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What do Harlan Coben and Michael C. Hall have in common? Before recently, one would have thought that “nothing” was the right answer. Now, however, we know better.
They have both worked together to bring to the screens a new drama mini TV series by Netflix set in Britain.
The series was written by the popular thriller author Harlan Coben, and the main role is played by none other than our favorite serial killer, Dexter, aka Michael C. Hall. A match made in heaven for every lover of Dexter Morgan and of the Harlan Coben thrillers.
Harlan Coben is known for his fast-paced stories full of twists and turns, great hooks and very complex and layered characters. The TV series will have all these elements that the author’s readers usually know him for.
The story features Tom, a middle-class pediatrician and surgeon whose wife died of cancer. He has two daughters, and he still can’t get over his wife’s death, but he is trying hard to move forward and take care of his girls. One of his daughters, who is a teenager, is estranged from him.
All Tom’s attempts at a resemblance of normalcy, however, is shattered the moment his eldest daughter, the 16-year-old Jenny Delaney goes missing.
The Harlan Coben books (especially his standalone novels) approach the topic of missing quite a lot. Tell No One, one of the author’s bestselling novels, has this theme as its main topic as well. Dr. David Beck’s wife has gone missing for eight years.
In The Woods, four teenagers walk into the woods and only two come back. Two are never to be found again.
In Gone For Good, the main suspect in a murder case disappears as well.
And in Six Years, the main character’s ex-wife (whom he thought was happily married to someone else) has been actually missing for quite a while as well.
So it’s not really surprising to find one of the main themes in the books by Harlan Coben found in his new TV story as well.
Safe is, in fact, the second entry for Harlan Coben in the world of TV thrillers. His first foray into the genre was with The Five, another British TV crime mystery series created by the author, which was broadcast on Sky. And if you are wondering, the subject of disappearing is prevalent there as well.
What I am curious to see in Safe is Michael C. Hall’s performance, as the only American actor in a British series. It is said that he pulled the British accent quite well, although there are moments when, if you pay attention, you will notice some forcefulness in his speech. But as the new thriller is action-packed, there is less conversation and dialogue than would be in a character-driven story.
In an interview, Michael C. Hall noted that as opposed to playing Dexter,
There were surprises, too – genuine surprises – and I think I was drawn to playing a character who was more or less a regular guy around whom crazy things are happening, as opposed to a crazy guy doing crazy things.
Another prevalent topic in the Harlan Coben novels is the keeping of secrets. Boy the main protagonists of his books know how to keep them close and tight. In Safe, everyone in the gated community has their secrets as well, as Tom will learn during his search for his daughter.
But, at its heart, Safe is a deeper look into what happens when parents and children no longer talk, when they’re disconnected from each other, and when kids spend more time online (with Facebook, for example) than with their own families.
The story will be told in eight episodes, in a mini-series, and the premiere is on May 10.