Written and produced by Harlan Coben based on his eponymous 2016 book, ‘Fool Me Once’ takes us on a riveting journey through the chaotically disturbed life of Maya Stern. A former combat pilot, she loses her husband and sister in quick succession to crime, and then sees her supposedly dead husband on a nanny cam playing with their daughter. Understandably shaken, Maya begins a search for the truth, with close family and friends dismissing her claims as trauma.
However, having a potential mental illness doesn’t hold her back, and her investigation takes her to the extremes of paranoia and conspiracy. With brilliant performances from Michelle Keegan, Richard Armitage, Adeel Akhtar, Emmett J. Scanlan and Joanna Lumley, the mind-boggling narrative juggles suspense, shocking secrets, and vindication to create an unsettling and riveting tale, prompting fans to look for more intense shows like ‘Fool Me Once.’
6. Hold Tight (2022)
A Polish crime drama, the miniseries centers around a close-knit, affluent neighborhood in Warsaw that goes in search of a missing 18-year-old after the death of his friend. While the adults are worried about protecting their children, the teens decide to take matters into their own hands and venture out in search of clues. The local police officers on the case recognize there may be more to it than meets the eye. If you were enthralled by the ominous and suspenseful narrative in ‘Fool Me Once,’ this series offers more of the same with the mind of Harlan Coben behind its creation. Both series see an intricately woven mesh of lies and deception, creating an enthralling suspense.
5. The River (2012)
‘The River’ presents the gripping tale of Dr. Emmet Cole, an adventurous TV explorer who mysteriously vanishes while on an Amazonian expedition. His family and a rescue team embark on a perilous journey to find him. Led by Cole’s wife, Tess, and son, Lincoln, they navigate treacherous jungles, supernatural phenomena, and encounters with indigenous tribes. The search takes an eerie turn as they unearth secrets about the mystical river and face horrifying dangers lurking in its depths.
Created by Oren Peli, Michael R. Perry, and Michael Green, the series infuses tension and suspense into the narrative, blending elements of adventure, horror, and mystery. The show’s found-footage style and chilling atmosphere will engage fans of ‘Fool Me Once,’ who were gripped by its grounded and realistic portrayal of characters and events. The shows share an intriguing premise as the driving point of their plot, the disappearance of a family member, followed by a sign of them being alive, which prompts a search.
4. Stay Close (2021)
‘Stay Close,’ follows Megan, a suburban mother and former wild child with a hidden past. Megan’s life, now seemingly picture-perfect, takes a gripping turn when an unexpected encounter with an old acquaintance threatens to unearth long-buried secrets. The arrival of this person reopens wounds from a tragic incident that happened years ago, intertwining the lives of Megan, Ray, and Broome, three people hiding significant parts of their past.
As the mysteries resurface, the series delves into themes of betrayal, the consequences of actions, and the impact of secrets on one’s life. These themes can also be found in ‘Fool Me Once,’ as ‘Stay Close’ is also a TV adaptation by Harlan Coben of his own novel. Both narratives feature Richard Armitage, and captivate audiences with intense drama and unexpected twists based on the secretive pasts of their characters.
3. Cruel Summer (2021-2023)
Created by Bert V. Royal, ‘Cruel Summer,’ unfolds a captivating tale set over three summers in the 1990s. The show delves into the intertwined paths of Jeanette Turner and Kate Wallis, two girls at opposite ends of the social spectrum. Their lives drastically change after the popular Kate mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a series of unanswered questions. What initially appears as a clear-cut narrative gets entangled in a complex web of secrets, lies, and evolving perspectives.
Each episode peels back layers of the story, shifting between different timelines, offering contrasting viewpoints from Jeanette and Kate, and keeping the audience on edge. As secrets unravel and suspicions arise, the series will capture the imagination of anyone who appreciates Harlan Coben’s work, crafting an engaging and suspenseful narrative that challenges perceptions and keeps viewers guessing until the very end.
2. Safe (2018)
Tom Delaney is a widowed surgeon living with his teenage daughters in a gated community, where tragedy strikes when one of them goes missing after a party. As the search for her intensifies, secrets unravel, exposing the dark underbelly of seemingly idyllic lives within the community. Tom embarks on an exhaustive quest to unearth the truth about his daughter’s disappearance, discovering startling revelations about his neighbors, friends, and even his family.
Twists and turns abound as suspicions and hidden truths come to light, challenging loyalties and testing the boundaries of trust. Created by the mind behind ‘Fool Me Once,’ the mystery thriller starts off with a similar premise, the disappearance of a family member causing an investigation that unearths the dark secrets of those close to them.
1. The Stranger (2020)
‘The Stranger’ is a British mystery thriller that revolves around Adam Price, a suburban family man whose life is disrupted by a stranger’s shocking revelation about his wife. When a mysterious woman approaches Adam and divulges a secret about his spouse, it sets off a chain reaction of disturbing events that unravel the facade of normalcy in the town. As Adam delves deeper into the revelation, he discovers a web of deceit and dark truths among his friends and neighbors.
The series melds together multiple storylines, uncovering hidden connections and dark pasts. Fueled by suspense and unpredictable twists, ‘The Stranger’ shares a level of mindboggling mystery with ‘Fool Me Once,’ along with its creator. Among Coben’s finest work, the series will enrapture you with shocking revelations, gripping performances, and a cascading mystery.