Top 10 Best Harlan Coben Books Ranked In Order

Top 10 Best Harlan Coben Books In Reading Order [Thrillers & Mysteries]

by Rey Sagar

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Feeling confused about what is what Harlan Coben book should I read first? Then don’t worry this article is absolutely for you.

We have collected the top 10 best Harlan Coben books ranked in order by voracious readers in the Ranker community.

We all know, with commercial success and critical acclaim, there’s no doubt that Harlan Coben is one of the most popular authors of the last 100 years.

If you’re a huge fan of his work, Then vote on your favorite novels at the end of this article and make your opinion count.

This poll is also a great resource for new fans of Harlan Coben who want to know which novels they should start reading first.

With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check out his work if you’re a big reader.

I also read quite a lot of books by Coben, especially the very popular Myron Bolitar series and I loved the twist and turns of that series.

Also, you might have already read a bunch of his books, which will also help you decide which one to vote for, if you are not and kind of wondering what Harlan Coben book should I read first?

Then sure our top ten Harlan Coben books will help you to get there.

Before jumping into the list let’s know more about the author himself. 

>> About The Author: Harlan Coben

If you don’t know Harlan Coben was born and raised in Newark, Newark is a New Jersey city, home to Newark Liberty International Airport.

He studied at Livingston High School and went on to major in Political Science from Amherst College. As he was in his college days he started writing and just loved it. Especially those mysteries and thriller concepts.

After his writing interest is blowing up, Coben had his first book, ‘Play Dead’; published at the age of 26 (The book was not very enjoyable for the audience) But he didn’t quite there.

Since 1995 ‘Deal Breaker’ was published, Harlan Coben got a lot of public attention and pretty much become a specialist in the genre with both series-like Myron Bolitar and standalone books; which helped him to become one of most popular author at the genre. He is thereby the first author from the genre to have three prestigious awards, namely; an Anthony Award, Shamus Award, and the Edgar reward.

At present, he continues to write, both novels and op-ed articles for the New York Times. His new book Win is the #1 bestselling creator of the hit Netflix series The Stranger.

Top 10 Best Harlan Coben Books Ranked In Order

Before I tell you what is Harlan Coben's best book? Let's talk about him a bit If you don't know much about him.

Harlan Coben is - [in my opinion] - the master of unexpected twists and turns in the novels.

This American author of thrillers is often able to surprise you with the story's ending what's? why? if someone wants to read a great crime novel that sucks you in action from the first page, I highly recommend reading one of Coben's books.

You will get the list of Harlan Coben best books in just a sec but before that, I just want to give you a short idea about what kind of books he loves to write.

Mostly, Harlan Coben's work can be divided into 3 categories:

  1. The first one consists of a series in which the main character is Myron Bolitar - a former basketball player and sports agent in one person. He first appeared in the book Infamous in 1995.
  2. Second - Stand-alone novels.
  3. Third - New young adult series with the nephew of Myron - Mickey. For the first time, he appeared in the novel, Shelter in 2011.

I like Coben’s books because of their interesting characters, great dialogues, and unexpected twists.

Which is super sick.

It is impossible to be bored while reading his novels.

Now let’s see the list of Best Harlan Coben books ranked in order so it’ll be easy for you to read one by one in a series.

Side Note: The books I’m ranking on this list are based on my experience and opinion, so your taste might differ from mine. Sure, his work is genuinely admirable with such an amazing work throughout his carrier, and everyone loves his side of drama, mystery, and thriller combo. Maybe that’s it’s so difficult to give a review of his masterpiece.

In this article, we are only going to give you the only top ten books by Harlan Coben. So let’s check Harlan Coben books in order which will help you to read in a series to go with his stories.

It’s not the list of Harlan Coben books best to worst so keep that in mind.

Best Harlan Coben Mystery Novel Collection >>

10. Tell No One

If someone asks me what is harlan coben’s best book & what harlan coben book should I read first? Then I don’t take any time to recommend this book anymore.

This is the type of book I remember and immediately recommend when asked about thrillers. Surely you look at thrillers in the dictionary and this book pops up.

Very much similar to the plot of other Coben books, a little predictable but with good characters.

Little Summery:

I love this mystery that’s filled with twists as the story progresses with Dr. David Beck, a widower of eight years having survived a horrific attack at his beloved lake house where his wife, Elizabeth, was brutally murdered.

He still thinks about her every day but fills his day by working with the indigent, who seems to have learned how to work the Medicaid system, sadly.

He is fortunate to have a doting friend, Shauna, who is an incredibly gorgeous model married to his sister Linda.

His in-laws still keep in touch with him, but the ex-cop Father-in-law is burly and treats him like a dweeb while his mother-in-law is passive and listens to him.

More characters are introduced but the most intriguing bit is the email sent to Dr. Beck’s office that shakes up everyone’s lives.

  • Did his wife die or not? He never identified Elizabeth.
  • What happened 8 years ago?!

Harlan coben most popular book

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9. The Woods

Reading this book is like playing “hide And seek” You follow the clues, turn right and end up back in the woods. No matter where you go or who you talk to “The Woods” is your only Destination.

Lots of lovely twists and turns and surprises. Writing-wise… it was not wonderful but certainly good enough to sustain the excellent plot.

It feels like sometimes Coben wants to be writing a romance novel.

Short Summary:

This story follows the experiences of Paul Copeland when his sister’s unsolved disappearance resurfaces after a murder in Paul’s county.

The mystery is immediately captivating, and the reader gets sucked into learning more about his sister’s story- which is largely unsolved and everyone appears to be a suspect.

I appreciated that the story jumps back and forth through the present time and the night of the murders, and the reader gets to see how all of these characters have been affected long term by this collective trauma.

There were times that I was very confused about the Soviet Union connection and why it was part of the story, but the author does an incredible job of concluding the story with all of the pieces fitting perfectly together.

Harlan Coben book for thrillers

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8. Gone for Good

This was a real departure from Corben’s norm. There is something about Coben’s stories that keep you hooked and entertained. 

First I thought it’s that usual Coben’s style of storytelling – someone died in the beginning, then search the past, where the past is always dark and menacing.

There are a lot of characters, as usual.

Yet, there is an element of surprise which I find astonishing. I even raised my eyebrows several times throughout the book, surprised by the twists.

I must say this is Coben’s best use of his tricks. And if you enjoy finishing a chapter and yelling “WHAT!?” then this is the book for you!

Another great thriller book by Coben

7. Hold Tight

This was a book that lived up to it’s title.

There must be a trend now in new novels to expose the horrors of the technological age, and this one is no exception.

An affluent neighborhood where the residents seem to live privileged prosperous lives but is it a happy prosperous life? Behind the closed doors, the veneer of the privilege is stripped bare.

  • There are many tales just waiting to be told.
  • There are the parents, grieving for a dead son, cause of death, suicide.
  • There are the parents who are worried sick about a son who is becoming emotionally removed and is now missing.
  • There are the parents desperately seeking a kidney donor before it is too late to save their son from an early death.
  • There is the young girl whose life went down the toilet after an off-hand, callous comment by a much-respected teacher.
  • Then there is the much-respected teacher whose life also went down the toilet after the said callous comment.
  • Then last, but definitely not least, there is the monster with the worst case of uncontrolled anger you have ever seen.

Six very different stories all with one thing in common, they are all racing towards the same collision point. When that collision happens it will become a force of nature. Some will survive and some will not but even the survivor’s life will never be the same.

A high-speed thriller that will keep you glued and guessing right to the very end.

Harlan Coben book with 100 twists and turns

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6. Caught

I think his books pretty much guarantee a twisty ride with an ending you don’t expect – Caught is no exception.

Another example of why Coben is so popular.

This is a book that is really difficult to describe, without giving away too much. Is it a good, fast, thrilling read? Undoubtedly, but it’s much more.

This book delves into modern American society and brings a spotlight to it.

In turn, Coben looks at the banking crisis, the misery of senior professionals thrown onto the garbage heap, when they still have a huge amount to offer, the breakdown of family life and the impact on children, and so many other issues it’s impossible to do it all justice in a short review.

Tying all that in with a thriller that works until the very last pages, and you have a magnificent, thrilling, and immensely satisfying book!

Harlan Coben book with message

5. No Second Chance

This is a complicated story of a surgeon who is shot, his wife murdered, and his infant child missing.

The surgeon, who barely escapes death is determined to find his daughter who he believes is still alive.

And so begins a complex and sometimes a bit confusing tale of his search. His wealthy father-in-law gets a ransom demand for $1 million and the chase is on.

The story covers two years of false clues, disappointment, a father’s quest, and no sign of the child.

Many diverse characters are introduced and the reader is left with trying to identify which of them, if any, is involved in this crime.

I thought the ending was a bit far-fetched but not enough to ruin your interest in the story.

Coben's psychological thriller

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4. One False Move

One False Move is the 5th book in the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. Sports agent Myron Bolitar is hired to protect Brenda Slaughter, a beautiful basketball star.

Her mother disappeared twenty years ago, and now her father is missing too. First, the clothes were gone, then the money was gone.

If you’re a Bolitar fan, you know that he is more than just a sports agent.

And you know he’s a sympathetic person who loves to help and save his clients. You should also be familiar with his team: Esperanza, the former pro-wrestler working at MB Sports Rep as an assistant, and Windsor “Win” Horne Lockwood, the mysterious bachelor business partner.

However, this is the first time that Myron has more than a vested professional interest. He has a personal interest in Brenda. This makes the story very intense. People are willing to die and be killed to protect secrets.

Myron’s next move may always be his last.

But it’s a series, so I know he will stay alive. But the author, Harlan Coben, does a great job of building suspense.

For one second, I even questioned whether Myron would make it out alive.

This installment of the series is emotional, heartbreaking, and spellbinding. It stands out as one of the best books in the Myron Bolitar series.

Book 5 From Myron Bolitar Series

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3. Long Lost

Another book of Myron Bolitar series.

Myron receives a frantic phone call from an old flame pleading with him to come to Paris.

She was called by her ex-husband who was caught up in an investigation apparently involving international terrorism, and he has now gone missing, soon found murdered.

He had discovered the possibility that their daughter may still be alive, even though she was supposedly dead and buried 10 years ago following a horrific car accident in Paris.

Myron and Win get caught up in the intrigue, working with a French agent, and together they discover a diabolical plot full of truly evil characters.

This is not a happy book. There are somber and tragic events and overtones throughout the story, and I found it pretty dark and depressing.

However, with Coben’s beautiful writing, it was a great read!

Book 9 Of Myron Bolitar Series

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2. Live Wire

Harlan Coben is the master of twists and turns… and the Myron Bolitar novels are among his best writing.

I have nothing bad to say about this mystery, except that I figured out some of the stuff before Myron did, which is unusual.

However, Myron is a wonderfully written character, and Coben manages to keep him and his partner Win, interesting.

Win does some stuff in this one that is even more over-the-top than usual…

Later he tells Myron that he knew Myron would not approve.

Yet, we can see that down deep inside, Myron does think his partner’s actions were the only options.

This is a great novel, and Bolitar follows all of the clues down to the last page of the novel– leaving us with a sense of accomplishment as he deals with his father’s own illness, his missing brother, and a missing client.

This book was Coben wrapping things up.

Book 10 Of Myron Bolitar Series

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1. Play Dead

This is Coben’s first book and even he admits that it’s not up to the standards he would set for himself later.

Also, many people get turned off on Coben because of the constant tie to Sports (often Basketball), but in this case, basketball is simply background and a facility to tie in parts of the plot.

In fact, while this is a mystery … it is also a love story so why not.

Lots of twists, turns, mysteries, betrayals, and shocks.

Almost everyone in this book seems suspicious at least some point in time. Several times I thought I had it figured out, and then it blew my mind with a new revelation.

PLAY DEAD takes you from the streets of Boston to the Northern coast of Australia, all while creating yet another edge-of-your-seat wind mystery. In true Coben style, just when you think you know, you don’t.

A great first book for Coben’s writing journey!

Harlan Coben's First Book

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Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar Series Collection >>

[Bonus] - Win

So we already completed the list, But I still want to recommend you a one more book, which is this one.

This is the first in a new series by Harlan Coben featuring billionaire Windsor Horne Lockwood III.

If you have ever read any of the Myron Bolitar books you will know Win – Windsor Horne Lockwood III., If you don’t then you should read that series first to understand properly.

Win is Myron’s best friend, his right hand man who pushes the limits of the law. His name, his money and his reputation get him along way and gets him results. I wouldn’t want to agree with him that is for sure. His family and Myron come first, loyal to a fault. He come across as rough and arrogant, but deep down he is insecure and troubled. Being from old money brings its share of problems as well, I absolutely loved getting to know more about him, and understanding a bit better why he is like he is.

This is a case that is personal to Win.

A recluse, hoarder, an old man is found murdered in his penthouse apartment in New York. Police ask Win to come to the crime scene as they have found something that belongs to his family – a painting that was stolen many years ago. As he starts to look into why and how this man had the artwork, he discovers links to another family event that has never been solved. The more he looks, the more somebody wants him to stop.

The twists in this story were just fantastic. At no time did I guess what was going to happen next and the ending blew my mind .

Harlan Coben is a master storyteller, his books are addictive and always leave you wanting more. That is why he is one of my all time favourite writers, and I will buy his books without reading the blurb.

If you have never read a Coben book – why?

You seriously need to amend that and get reading – there are so many fantastic books for you to catch up on. While Win is a character from the Myron books, this book can be read easily as a standalone. That being said, it will make you want to grab the other books.

#1 bestselling creator of the hit Netflix series The Stranger

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Final Words

So you got the list of Best Harlan Coben books in order. There are still so many great books out there by Harlan Coben in the past few years.

If you are still unhappy with the list and want more books or kind of sad because your favorite book is not on the list? then,

Here are some of the books that are worth checking out after reading the above 10:

  1. Miracle Cure - [Buy Now]
  2. Drop Shot - [Buy Now]
  3. Deal Breaker - [Buy Now]
  4. Backspin - [Buy Now]
  5. Fade Away - [Buy Now]
  6. Seconds Away - [Buy Now]
  7. Just One Look - [Buy Now]
  8. Shelter - [Buy Now]
  9. Promise Me - [Buy Now]
  10. The Final Detail - [Buy Now]
  11. Win [#1 bestselling creator of the hit Netflix series The Stranger] - [Buy Now]

That's all on my list for now.

Let me know, what is your favorite Harlan Coben book on the list?

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