Harlan Coben (born January 4, 1962) is an American author of mystery novels and thrillers. The plots of his novels often involve the resurfacing of unresolved or misinterpreted events in the past, murders, fatal accidents, and have multiple twists. Among his novels are two series, each involving the same protagonist set in and around New York and New Jersey, and some characters appear in both.

Coben is the creator of the British crime drama television show The Five which first aired on April 2016 on the Sky 1 channel in the United Kingdom.[1][2][3]

Early life and education

Coben was born into a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey and was raised in Livingston, where he graduated from Livingston High School, with his childhood friend and future politician Chris Christie.[4] While studying political science at Amherst College, he was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity with author Dan Brown.[citation needed]


After Amherst, Coben worked in the travel industry, in a company owned by his grandfather.[citation needed]

Coben was in his senior year at college when he realized he wanted to write. His first book was accepted for publication when he was twenty-six. His thriller Play Dead was published in 1990, followed by Miracle Cure in 1991. He then began writing a series of thrillers featuring former basketball player turned sports agent Myron Bolitar, who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.

Coben has won an Edgar Award, a Shamus Award and an Anthony Award. He is the first writer to have received all three.[citation needed] He is also the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the New York Times op-ed page.[citation needed] He wrote a short story, "The Key to My Father," which appeared on June 15, 2003.

Tell No One, his first stand-alone thriller since the creation of the Myron Bolitar series in 1995, was published in 2001. It is his best-selling novel to date. Director Guillaume Canet made a film (in French) based on the book, Ne le dis à personne, in 2006. Coben followed Tell No One with nine more stand-alone novels. His novel Hold Tight, released on April 15, 2008, was his first book to debut at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Coben's most recent novel, Fool Me Once, was published on March 22, 2016.[5][6][7]

Personal life

Coben lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben, a pediatrician,[8] and their four children, Charlotte, Benjamin, Will and Eve.[9][10]


Coben won the 1996 Anthony Award in the category "Best Paperback Original", for Deal Breaker, the first volume of the Myron Bolitar series; it was also nominated for an Edgar Award in the same category.[11][12]Fade Away won the 1997 Shamus Award and the Edgar Award for "Best Paperback Original",[12][13] was nominated for the Anthony Award and the Barry Award in the same category,[11][14] and was nominated for a Dilys Award.[15] The following Myron Bolitar novel, Back Spin, won the 1998 Barry Award and was nominated for the Dilys Award and the Shamus Award.[13][14][15] In 2002, Tell No One was nominated for the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, the Edgar Award and the Barry Award.[11][14][16][17] In 2010, Live Wire won the world's most lucrative crime fiction award, the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing, worth €125,000.[18]


  1. ^ Sarah Hughes (March 7, 2016). "Harlan Coben on 'The Five' for Sky, his obsessive nature, and missing his friend David Foster Wallace". The Independent. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Harlan Coben : «The Five est ma première série originale»". TVMag Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ Neil Procter. "The Five (TV Series 2016– )". IMDb. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ Coben, Harlan (November 5, 2009). "Chris Christie Confidential". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  5. ^ "After movie deal, Harlan Coben's 'Fool Me Once' is back at No. 1". USA TODAY. April 6, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  6. ^ Caroline Rees. "Bestselling writer Harlan Coben on his six best books - Books - Entertainment - Daily Express". Express.co.uk. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  7. ^ "iBooks Bestsellers: Coben Stays #1". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Bio". HarlanCoben.com. Retrieved November 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Other News - Bergen.com". bergen.com. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ Dick Lochte (2004). "A Conversation With Harlan Coben". mysteryscenemag.com. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Best Paperback Original Mystery Novel Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Mystery Net. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "The Private Eye Writers of America and The Shamus Awards". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c "Barry Awards". Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "The Dilys Award (IMBA)". Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Macavity Awards". Mystery Readers International. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees in the Private Eye Genre". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Harlan Coben wins the 4th RBA International Prize for Crime Writing with his novel 'Live Wire'". Catalan News Wire. 10 September 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 

External links