Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Fool Me Once

Summary: 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. -- Dutton

When the opportunity hit to review Harlan Coben's newest novel FOOL ME ONCE, I absolutely jumped at the chance. I have thoroughly enjoyed many of his novels; and, while I haven't read all of them, I make it an effort to read every new one he writes. This guy is so good! I love his writing and the pace of his stories is fantastic.

FOOL ME ONCE tells the story of a woman named Maya, a mother of a two year old who was formerly a special ops pilot. She is now navigating single parenthood because her husband, Joe, was recently murdered. Her close friend gives her a nanny cam to keep on eye on her daughter's childcare provider, and Maya is shocked to discover one evening that her dead husband visited her house while she was away. The very same dead husband that she saw brutally murdered just a few weeks prior!

Joe's death brings a lot of bad memories back for Maya. Maya's sister was also murdered while Maya was in the Middle East. At first, it seems like their deaths are entirely unrelated; however, as Maya begins her own investigation into Joe's death, she makes a startling discovery! Maya is forced to confront her complicated past and her confusing present while also trying to determine whether or not she can trust her own mental state.

I really liked FOOL ME ONCE. It had everything I've come to know and love about Mr. Coben's novels. It was past-paced with a complex main character, and I will say that there was definitely a twist or two. I almost hate to admit that because I like to think I read a fair amount of mysteries, but I honestly was shocked by how this book ended. I never saw it coming!!! The entire book is pretty darn entertaining, but the ending alone definitely makes the book worth reading.

One reason why I enjoyed this book was because of Maya's character. She is extremely interesting because of her past as a fighter pilot in the Middle East as well as her current state as a new widow and single mom. While Maya does have a few friends, she is definitely guarded when it comes to sharing details about her personal life. I found her to be intriguing, and I wasn't sure how reliable she was because she had experienced so much trauma in just a few short years.

Another great aspect of FOOL ME ONCE was the mystery itself. I honestly had no idea who was behind Joe's death or even why someone wanted him dead. As Maya discovered clues about her husband's life, the story became more and more complex. And then his wealthy family entered this picture. They were truly something! My mind was honestly going in about a hundred directions at this point. I was guessing totally crazy things that weren't even close to the truth!

And that's the main reason why I enjoyed FOOL ME ONCE so much -- it was such a twisted story. I had no idea how to trust or believe or even why people were getting killed. Nothing in my little imagination even came close to what Mr. Coben had planned for his readers. Truly jaw-dropping! Granted, the story was shocking... but it all came together at the end and made perfect sense. And that's really the beauty of the story -- just how well written it was!

FOOL ME ONCE is a great thriller! Highly recommended to Mr. Coben's already huge fanbase as well as readers who appreciate a surprising twist in their mysteries!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I've only read a few of his books but have thoroughly enjoyed the ones I did read. This sounds terrific!

Beth F said...

You liked this much more than I did, but it was still a good story.