12 Thrilling Books to Read if You Love Harlan Coben

By Kaitlyn Johnston
A collage of various thriller and suspense novel covers, creating a dramatic and intriguing display of popular fiction.

Coben fans won’t want to miss these riveting reads.

Harlan Coben is a household name: The critically acclaimed novelist has won an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, and a Shamus Award — the first author to win all three. His celebrated crime novels — 34 and counting — delve into dark family drama and the unsettled ghosts of the past, pulling twists and turns to the surface and enthralling readers the world over. And many of those novels have been adapted as a group of thrilling Netflix limited series dubbed The Harlan Coben Collection. Coben’s newest book, I Will Find You, hit shelves in March 2023. If you’re hungry for more, here are 11 equally as gripping novels to keep you reading long into the night.

granite harbor cover alex michaelides quote

Granite Harbor

By Peter Nichols

If you love Coben’s mix of domestic suspense and swirling family secrets set against a twisted murder mystery, you’re sure to enjoy Peter Nichols’s Granite Harbor. The darkly atmospheric crime thriller is set in a quiet coastal Maine community, where Alex Brangwen, a single parent and former novelist, is now the town’s sole detective. Just as Alex settles into his new role, murder strikes: A local teenager is found ritualistically murdered at a nearby archeological site. Then a second victim surfaces, sending the town into full-blown panic mode. As the once tight-knit community unravels and long-buried secrets come to light, Alex joins forces with Isabel, a fellow single parent and an employee at the archeological site where the first body is found. For them, the search for the killer is life or death: Alex’s daughter and Isabel’s son were both close friends with the victim, and the parents are certain that their children will be next.  

A suspense-filled book cover for "the angel maker" by alex north, featuring a stark feather ignited at the tip against a bold red background.

The Angel Maker

By Alex North

Internationally bestselling author Alex North’s latest thriller will enthrall Coben readers with its propulsive pacing, layered family dynamics, and shocking plot twists. Katie’s bright future darkens when her little brother, Chris, is victimized by a violent predator. Years later, still racked with guilt over the horrible incident, Katie gets a call that her sibling is missing. As she reckons with Chris’s disappearance, Detective Laurence Page investigates the heinous murder of a professor that seems to lead back to two prior cases: the brutal attack on Christopher Shaw and the ghoulish crimes of a serial killer who some say could see the future. With a host of fascinating characters and Coben-like entwined timelines, The Angel Maker is one creepy thriller you don’t want to miss.

Aerial view of a road slicing through vibrant autumn foliage with a solitary car, set against a mysterious backdrop, teasing the suspense within the pages of stephen amidon's novel "locust lane.

Locust Lane

By Stephen Amidon

Emerson, Massachusetts, is a picture-perfect New England suburb — until the murder of a young woman shatters its facade. That’s the compelling premise of Stephen Amidon’s acclaimed new literary thriller Locust Lane. In the aftermath of Eden Perry’s demise, the residents of Emerson come together to protect their neighborhood. But as the investigation zeroes in on the three teenagers who were with Eden on the night of her death, a darker tenor takes hold: Neighbors close ranks, and family members will do whatever it takes to protect one of their own. Someone needs to go down for this crime, but who will it be? Suffused with taut family drama and suburban disillusionment that calls to mind Coben’s Stay Close, Locust Lane is an ideal thriller for Coben readers or fans of books like Little Fires Everywhere.

A Nearly Normal Family – Trade Paperback

A Nearly Normal Family

By M. T. Edvardsson

How far would you go to protect your family? How far would they have to go before you turned on them? A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson takes a Coben-like plunge into intense family dynamics after young Stella Sandell is accused of murdering a man. Stella’s pastor father and defense attorney mother grapple with issues of guilt or innocence as they fight to protect their daughter. But as shocking details emerge, the Sandells must confront hard truths about themselves and their family. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “compulsively readable,” A Nearly Normal Family is sure to satisfy Coben readers with its page-turning pacing and layered, multivoiced plot. Once you’re hooked on Edvardsson’s storytelling, be sure to add his upcoming thriller, The Woman Inside, to your summer 2023 reading list.

An off-road vehicle drives towards the viewer on a dusty road against a backdrop of an intense orange sky. the scene is on the cover of jane harper's novel "the dry," described as a "breathless page-turner" by the new york times, and the book is marked as a special value at $9.99.

The Dry

By Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s Gold Dagger Award–winning murder mystery The Dry is right at home alongside anyone’s Coben collection. The acclaimed narrative centers on Aaron Falk, a federal agent who returns home to the rural outpost of Kiewarra, Australia, to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke Hadler. Hadler supposedly took his own life after murdering his wife, though the facts aren’t adding up. As Falk joins forces with a local investigator to dig deeper into his friend’s demise, he threatens to expose long-buried secrets in this tight-knit community and unearth life-shattering lies from his own history. Coben fans are sure to enjoy Harper’s gripping narrative as she expertly peels back the layers of the past to unravel a present-day mystery.

A suspenseful book cover featuring the title "before she disappeared" by lisa gardner, with an eerie underwater scene that hints at mystery and danger.

Before She Disappeared

By Lisa Gardner

Bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s Before She Disappeared follows Frankie Elkin, a recovering alcoholic who rescues the people the rest of the world has given up on. After a teen goes missing from the local high school, Elkin sets out to find her, only to encounter stonewalling from the police and unexpected resistance from the family. Undeterred, Elkin’s prepared to do whatever it takes to find the truth about the missing girl — even if it means making herself a target. “A sharply written, tension-filled yarn full of twists readers are unlikely to see coming” (Associated Press), Before She Disappeared delivers on the compelling characters, surprising reveals, and unputdownable pacing that Coben readers love.

A book cover for "rizzoli & isles: body double" by tess gerritsen, featuring the silhouettes of two people against a split backdrop of orange and black, with promotional text indicating bonus material and a quote praising the author.

Body Double

By Tess Gerritsen

A New York Times bestseller, Body Double is the fourth installment of Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series — and just one of many masterful Gerritsen suspense thrillers. When Dr. Maura Isles goes to examine the body of a murdered woman, she’s shocked to find herself looking at her own face. Turns out the victim was her twin sister, one Maura never even knew she had. As Rizzoli and Isles investigate further, a past of secrets comes to light. Coben fans will devour Gerritsen’s narratives, which are packed with twists, family friction, and unresolved drama resurfacing in the present. Body Double even boasts Coben’s stamp of approval: He calls it “crime writing at its unputdownable, nerve-tingling best.”

Silhouetted figure on a tense journey: cover of 'false witness' by karin slaughter.

False Witness

By Karin Slaughter

Critically acclaimed author Karin Slaughter possesses a literary résumé that any author would envy, from her suite of awards to the more than 40 million copies she’s sold of her 21 gripping crime novels. She makes the perfect next read if you’re searching for authors like Harlan Coben. Slaughter’s False Witness centers on Leigh Collier, a rising star defense attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. Collier’s life is on the up-and-up, but when her firm assigns her a new client, she’s forced to confront secrets from her traumatized youth that she’s worked hard to keep hidden. As tensions rise, Collier will have no choice but to pull her estranged sister into the fray. With an examination of family dynamics and past secrets propelling the plot, False Witness is an excellent thriller sure to satisfy Coben readers.

A suspenseful book cover for "the black echo" by michael connelly, featuring a silhouette of a person entering a beam of light that creates an eerie echo-like effect, hinting at a thrilling detective story.

The Black Echo

By Michael Connelly

In The Black Echo, bestselling crime writer Michael Connelly introduces us to Harry Bosch, a Vietnam veteran turned LAPD homicide detective. In it, Bosch comes face to face with a figure from his past. His latest case centers on the murder of a man who fought with him in Vietnam — a fellow “tunnel rat.” As the detective scours the streets of Los Angeles in search of the killer, he must balance his professional drive for justice with his desire for revenge. Like Coben, Connelly draws on his character’s past to complicate the present in this riveting procedural, which is the first in a celebrated crime series.

A book cover featuring the title "sunburn" by laura lippman, with a close-up image of a woman wearing sunglasses that reflect a beach scene, hinting at a gripping story full of mystery and intrigue.

Sunburn

By Laura Lippman

Polly and Adam meet one summer in a small Delaware town, both of them just passing through on their way to somewhere else. Soon, however, they’re caught up in a heated love affair, and neither is eager to move on from the other. But a bed of secrets lies between them, and when someone ends up dead, it’s hard to say for certain that it wasn’t foul play. Sunburn by Laura Lippman is killer crime fiction that Coben himself agrees is a cut above the rest. “Laura Lippman continues to push the envelope of modern crime-writing,” he says. “Sunburn, her take on noir, may be her nerviest novel yet, an unsparing look at how lovers can betray one another.”

Mystic river" novel cover by dennis lehane, boasting its status as a #1 new york times bestseller and backed by a review highlighting it as a "powerhouse...penetrating.

Mystic River

By Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River is a contemporary crime classic and must-read for fans of Harlan Coben and psychological thrillers in general. The narrative centers on Sean, Jimmy, and Dave, three local boys tied together by a dark episode from their childhoods that changed their lives forever. Fast forward to the present: Sean’s a homicide detective, Jimmy’s an ex-con, and Dave’s just trying to keep his head above water. Then Jimmy’s daughter is murdered, Sean takes on the case, and all eyes fall on Dave after he comes home covered in blood. Lehane expertly draws on a number of Coben’s favorite themes in this New York Times bestseller, crafting an epic thriller about family, friendship, and do-or-die loyalty. If you liked Coben’s Home, Mystic River belongs on your TBR list.

A brooding, atmospheric book cover featuring a rocky shoreline under a dusky sky, with the title "daisy darker" by alice feeney prominently displayed in bold, stylized text.

Daisy Darker

By Alice Feeney

In this bestselling murder mystery, Alice Feeney — whom Coben says is “great with twists and turns” — puts a gothic twist on the Agatha Christie whodunit. Daisy and the extended members of the Darker family gather to celebrate their Nana’s 80th birthday, settling in at Nana’s decaying ancestral home on a tidal island. Things are going swimmingly… until the tide rises and a storm descends, trapping everyone on the island. Then family members start dropping one by one, beginning with dear old Nana. With secrets swirling and a killer on the loose, Daisy must navigate the present threat while reckoning with her family’s dark past if she hopes to survive. But will she make it through the night? With an intriguing family-driven plot awash with shocking revelations, Daisy Darker is a delicious read that Coben agrees you “need to check out” (on the TODAY show).

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