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If you’re in search of a gripping, suspenseful audiobook, look no further than Harlan Coben’s “Fool Me Once.” Coben, a renowned author known for his best-selling, heart-pumping thrillers, delivers yet another remarkable story that will have you on the edge of your seat.

“Fool Me Once” follows Maya Stern, a former army pilot, who comes back from the war to find her husband murdered. When she discovers that her husband is somehow alive in a nanny cam video, Maya begins to question everything she thought she knew. As the plot thickens and the danger escalates, Maya must fight to uncover the truth and protect those she loves.

In this audiobook review, we will explore the key elements that make “Fool Me Once” such a captivating listen, analyzing its plot, characters, writing style, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Harlan Coben delivers another thrilling, suspenseful story with “Fool Me Once.”
  • The audiobook follows Maya Stern as she uncovers the truth behind her husband’s murder.
  • We will analyze the plot, characters, writing style, and overall audiobook experience in this review.
  • “Fool Me Once” is a must-listen for fans of heart-pumping thrillers.
  • Stay tuned to discover whether we recommend the audiobook and where to purchase it.

About the Author, Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is a prolific author known for his captivating thrillers. Since his debut novel in 1990, he has written 33 books, including stand-alone titles and several popular series. His books have been published in over 40 languages and have sold more than 75 million copies worldwide, making him one of the most successful authors of our time.

Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1962, Coben received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Amherst College before pursuing a career in writing. He worked in the travel industry for several years before publishing his first book and fully transitioning to writing.

Known for his gripping and fast-paced writing style, Harlan Coben has received multiple awards and accolades throughout his decades-long career. In addition to his success as a novelist, he has also worked as a screenwriter and producer for television and film adaptations of his work.

Overview of “Fool Me Once”

In “Fool Me Once” audiobook, Maya Stern, a former Army pilot, struggles to cope with the death of her husband, Joe. During his funeral, Maya notices her two-year-old daughter playing with an iPad that shows a live feed of her husband at their home. She is terrified and determined to figure out what is going on. As Maya investigates, she discovers shocking secrets about her husband’s past that leave her questioning everything she thought she knew.

The central themes of the story include:

  • Betrayal and trust
  • The consequences of actions
  • The effects of trauma

The plot is engaging, with twists and turns that keep the reader hooked until the very end. Coben skillfully develops the characters, making them relatable and multi-dimensional. The audiobook is narrated by January LaVoy, who brings the characters to life with her exceptional performance. Overall, “Fool Me Once” is an enthralling thriller with a gripping plot that will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

Plot Analysis

In “Fool Me Once,” Harlan Coben weaves a complex and gripping narrative that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Central to the plot is Maya, a former Army helicopter pilot who is struggling to come to terms with the death of her sister, Claire.

As the story unfolds, Maya becomes embroiled in a twisted web of secrets and lies, forcing her to question everything and everyone around her. Coben’s masterful use of suspense and surprise twists creates a tense and dramatic narrative that leaves readers on the edge of their seats.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the plot is the seamless integration of multiple subplots, each of which adds depth and complexity to the story. From Maya’s quest for the truth about her sister’s death to the sudden appearance of a mysterious nanny, the plot is rich and multifaceted, keeping readers engaged throughout the audiobook.

Coben’s use of foreshadowing and red herrings is also worth noting. By carefully planting seeds early on in the narrative, Coben creates a sense of anticipation and unease that builds steadily as the story progresses. This culminates in a shocking and satisfying conclusion that ties together all the loose ends and delivers a satisfying resolution.

Notable Plot Elements:

Plot Element Description
The nanny A mysterious woman appears as the nanny of Maya’s daughter. Her identity and motives are shrouded in secrecy, adding to the overall air of foreboding in the story.
The video A critical piece of evidence is a video that shows Maya’s husband, Joe, playing with their daughter while Maya is away on a mission. However, the video contains a disturbing mystery that Maya must solve to clear her name.
Claire’s death The death of Maya’s sister, Claire, is the impetus for much of the action in the story. The circumstances surrounding her death are shrouded in mystery, and the truth is far more unsettling than anyone could have guessed.

Character Development

In “Fool Me Once,” Harlan Coben delivers well-developed and complex characters that add depth and dimension to the plot. Chief among them is Maya Stern, a former special ops pilot who becomes embroiled in a mystery following the murder of her husband. Maya’s character is expertly crafted, with her motivations, struggles, and fears all serving to make her a highly relatable and sympathetic protagonist.

Moreover, the supporting cast is equally richly drawn, including Maya’s sister, Claire, and her friend, Brad. These characters undergo significant development throughout the course of the audiobook, revealing unexpected layers and motivations that add complexity to the plot.

Perhaps most impressive is the way Coben expertly weaves together the characters’ diverse backgrounds and relationships, creating a web of connections that keep listeners invested in their stories. Through his masterful character analysis, Coben reveals the intricacies of human emotion and behavior, giving us a glimpse into the complex and often hidden motivations that drive us all.

Fool Me Once Character Analysis

Writing Style and Narration

Harlan Coben’s writing style is known for its fast-paced, suspenseful nature, and “Fool Me Once” definitely delivers on that front. The audiobook is narrated by January LaVoy, who has a knack for bringing the characters to life with her dynamic voice.

LaVoy’s narration is engaging and keeps the listener hooked from start to finish, enhancing the overall audiobook experience. Her ability to convey the emotions and personalities of the characters adds depth to the story and makes the listener feel invested in their journeys.

Coben’s writing style lends itself well to the audio format, with short chapters and vivid imagery that make it easy to follow along and envision the scenes. His use of twists and turns keeps the listener engaged and on their toes, and the audiobook allows for a more immersive experience compared to reading a print copy.

Overall, the combination of Coben’s writing style and LaVoy’s expert narration make “Fool Me Once” a must-listen for fans of suspenseful thrillers.

Pacing and Suspense

Harlan Coben is a master of pacing and suspense, and “Fool Me Once” is no exception. From the very beginning, the story grabs the reader’s attention, with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end. Coben expertly builds tension and makes effective use of cliffhangers, leaving the reader eager to turn the page and find out what happens next. The pacing is brisk, with no lulls in the action and an effortless flow that carries the story forward.

Whether you’re listening to the audiobook or reading the print version, the pacing of “Fool Me Once” is sure to keep you hooked. The suspense is palpable, with moments that will have you on the edge of your seat and heart racing. Coben’s skillful use of misdirection keeps the reader guessing until the very end, making for a thrilling and satisfying read.

Overall, “Fool Me Once” is a masterclass in pacing and suspense, showcasing Harlan Coben’s mastery of the thriller genre. Whether you’re a fan of audiobooks or prefer to read in print, this is a must-read for anyone who loves a good page-turner.

Themes and Messages

“Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben touches on several themes, making it more than just a gripping thriller audiobook. One of the most prominent themes is the idea of trust, particularly in the people we think we know and love. The audiobook explores the consequences of betrayal and the emotional toll it takes on individuals and families. Readers are also presented with the idea that sometimes, we create our own demons, and the past can come back to haunt us if we don’t confront it.

Another important theme present in “Fool Me Once” is the treatment of veterans. The audiobook brings attention to the realities faced by returning veterans and the ways in which the system fails them.

All in all, “Fool Me Once” is not just a thrilling audiobook, but also a thought-provoking one, with important themes that make it worth the listen.

Reception and Critical Acclaim

Since its publication in 2016, Harlan Coben’s “Fool Me Once” has received a considerable amount of attention and praise from both readers and literary critics.

The novel’s combination of suspense, plot twists, and character development has garnered a largely positive response among readers, with many praising Coben’s ability to keep them on the edge of their seat throughout the audiobook experience.

In terms of critical acclaim, “Fool Me Once” was a #1 New York Times bestseller and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “outstanding” and “thrilling.”

The audiobook was also a 2017 Audie Award finalist in the Best Thriller/Suspense category, further underscoring its critical success.

Fool Me Once Audiobook Reviews

Glowing Reviews

Here are some notable reviews of “Fool Me Once”:

Publication Review Excerpt
The New York Times “Once again, Coben has expertly constructed and then dismantled a time bomb of a plot.”
BookPage “Intense from beginning to end, ‘Fool Me Once’ is an outstanding thriller by one of the most renowned authors in the genre.”
Library Journal “Coben is a masterful storyteller, and ‘Fool Me Once’ is definitely one of his best works.”

These reviews emphasize the skillful writing, gripping plot, and overall entertainment value that “Fool Me Once” provides, cementing its status as a highly recommended audiobook.

Comparison to Other Works by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben has written numerous best-selling novels, including The Stranger, Tell No One, and The Woods. Each book showcases Coben’s impressive storytelling abilities and penchant for suspense.

Novel Similarities to “Fool Me Once” Differences from “Fool Me Once”
The Stranger Both novels feature gripping twists that keep the reader guessing until the very end. “The Stranger” has a stronger emphasis on moral dilemmas and personal secrets.
Tell No One Both novels showcase Coben’s talent for weaving intricate plot lines that gradually come together. “Tell No One” has a stronger emphasis on romance and past traumas.
The Woods Both novels feature dark family secrets and unexpected plot twists. “The Woods” has a stronger emphasis on personal relationships and the effects of the past on the present.

Compared to other works by Harlan Coben, “Fool Me Once” stands out for its unique plot and captivating characters. While it shares similarities with other novels in his bibliography, it still manages to surprise and intrigue readers in its own distinct way.

Recommendation and Final Thoughts

Overall, Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben is an excellent audiobook and we highly recommend it. The plot is intriguing and full of unexpected twists and turns, keeping listeners engaged from beginning to end. The characters are well-developed and add depth to the story, while Coben’s writing style and the narration work seamlessly together to create a truly immersive experience.

One of the strengths of this audiobook is its pacing and use of suspense, making it a thrilling and exciting listen. Whether you’re a fan of Harlan Coben’s work or simply looking for a new audiobook to try, Fool Me Once is definitely worth checking out.

We give Fool Me Once our highest recommendation for anyone looking for a gripping and entertaining audiobook.

Where to Purchase “Fool Me Once”

If you are interested in experiencing the “Fool Me Once” audiobook, you can purchase it from several prominent retailers. Here are some popular options:

Retailer Price Link
Amazon $19.99 Buy from Amazon
Audible $24.99 Buy from Audible
Barnes & Noble $19.99 Buy from Barnes & Noble

No matter where you choose to purchase the audiobook, “Fool Me Once” is sure to provide an engaging and suspenseful listening experience.

About Harlan Coben’s Other Novels

Harlan Coben has a vast bibliography of thrillers that have captivated readers worldwide. Some of his other notable works include:

  • The Woods: A standalone novel that follows Paul Copeland and his investigation into the murder of several teenagers he knew from summer camp.
  • Myron Bolitar Series: A series of ten novels featuring sports agent Myron Bolitar, who gets involved in mysterious cases surrounding his clients.
  • The Stranger: A standalone novel that explores the consequences of secrets and lies when a stranger reveals the darkest secrets of several individuals in a small town.
  • The Innocent: A standalone novel following Matt Hunter, who is exonerated for a crime he did not commit but faces new dangers as he delves deeper into the truth.

These and other Coben novels share his trademark suspenseful writing and ability to keep readers guessing until the very end.


What is “Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben about?

“Fool Me Once” is a gripping thriller audiobook by Harlan Coben. The story follows Maya Stern, a former soldier and now a widow, who becomes entangled in a mysterious conspiracy after her husband’s death.

Who is Harlan Coben?

Harlan Coben is an acclaimed author known for his bestselling novels. He has written numerous thrilling suspense novels that have captivated readers worldwide.

What can I expect from the plot of “Fool Me Once”?

“Fool Me Once” presents a suspenseful and twist-filled plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It explores themes of trust, deception, and the lengths one will go to uncover the truth.

How is the character development in “Fool Me Once”?

The characters in “Fool Me Once” are well-crafted and complex. As the story progresses, their motivations and relationships are revealed, adding depth to the overall narrative.

What is the writing style like in “Fool Me Once”?

Harlan Coben’s writing style is engaging and immersive. He expertly builds suspense and keeps readers hooked throughout the audiobook. The narration enhances the overall experience and brings the story to life.

Will “Fool Me Once” keep me on the edge of my seat?

Absolutely! “Fool Me Once” is known for its gripping pacing and suspenseful moments. Harlan Coben masterfully creates tension and twists that will have you guessing until the very end.

Are there any underlying themes or messages in “Fool Me Once”?

“Fool Me Once” explores themes of betrayal, justice, and the consequences of one’s actions. It also delves into the complexities of human nature and the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love.

How has “Fool Me Once” been received by readers and critics?

“Fool Me Once” has received positive reviews from both readers and critics. It has been praised for its gripping plot, well-developed characters, and unexpected twists. The audiobook has garnered critical acclaim for its immersive narration as well.

How does “Fool Me Once” compare to other works by Harlan Coben?

“Fool Me Once” stands out among Harlan Coben’s impressive bibliography. While it maintains his trademark suspense and storytelling prowess, it offers a unique and thrilling narrative that sets it apart from his other works.

Would you recommend “Fool Me Once” as an audiobook?

Absolutely! “Fool Me Once” is highly recommended for fans of gripping thrillers. The combination of Harlan Coben’s writing and the immersive narration makes it a compelling audiobook experience.

Where can I purchase the “Fool Me Once” audiobook?

The “Fool Me Once” audiobook can be purchased from popular platforms such as Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. It is also available at bookstores and online retailers.

Are there any other notable works by Harlan Coben?

Yes, Harlan Coben has written several other notable novels, including “The Woods,” “Tell No One,” and “Gone for Good.” These books showcase his mastery of suspense and are highly recommended for fans of thrillers.

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