In 2018, Deadline reported that Netflix and author Harlan Coben struck a five-year deal. Under the agreement, 14 of Coben’s books would be adapted into movies or Netflix original shows, with Coben serving as executive producer on the projects. Currently, there are seven of Coben’s series available on Netflix.
Coben is an author whose plots revolve around unresolved or misinterpreted past events surrounding murders or fatal accidents. His novels have won many awards, and he is the first author to receive an Edgar Award, a Shamus Award, and an Anthony Award. So far, Coben has written 19 standalone books and two series of novels: one centered on Myron Bolitar, consisting of 11 novels, and the other centered on Mickey Bolitar, composed of three stories.
One unique aspect of this deal is that it was always intended to be international in nature. Coben’s English language novels would be adapted into various foreign languages via Netflix’s hubs across Europe.
Harlan Coben Netflix shows: Gone for Good
This adaptation is a French-language series released in August 2021, set in Nice, France, on the French Riviera, starring Finnegan Oldfield, Nicolas Duvauchelle and Guillaume Gouix. Gone for Good, a heart-pounding thriller, revolves around a man’s search for his girlfriend’s sudden disappearance — a suspenseful tale of haunting love.
The Innocent is a Spanish mystery that finds a law student imprisoned for the accidental killing of another student. Nine years later, he tries to make a fresh start with his wife. But he finds out it isn’t his past that will come back to haunt their marriage. The series stars Mario Casas, Alexandra Jiménez, Aura Garrido and José Coronado.
This eight-part British series premiered in January 2020 and follows a man approached by a stranger who tells him a life-altering secret about his wife. The Stranger takes you down many rabbit holes before finding out what is happening. Its many twists and turns scramble the mind as you long to discover what has happened. The series also stars Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran, Jennifer Saunders, Shaun Dooley, Paul Kaye, Dervla Kirwan, and Kadiff Kirwan.
Another British drama is Safe, the only of the Harlan Coben Netflix shows not based on one of his novels. Created by Coben, this series follows a widowed surgeon who lost his wife to cancer one year prior and is raising his two teen daughters on his own. He is in the early stages of a new relationship, and things are going well until his oldest daughter and her boyfriend go missing. As the investigation progresses, dark secrets about people close to him are uncovered. Safe stars Michael C. Hall, Amanda Abbington, Marc Warren, Audrey Fleurot, and Hannah Arterton.
The Polish miniseries, The Woods, is the second Polish series produced for the streamer. This story takes place in 1994 and 2019. A murder in 2019 is linked to a murder in 1994. In 2019 Warsaw prosecutor Paweł Kopiński identified the body of that murder, and in 1994 he was the chaperone at a summer camp where two people were murdered, and two others came up missing, including his sister. The series stars Grzegorz Damięcki, Agnieszka Grochowska, Hubert Miłkowski, and Wiktoria Filus.
This series marks the third Polish series in Netflix’s catalog and follows the disappearance of16-year-old Adam after the suicide of his friend Spencer. Adam disappears, taking the truth with him, right after Spencer’s mother discovers a detail about her son’s death. The small town is shaken as secrets and lies are exposed. Hold Tight stars Magdalena Boczarska, Leszek Lichota, Draegon Hennessy, Grzegorz Damiecki, Bill Rogers, and Agata Labno.
This one is a British mystery that tells of Megan, a woman who would rather her past stay there. But life is funny how it reveals secrets you thought would never resurface. Megan and three others will see their paths cross as their past events threaten to unravel their present lives. Stay Close stars Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, Eddie Izzard, and Jo Joyner.
What is your favorite Harlan Coben adaptation? Let us know your picks in the comments below.