Re­view: ‘Fool Me Once’ a tale full of twists by Har­lan Coben

A Novel by Har­lan Coben

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents - (JEFF AY­ERS/As­so­ci­ated Press)

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.”

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