

Who’s in it?

Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage and acting royalty Joanna Lumley head up the cast. Adeel Akhtar (Four Lions, Utopia), Emmett J Scanlan (Peaky Blinders, Kin), Dino Fetscher (Humans), Marcus Garvey (Broadchurch), Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials) and Frederick Szkoda (The Capture) are supporting.

Keegan has experience being the lead role in several weighty dramas. You might have seen her in the BBC army drama Our Girl, Ordinary Lies or as Bobby Moore’s wife Tina in Tina & Bobby. She also top-bills the popular Sky comedy-drama Brassic.

Joining Keegan is the recognisable face of Richard Armitage. Most famous for his role as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit film series, Armitage has also starred in plenty of high-end TV shows too, including Spooks, Hannibal and Obsession. He’s also starred in two previous Coben Netflix adaptations: The Stranger and Stay Close.

And, well, we all know Joanna Lumley, don’t we?

Tell us more about the book

Fool Me Once is based on Harlan Coben’s book of the same name, which was released back in March 2016. The book was a nominee for a GoodReads Choice Award in the Best Mystery/Thriller category in the year of its publication.

The Sunday Times bestselling read was previously optioned as a Julia Roberts vehicle, but the movie project stagnated and was eventually abandoned.

Although the book takes place in the United States, this TV adaptation relocates the action to the United Kingdom, as was also the case with Netflix’s adaptation of Coben’s Stay Close.

So this isn’t the first Harlan Coben Netflix adaptation, then?

Far from it. In fact, it’s the eighth. And there are plenty more to come too…

So far, we’ve seen Netflix create edge-of-the-seat thriller series based on the following Coben works: Safe, The Stranger, The Woods, The Innocent, Gone for Good, Stay Close and Hold Tight. Why so many? Well, the company signed a multi-million-dollar deal to adapt 14 of his novels. Maybe more if they extend the deal at the end of the term.

What does Harlan Coben think of the casting?

The author, who has sold more than 80 millions books worldwide, is thrilled at having Michele Keegan play Maya. He told the Radio Times:

“She’s terrific. She’s also just a great person, but to have her as your number one and be able to bring, every day, something positive to the set, everyone loved her. She’s exactly what you think she’s going to be. She’s really great.

“I knew a bit about her beforehand, but obviously I don’t know her as well as my British counterparts. I took a deep dive when we were discussing who to play the role, and she really delivered – she works so hard and she’s also just a delight on set.”

When can I see it?

Screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst’s vision of Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once drops onto Netflix at 8am on Monday January 1, 2024.

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Will you be streaming Fool Me Once on New Year’s Day? Let us know in the comments below…

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