Reading the Harlan Coben books in order entails picking up the author’s popular Myron Bolitar and Mickey Bolitar series. He also has several standalone novels, and those can be read in any order you choose, of course.
Harlan Coben has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. The first book I’ve read by him was a standalone thriller called Play Dead, which was years before he started his popular Myron Bolitar series.
Without further ado here are the Harlan Coben books in order for his popular two series, and his chilling standalone thrillers. The books are listed in publication and chronological order.
New Harlan Coben Book
Myron Bolitar Series In Order
- Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar #1), 1995
- Drop Shot (Myron Bolitar #2), 1996
- Fade Away (Myron Bolitar #3), 1996
- Back Spin (Myron Bolitar #4), 1997
- One False Move (Myron Bolitar #5), 1998
- The Final Detail (Myron Bolitar #6), 1999
- Darkest Fear (Myron Bolitar #7), 2000
- Promise Me (Myron Bolitar #8), 2006
- Long Lost (Myron Bolitar #9), 2009
- Live Wire (Myron Bolitar #10), 2011
- Home (Myron Bolitar #11), 2016
Mickey Bolitar Series In Order
- Shelter (Mickey Bolitar #1), 2011
- Seconds Away (Mickey Bolitar #2), 2012
- Found (Mickey Bolitar #3), 2014
Standalone Harlan Coben Books
- Play Dead, 1990
- Miracle Cure, 1991
- Tell No One, 2001
- Gone for Good, 2002
- No Second Chance, 2003
- Just One Look, 2004
- The Innocent, 2005
- The Woods, 2007
- Hold Tight, 2008
- Caught, 2010
- Stay Close, 2012
- Six Years, 2013
- Missing You, 2014
- The Stranger, 2015
- Fool Me Once, 2016
- Don’t Let Go, 2017
Harlan Coben was born in 1962 in Newark, New Jersey to a Jewish family. He still lives in New Jersey (Ridgewood) with his wife, a pediatrician, along with their 4 children.
He attended and graduated from the Livingston High School. Later on, he went to Amherst College where he studied political science. During this time he belonged to the same fraternity (Psi Upsilon) with the author Dan Brown, also was a member. Dan Brown is well known for his Da Vinci Code thriller, belonging to the Robert Langdon thriller series.
After graduating from college, Harlan Coben took the first job within the family, working for his grandfather who owned a company in the travel industry as a travel agency.
His passion for writing came about when he was in college in his senior year. He got his first book published at the age of 26, in 1990 with the title Play Dead, a romantic suspense novel.
After the publication of his second standalone novel, Miracle Cure, a medical thriller, in 1991, he started his by now very popular series Myron Bolitar, featuring a basketball coach who turns to solving crimes.
Knowing that Harlan Coben played basketball in college (his impressing height also shows it – 6ft 4ins), his choice for the main character of the series doesn’t seem all that random.
2016 is the year which makes an interesting career change – a shift in Harlan Coben. He has written a drama for British TV (Sky One) called The Five. It is a unique story not drawn from any of his books.
The first standalone novel after writing the books in his Bolitar series is Tell No One, and I think it’s pretty much my most favorite book by him (and I love all the Harlan Coben books). It is also the novel which was turned into a French film in 2006.
Tell No One, published in 2001, features Dr. David Beck, whose wife died during one of their trips to the lake to celebrate their anniversary. When he is attacked and he hears his wife’s screams, once he wakes up he is told that his wife died in the ambush.
After eight sorrowful years where he can’t get his wife out of his head, he receives a strange email which makes his doubtful that his wife is, indeed, dead. This starts his chase after the ghost of his wife and his investigation of what actually happened those eight years ago.
Harlan Coben’s books have earned him numerous awards, including the Edgar Award, the Shamus Award, and the Anthony Award. He is, in fact, the first author to receive all prestigious awards for his novels. Several of his novels have been on the #1 position of the New York Times bestselling list.
The Myron Bolitar series includes currently 10 books, with the latest one published in 2016 with the title Home. The Mickey Bolitar series has 3 books, with the latest one published in 2014, and I’m happy to see that Harlan Coben still continues to write his suspenseful standalone thrillers.
The Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar series focuses on Myron, a hothead sports agent who once upon a time was an FBI agent, and now has several clients, which who has issues that Myron has to solve. The books are highly entertaining and more often than not humorous, making them very different from the Harlan Coben standalone thrillers.
The Mickey Bolitar spin-off series has as main protagonist Micky, Myron’s fifteen-year-old nephew who went to live with his uncle after his dad was murdered and he got to witness the deed. His mom is in rehab, so Micky is alone, thus the need to move to Myron’s house.
Mickey was first introduced to the series readers in Live Wire, book #10 in the Myron Bolitar series. Mickey is just as clever and quick-witted as Myron, and he likes to solve puzzles and interesting cases just like his uncle.
The latest novel by Harlan Coben is Don’t Let Go, a standalone thriller published in 2017. Of course, reading the Harlan Coben books in order only involves his Myron and Micky Bolitar series, since the standalone novels can be read in any order you choose as they all feature different main (and secondary) protagonists. Well, except for Don’t Let Go, where Myron makes a cameo appearance, a wonderful treat to the Myron Bolitar series fans, but he is no way has an important (or even partial) role in the case at hand.
Some of his other popular standalone novels I have reviewed on this site are Fool Me Once, published in 2016, The Stranger, published in 2015, and Missing You, published in 2014. I might be in the minority here, but maybe because I started reading first his standalone excellent psychological thrillers, I prefer them to his series. They are much more suspenseful, much darker and much more “edge of your seat” type of books.