Prime Video’s ‘Harlan Coben’s Shelter’ is a mystery series full of twists and turns that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The protagonist of the story is a teenager named Mickey Bolitar, whose life is upturned when his father dies in a car accident. Now living with his aunt, Mickey is completely unaware of the town’s history and secrets and how it connects to his father’s past. All of it starts to unravel when one of Mickey’s classmates goes missing, and no one acknowledges, let alone addresses, it.
Mickey and his friends, Spoon and Ema, take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the truth, but it takes them down a dangerous path, unraveling the secrets that will change their lives forever. The story goes back and forth into the past to tell a complicated story with many pieces connected to it. Here is everything you need to know about its setting and timeline. SPOILERS AHEAD
When Does Harlan Coben’s Shelter Take Place?
The events in ‘Shelter’ takes place in contemporary times. The novel on which the show is based was published in 2011, and in bringing the story to the screen, the show’s creators have made the necessary adjustments to the story to factor in more than a decade’s time difference. As Mickey, Spoon, and Ema start to dig into the mystery of their small and seemingly boring town where nothing exciting ever happens, they discover that the key to all the answers lies in the past.
It turns out that Mickey’s father, Brad, was involved in some things, the repercussions of which are felt by Mickey and his friends. We see Brad’s story in the flashbacks, which take place twenty-five years before Mickey’s story, which brings the timeline to somewhere in the late 90s. The flashbacks also give us an insight into the story of Mickey’s aunt, Shira, who is harboring secrets of her own, which she kept since her time in school.
Apart from Mickey and Brad, the show also follows the story of the mysterious Bat Lady, who is revealed to be Lizzy Sobek, a Holocaust survivor who is the stuff of the legends. Lizzy’s story begins sometime during the Second World War, intertwining with the tale of the Butcher of Łódź. Their story jumps across time, showing us how they have made it to this point in the story and how they are important to Mickey’s arc.
Where Does Harlan Coben’s Shelter Take Place?
‘Harlan Coben’s Shelter’ is set in the fictional town of Kasselton. It is located in New Jersey and becomes a character of its own as Mickey and his friends look into its history to find the answers about its present. Coben modeled Kasselton on his hometown of Livingston, giving it the small-town vibe that makes it seem a quiet and harmless place. Once the secrets start to unravel, Kasselton becomes much more dangerous, with mysteries lurking in every corner.
In the show, Kasselton is across the river giving its inhabitants a magnificent view of New York. Because the town is fictional, the creators of the show turned to New Jersey, including Livingston, to film the series and give it the vibe of an authentic NJ city. It also features real-life places like Paterson in some of the scenes. It was important to bring the city alive for the audience because, with each episode, Kasselton becomes a darker, more secretive place. Apart from Kasselton, the show takes detours and transports us to Nazi Germany and its occupied territories to focus on the path taken by Lizzy Sobek and the Butcher of Łódź.
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