Harlan Coben Books

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Harlan Coben is an American author of fiction, with his books falling in the the thriller genre, with the majority of them being set in the New York and New Jersey areas, areas that Coben knows well, having been born in Newark, New Jersey, and it’s where he currently resides with his wife and their four children.

Although he was born in Newark, New Jersey, Harlan Coben was raised in Livingston. He had a Jewish upbringing by the hands of his parents. He studied political science at Amherst. While at college he began to write, but went on to work in the travel industry for a company owned by his grandfather. Harlan Coben settled in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He is married to a pediatrician and have four children.

Harlan Coben has written two series, the Myron Bolitar series and the Mickey Bolitar series. He also writes many stand alone books.

Order of Myron Bolitar Series

1Deal Breaker 1995Description / Buy
2Drop Shot 1996Description / Buy
3Fade Away 1996Description / Buy
4Back Spin 1997Description / Buy
5One False Move 1998Description / Buy
6The Final Detail 1999Description / Buy
7Darkest Fear 2000Description / Buy
8Promise Me 2006Description / Buy
9Long Lost 2009Description / Buy
10Live Wire 2011Description / Buy
11Home 2016Description / Buy

Order of Mickey Bolitar Series

1Shelter 2011Description / Buy
2Seconds Away 2012Description / Buy
3Found 2014Description / Buy

Order of Windsor Horne Lockwood III Series

1Win 2021Description / Buy

Order of Wilde Series

1The Boy from the Woods 2020Description / Buy
2The Match 2022Description / Buy

Order of Harlan Coben Standalone Novels

1Play Dead 1990Description / Buy
2Miracle Cure 1991Description / Buy
3Tell No One 2001Description / Buy
4Gone for Good 2002Description / Buy
5No Second Chance 2003Description / Buy
6Just One Look 2004Description / Buy
7The Innocent 2005Description / Buy
8The Woods 2007Description / Buy
9Hold Tight 2008Description / Buy
10Caught 2010Description / Buy
11Stay Close 2012Description / Buy
12Six Years 2013Description / Buy
13Missing You 2014Description / Buy
14The Stranger 2015Description / Buy
15Fool Me Once 2016Description / Buy
16Don't Let Go 2017Description / Buy
17Run Away 2019Description / Buy
18The Boy from the Woods 2020Description / Buy

Order of Harlan Coben Picture Books

1The Magical Fantastical Fridge 2016Description / Buy

Harlan Coben Anthologies

1 Opening Shots, Vol. II2001Description / Buy
2 Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories About Love, Lust, and Murder2006Description / Buy
3 Pulp Fiction: The Crimefighters2006Description / Buy
4 The Best American Mystery Stories 20112011Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

The author Harlan Coben was born in January 1962, in the New Jersey district of Newark, and he was raised in Livingston, also in the state of New Jersey. For his tertiary education, Coben went to Amherst University, so he didn’t venture too far from home in New Jersey, with Amherst being in Massachusetts

It was during his time at Amherst that Coben started to pursue his love of writing, but it wasn’t until 1990, when he was 28, that he had his first book published. That book was called Play Dead, and it is about a bride looking into the disappearance of her husband whilst on their honeymoon. The missing husband is a fictional player for the Boston Celtics, David Baskin.

The love of sport is a recurring theme throughout Coben’s work, with the main series of work featuring the character of Myron Bolitar, a sports agent who, at times, has to help out solve crimes that has sporting clients are involved in. Myron Bolitar first appears in Deal Breaker, which was released in 1995. It features Bolitar and one of his star clients, Christian Steele, a rookie quarterback, and they both end up tangled in a web of lies when a woman, missing, presumed dead, turns up into Steele’s life, and who turns out to be an ex-girlfriend.

The Bolitar series continued with Drop Shot, which features a murder at tennis’ US Open. It is followed by Fade Away, which revolves around the world of basketball.

Harlan Coben then moved into the world of Young Adult fiction, with his series of books featuring Mickey Bolitar, the nephew of Myron Bolitar. The first book in the Mickey Bolitar series is Shelter, which was released in 2011, and, like the majority of Coben’s work, is a crime thriller, just aimed at a younger audience than his previous work.

Outside of the Bolitars’ stories, Coben is more prolific writing stand-alone books, having returned to writing them in 2001, after creating Myron Bolitar after the release of Play Dead, and his second stand-alone book Miracle Cure, which was released in 1991.

Harlan Coben is one of the most prolific writers working today. His books have been published in 43 languages and over 70 millions of those books are in print worldwide. He is not only one of the most prolific working writers, but also one of the most successful.

Interestingly, Harlan is not only known for his writing as he was a prolific athlete in his younger years. He was inducted into the Little League Baseball Hall of Excellence in 2013 and is also a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame from his playing days at Amherst College.


Both the Myron Bolitar series and the Mickey Bolitar series chronological order is the same as the publication order. The standalone novels Harlan Coben wrote have no tie-ins with each other and can all be read separately.

Note that Mickey Bolitar first appears in Live Wire – so chronologically you would read up to Live Wire, then read Shelter, Seconds Away and Found before moving on to the next novel in the Myron series, Home.


Harlan Coben has won several awards for his writing. Starting in 1996 he won Anthony Award in the category “Best Paperback Original” for his book Deal Breaker. Deal Breaker is the first volume of the Myron Boliar series. Fade Away won the 1997 Shamus Award and the Edgar Award for “Best Paperback Original. In 1998 Back Spin won the Barry Award. In 2010, Live Wire won the “World’s most lucrative crime fiction” award and the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing.

Internationally he has been awarded as well. In Spain he won the El Premio del Novela Negra RBA and he also won the CWA/ITV3 Bestseller Dagger in England for favorite crime novelist. Most impressively, he was awarded the Vermeil Medal of Honor in Paris. The medal is given for contributions to culture and society, it was awarded by the Mayor of Paris.


Harlan Cobens novel Tell No One was made into a movie in 2006 starring Francois Cluzet. The movie is in French.

Halen Coben also wrote the 10 episode miniseries The Five for UK TV. The Five is not based on a book.

The novel No Second Chance was made into a 6 episode miniseries in French. It was called Une chance de trop.


Honestly practically every Harlan Coben book is excellent and worth reading. The “Myron Bolitar” series in particular is exceptional, as are all of Cobens standalone novels. Here are a few of the best Coben books which are standalone if you just want to jump right in:

Stay Close: The plot of Stay Close is one that many people could relate to – at least the beginning part. it features Megan who is your typical suburban mom – takes her kids to soccer, lives the boring suburban life. She had a wild side at one point but that’s all in the past. Until now. This book is a thriller and in traditional Coben fashion, takes you for a wild ride of twists and turns before leaving you with a highly satisfying conclusion.

Caught: The premise of Caught is simple – it features a reporter named Wendy Tynes whose job is taking down sex offenders using sting operations which are aired on TV. She catches what seems to be another sex offender in Dan Mercer, a social worker. However all is not what it seems as Mercers motivations appear different and it has Wendy questioning everyone around her.

No Second Chance: This is a book that grabs you right from the opening chapters. Marc Seidman, a doctor, is shot twice in a home assault which also sees his wife killed, and his baby daughter kidnapped. Seidman survives and then receives a ransom note and he’ll stop at nothing to get his daughter back.

Harlan Coben FAQs

Q: What is Harlan Coben’s real name?

A: Perhaps not surprisingly, the real name of author Harlan Coben is, in fact, Harlan Coben. It was his birth name and the name he continues to write under.

Q: What is the first book Harlan Coben had published?

A: The first published book by Harlan Coben is Play Dead, which was released in 1990. He followed that up with Miracle Cure in 1991.

When Does The Next Harlan Coben book come out?

The next book by Harlan Coben is The Match and will be released on March, 15th 2022. It is the newest book in the Wilde Series.


2 thoughts on “Harlan Coben”

  1. I’ve read almost every single of his books. I love him! Each one is better than his last. Keep up your suspenseful wonders!

  2. I like Harlan Coben’s work because it has that thriller/mystery-vibe but there’s always something that makes his books a little more interesting than other books and series. Specifically I’m referring to the Myron Bolitar series. I haven’t come across any other books where a sports agent is investigating a crime/mystery. Coben easily navigates through the plot even though the premise can sometimes seem a little cheesy. He’s a great author and I highly recommend his books!

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