Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben- Are too many twists a bad thing?
Fool Me Once
I chose to give Fool Me Once a go because I absolutely loved The Stranger and wanted to read more from Harlan Coben.
This is a very twisty, turny, suspense book that makes you feel like you are stuck in a booky maze for a lot of the time! The plot focuses on Maya, a badass military top gun, who has married into the infamous and very rich Burkett family. Maya returns from active duty after a scandal and brings with her painful flashbacks and is suffering from PTSD. To make things a hell of a lot worse, her husband is murdered and Maya tries to piece together what really happened to her husband Joe, when her Joe’s image appears on the nanny cam, cuddling their daughter, is he really dead?
Compared to the The Stranger, this book didn’t garner any empathy for the characters. Maya is cold and confusing, which you would expect for a military super woman; but there seemed to be no element of human kindness in her. Certainly not enough to make you want to root for her, and I didn’t feel I got anywhere near enough detail on the supporting characters either to really get into the book.
I also found the plot twists a little bit too contrived and a few times I actually rolled my eyes at the language used, particularly Maya’s voice. Some lines just seemed to ring bells from distant 90’s military movies like Proof of Life and no-one ever really uses the phrase SNAFU in normal conversation that much do they?
Maybe I’m being a little hard on this book, the other reviews seem to rave about it, but for me, it just didn’t live up to expectation after The Stranger.
2.5 out of 5 for me – too many twists without really focussing on the characters.
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The Book Jacket
In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben’s page-turning 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.