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Publisher's Summary

#1 New York Times bestseller Harlan Coben delivers his next impossible-to-put-down thriller

In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben's thrillers, filled with his trademark edge-of-your-seat suspense and gut-wrenching emotion. In Fool Me Once, Coben once again outdoes himself.

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya's husband, Joe - who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband - and herself.

©2016 Harlan Coben (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator January LaVoy's well-paced performance enhances the tension of this stand-alone thriller.... LaVoy's dynamic narration and distinct characterizations make this multilayered story a winning audiobook." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    3,904
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    2,801
  • 3 Stars
    1,226
  • 2 Stars
    275
  • 1 Stars
    128

Performance

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    4,399
  • 4 Stars
    2,198
  • 3 Stars
    707
  • 2 Stars
    158
  • 1 Stars
    67

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    3,469
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    2,332
  • 3 Stars
    1,226
  • 2 Stars
    335
  • 1 Stars
    147
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nanny Cams, Mental Illness and Murder!

Most of this story is told from the main character's point of view. Some parts of the story were told in the third person which, for me, helped to keep the storyline straight and made it less confusing by providing more details as the story went along.... thus, more interesting..... There are enough suspense, and twists and turns that held my interest and attention from beginning to the very end. Although I could see some of the events coming, and had suspicions about who the probable killers were, I listened at every opportunity.

The main character, Maya, is a "kick-ass" type girl. She is a mother and loves her child deeply, but she's not your typical "soccer-mom." She a "pistol-packing" mama... she's an ex-military pilot with dark secrets about something that happened while in combat. And, she is now suffering PTSD with horrible nightmares. Her sister and her husband was murdered about 4 months apart, and now she must find out who killed her sister. In addition to her dead husband and sister, she encounters two other dead people. Then, she starts to worry that death maybe following her.

The plot was suspenseful .... a few murders, mental illness, and an ending with an unexpected twist. How can the advancements in electronics' technology help you prove whodunit? Surprise, surprise, surprise. The major twist comes near the end of the story which is expected but I didn't see the severity of the twist coming. Of course, you must suspend your disbelief in order to enjoy the story.

I enjoyed the story. Yes, there are moments when you can only "roll your eyes" because you can't suspend your disbelief that far. But, the story is well narrated, which elevated the story to an easy listen.

The narrator, January LaVoy, is excellent with a variety of appropriate voices.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Darn it

As a Harlan Coben fan, I was so eagerly anticipating the release of this latest novel and devouring it on my day off. Now that I've read it, all I can say is meh. Yes, it had some suspense and some twists and turns, but by the time I'd reached the midpoint, I had lost interest in the whodunit plot. I know the main character was supposed to be scarred by war and PTSD and therefore, she had difficulty being empathetic and frankly, even likable. But I should have still been able to care about her, her struggles and her motives. And I tried, I really did. But I just couldn't get there. Worse, none of the other characters (of which there were many) were fleshed-out either, so I had no team I could really "root" for. Finally, I know that in novels where the main character strikes out on their own to solve a murder(s) one has to suspend a certain level of disbelief for it to work but this story - for me - just had too many holes in it and was just too unbelievable for me to buy into it. I still love Harlan Coben and will, without question, continue to anticipate future novels. I've enjoyed the vast majority of his body of work...this just wasn't one of his best efforts, in my opinion.

110 of 123 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed

I have considered myself to be a Harlan Coben fan for several years. However this has been the second book in a row that I have considered to be a big disappointment where I struggled to finish. The story summaries are excellent but the books don't deliver. I don't think I'll waste anymore money on these books.

83 of 94 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

No fooling, 2 stars is generous

The last 2-3 chapters helped earn an extra star for this book, barely. To get to the dramatic ending, which wasn't that spectacular just better than all that came before it, you have to wade through incessant and repetitive internal dialogue, hackneyed characterizations of the "bad guys," dead end subplots, and (surprise) an unreliable narrator. There's no way to swallow a decorated, military pilot turned into a master sleuth. It's also difficult to reconcile how a proud veteran - one who goes into detail about posture and attitude setting an authority figure - can also be mistaken for a stripper and a ditz. There's no point in spending more character space on a book that wasn't worth the wait.

84 of 96 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amber
  • Chula Vista, CA, United States
  • 03-24-16

Disappointed

I am a huge Harlan Coben fan. Just One Look was my first book I read by him. I loved it. I loved almost all of his other books. This book was terrible. I can't figure out if I just didn't like the characters and the story or the narrator's performance. The main character Maya is so incredibly rude and unlikable. The story line involving her daughter is too sappy in conjunction with her personality. About halfway through the book, I simply didn't care about how the plot was going to play out and listened absent-mindedly thought the second half. At the end, I was glad it was over.

60 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 03-23-16

Incredible story!

As a Harlan Coben fan I left Fool Me Once as the last to listen to of the 3 pre-ordered Audible books that entered my Audible library yesterday. It's sort of like the desert at the end of a great meal. The novel does not disappoint. Of the 14 Harlan Coben novels in my Audible library Fool me once is not my favorite, but it deserves a 5 star rating nevertheless.

Some reviewers will likely say that the story is not credible. It's true that it is unlikely. I've written in other reviews that enjoying fiction requires the reader to often suspend disbelief. In this case the outcome is unlikely but far from impossible.

Narration is excellent.

I recommend Fool Me Once for those who enjoy mysteries and especially for those who enjoy psychological thrillers.

53 of 64 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Waltham, MA, United States
  • 01-22-17

Not credible but still fun

Maya is ex-military and she sees her recently murdered husband on the nanny cam. It's an intriguing start to this novel. What I like about this is the fast pacing with lots of fun details. The narrator is also fabulous. On the other hand, the story is not close to realistic, and gets even less realistic as the story unfolds. I decided to suspend belief, and just have fun, and it was fun. The story consists of Maya trying to find the killer of both her husband and sister. I enjoyed the ride.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This might be Coben's BEST yet!!!!

Any additional comments?

This book is an absolutely totally believable WOW of a book! I thoroughly enjoyed this and was so sorry it ended when it did. I will say it ended at the perfect time though because to ad more would have probably just been filler and taken away from this amazingly well crafted story. Honestly, one of Harlan Coban's best.
So who killed Maya's husband Joe? And who murdered Maya's sister Claire? These are the questions that plague Maya throughout the book. Maya, who suffers from PTSD is no push over being a retired fighter pilot. She is experienced with firearms and with a 2 year old daughter she protects she is a formidable force to come up against. Following her journey builds from questioning to nail biting edge of you seat suspenseful to the end that will knock you off your feet it is so unbelievably shockingly in your face realistic that you wonder why you didn't see it before.
Excellent Excellent Excellent !!! And Highly Recommended!
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32 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fool me indeed!

Would you listen to Fool Me Once again? Why?

No. Knowing the ending precludes another listen.

What did you like best about this story?

Unexpected ending. Very well crafted.

Which scene was your favorite?

Confrontation in Burket parlor.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Preferred to savor the the unfolding characters and plot line.

Any additional comments?

January LaVoy's narration spot on . Well done.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ML
  • Rye, NY
  • 04-06-16

Unstimulating and two dimensional

The twist at the climax was my favorite part of this book, and I thought the plot itself had legs. Those aspects were strong.

The writing I think was lacking. The characters felt flat and hyper clichéd. The dialect between characters especially had no depth.

The characters' virtues existed in a vacuum and their thoughts and actions were so black and white that it was adolescent.

I very much did not enjoy the read.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful