‘Fool Me Once’ keeps pages turning in thriller

Associated Press

“Fool Me Once”

By Harlan Coben


Harlan Coben, master of the suburban thriller, has written another compelling and twist-filled tale with “Fool Me Once.”

Capt. Maya Stern has a rough time while deployed, and she comes home to news of her sister’s murder. Maya has a husband, Joe, and a young daughter named Lily. The couple is mugged while they are out one evening, and Joe is killed. Now Maya is a widow and a single mom.

A concerned friend gives Maya a picture frame with a hidden camera for security purposes, but consistently checking the SD card on the video feed shows nothing more than Lily having fun with the nanny.

One day when Maya watches what was recorded the previous day, she’s shocked to see Joe sitting next to Lily. Is grief causing her to imagine that her husband is alive? Or did Joe fake his death?

When Maya expresses concern about what she has seen on the SD card, the nanny’s reaction launches a spiral of doubt and paranoia in Maya’s life. The further she searches for answers, the closer it could lead to the horrible reality that she might have been the target the night Joe died.

The unpredictability of the story will keep readers literally turning the pages to try and figure out what is really going on. Even those savvy enough to figure out some of the ending will not uncover everything, and the whopper of a payoff not only will have jaws dropping, but also demonstrates Coben’s skill as a writer.

“Lies never die. You can try to smother them, but lies will always find a way to show themselves again.”

— Jeff Ayers


For the week ending 3/13/16

Hardcover fiction

1. “Private Paris” by James Patterson, Mark Sullivan (Little,Brown & Co.)

2. “Property of a Nobelwoman” by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press)

3. “Dark Promises” by Christine Feehan (Berkley Books)

4. “Off the Grid” by C.J. Box (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

5. “The Gangster” by Clive Cussler, Justin Scott (Putnam)

6. “Dungeons & Dragons: Curse of Strahd” Wizards of the Coast

7. “A Girl’s Guide to Moving On” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)

8. “Fire Touched” by Patricia Briggs (Ace)

9. “The Steel Kiss’ by Jeffrey Deaver (Grand Central Publishing)

10. “Deep Blue” by Randy Wayne White (Putnam)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi (Random House)

2. “Eat Fat, Get Thin” by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown)

3. “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen and Adeena Sussman (Clarkson Potter)

4. “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo (Ten Speed)

5. “World of Warcraft: Chronicle, Vol. 1” by Blizzard Entertainment (Dark Horse)

6. “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer (Double Day)

7. “Smarter Faster Better” by Charles Duhigg (Random House)

8. “The Whole 30” by Hartwig/Hartwig (HMH)

9. “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Random/Spiegel & Grau)

10. “A Mind of Your Own” by Kelly Brogan (Harper Wave)

— Publishers Weekly