Simply put, Harlan Coben’s new thriller is an absolute work of genius.
The story opens with a funeral. Joe Burkett, Maya’s husband, was murdered right in front of her. That memory, like so many other memories, haunts her nightly.
Returning home from the funeral a single parent, Maya stays strong for her two-year-old daughter. A friend of hers offers a gift out of concern, which Maya is at first reluctant to accept. The gift is a digital picture frame that doubles as a hidden nanny cam, a device parents sometimes set up in their homes so they can keep an eye on whoever is watching their children.
At first glance, this story seems simple enough—a wife is grieving the loss of her husband and struggling to keep it all together for her daughter. Okay, that’s fairly straightforward, right? Wrong. The plot quickly takes a sudden turn, the first of many . . .
A police detective still has some questions about the night of Joe’s death, which Maya does her best to answer. She soon starts to feel as though she’s now a suspect in the case, which the detective won’t deny. Considering her background, even Maya admitted that she’d too probably be suspicious of herself if she were in the detective’s shoes.
One morning, after putting off viewing the footage from the nanny cam long enough, Maya decides to see what her nanny and daughter do all day. Initially, things look fine. The nanny does everything by the book, never putting her daughter in harm’s way. She even drinks her coffee from a cup with a top on it, ensuring it could never spill on the child. And then, she spots something impossible.
The footage, which was time-stamped from the day prior, shows Joe sitting in the den playing with their daughter. And the question becomes, can Maya trust her own eyes? One way or another, something unexplainable is happening, and Coben takes his readers on a wild, unforgettable ride that leads to one of the most shocking, double-twist endings in recent memory.
Fool Me Once is the type of story that you don’t just get lost in, you find yourself entranced by it and hanging on the author’s every word. You’ll get all the same effects as a day spent at the amusement park riding roller coasters, but for a lot less money and without having to stand in line.
Like I said, Fool Me Once is an absolute work of genius.
Author: Harlan Coben
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Release Date: March 22, 2016. Pre-order here.