Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Myron Bolitar series, as well as numerous standalone psychological thriller novels, including books such as Tell No One, Gone For Good, Missing You, Run Away, and his latest book published in 2020, The Boy From the Woods.
Reading the Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar books in order is a real treat for all fans of Myron, Mickey, and Win. Mickey does have his own series, albeit with three books only. In contrast, the author’s standalone psychological thriller novels can be read in any order you choose, as they have no connection to each other whatsoever.
Here are the Harlan Coben books in order. The book list is updated regularly as soon as we learn of new releases.
Myron Bolitar Series
- Deal Breaker, 1995
- Drop Shot, 1996
- Fade Away, 1996
- Back Spin, 1997
- One False Move, 1998
- The Final Detail, 1999
- Darkest Fear, 2000
- Promise Me, 2006
- Long Lost, 2009
- Live Wire, 2011
- Home, 2016
Mickey Bolitar Series
- Shelter, 2011
- Seconds Away, 2012
- Found, 2014
Standalone Harlan Coben Books
- Play Dead, 1990
- Miracle Cure, 1991
- Tell No One, 2001
- No Second Chance, 2001
- Gone For Good, 2002
- 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
- Run Away, 2019
- The Boy from the Woods, 2020
Who is Myron Bolitar?
Myron Bolitar is the main character of the Harlan Coben series featuring an ex-famous NBA basketball star who is now an agent for sports celebrities, with his own company called MB SportsReps.
He comes from Jewish origins, and during his young years, he lived with his parents in the basement of his childhood home until the age of 34. He was always close to both his parents. Once they moved to South, Myron bought their house.
He was always a terrific basketball player, even in his very early years. His talent has been recognized from the sixth grade. He attended Duke University at Durham, North Carolina where he continued playing basketball. After suffering an accident where he shattered his knee, he retired from playing. So he went back to college, got himself a law degree from Harvard Law School, and later became a sports agent, which he is when the Myron Bolitar series starts.
Myron is a great agent that most clients love. He cares about them and helps them not only in work-related issues but also on a personal level when they need aid. These personal cases turn him into an accidental detective since there is a lot of investigative work he does in the books.
His office is in the Locke-Horne Investments & Securities building which he rents from his best friend Win, who is the second main character in the series. Win is a financial wizard, so the two guys work well together to help their clients the best way possible. While Myron does proclaim to be a sports agent, somehow the cases in the books bring him closer and closer to being more of a detective than anything else.
Myron had a younger brother who died in a car accident, and he has his nephew Mickey, who has his own, albeit shorter, series. Myron used to be in a long-term relationship with Jessica Culver, however, she left him for greener pastures.
One of Myron’s favorite past time is slurping Yoo-Hoo. He is a fun character to be around. He is an everyday guy (as opposed to the eccentric Win). Basically, he is the guy next door who loves helping others.
In Darkest Fear, he mentioned one of his main goals in life:
I meet a woman, and I immediately picture the house in the suburbs and the white picket fence and the two-point-five kids.
Because Harlan Coben doesn’t give too many details in each new book from previous ones, it is best to read the Myron Bolitar books in order. Each story gives more and more insights into who Myron is and what he is up to. Events from past novels are more alluded to rather than spelled out. Starting the series from the middle might be a bit confusing to the new reader of the Myron Bolitar books. Thus, I suggest you start with Deal Breaker.
Harlan Coben Biography
Harlan Coben was born in 1962, in Newark, New Jersey. Like Myron Bolitar, Harlan was also born into a Jewish family. He grew up in Livingston, where he attended Livingston High School. He went on to study political science at Amherst College, where he became a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, along with the writer Dan Brown.
It was during his senior year at college that he realized he wanted to write books.
After graduating from college, Harlan started working at a company that was owned by his grandfather, in the travel industry.
Finally, his debut novel was greenlit by publishers when he was 26. It turned out to be a standalone psychological novel titled Play Dead, published in 1990. His second book, Miracle Cure, was also a standalone novel, and his third one became the first in the Myron Bolitar series, Deal Breaker.
He continued writing the Myron Bolitar series until Tell No One, which was the first standalone thriller novel written after many years. It was published in 2001.
While both the Myron Bolitar series and the standalone Harlan Coben books have their appeal, they do cater to somewhat different reader groups. The series is lighter in scope, and its pace is different. The thriller novels are all psychological in nature, and they deal with much darker issues. Also they are much more serious in tone.
Currently, the Myron Bolitar series has stagnated in 2016 since nothing else has been written after Home. Thankfully, the author keeps on writing and publishing his standalone novels, which are some of the best books in the genre currently.
No Second Chance has been made into a French TV miniseries with the same title. Harlan Coben created the British Sky 1 crime drama Five, which aired in 2016. He also created the French-British crime drama TV series titled Safe, which ran in 2018. His novel The Stranger, published in 2015, has been made into a Netflix TV series in 2019 with the actor Richard Armitage starring in main role.
With over 30 books under his name and with more than 70 million books in print so far, Harlan Coben is truly a king of suspense. If you’re looking to start reading some of the Harlan Coben books, the Myron Bolitar series is probably the best place to start, unless you prefer psychological thrillers. In that case, start with any of his standalone novels.
Harlan Coben Awards
For his books, Harlan Coben received several awards over the years and was nominated for several ones as well.
- 1996 – Anthony Award in the category “Best Paperback Original” for Deal Breaker, and was nominated for an Edgar Award in the same category
- 1997 – Shamus Award and the Edgar Award for “Best Paperback Original” for Fade Away, and was nominated for the Anthony Award and the Barry Award in the same category, as well as for a Dilys Award
- 1998 – Barry Award for Back Spin, and was nominated for the Dilys Award and the Shamus Award
- 2002 – nominated for the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, the Edgar Award and the Barry Award for Tell No One
- 2010 – RBA Prize for Crime Writing (worth €125,000) for Life Wire
Praise for Harlan Coben
Coben is the modern master of the hook-and-twist. (Dan Brown)
I read [Harlan Coben’s] new book RUN AWAY straight through without moving. It’s RIVETING. (Ann Patchett)
This crackling spellbinder will…keep you mesmerized from beginning…to head-spinning, unexpected end. (Forbes on No Second Chance)
Coben proves his nimble, knowing grasp of plot and pace, juggling as many as seven plotlines while still imparting a healthy backstory to cameo characters. You’ll read it in a day, maybe two; it’s fresh fast food in a cup-of-ramen world. (Entertainment Weekly on Just One Look)
What Coben does best is take readers into his characters’ hearts and minds. His protagonists are just common folks, minding their own business when—bam!—they are drawn into a terrifying world of sordid crimes and mayhem. (USA Today)
Brilliant . . . perfect for fans of Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, and everyone else. (Nancy Pickard on Fade Away)
A mystery thriller with all the right stuff, intrigue, suspense, romance and humor…Coben keeps you in suspense from beginning to end. (The Newark Tribune on Deal Breaker)
Superb writing…Harlan Coben serves up an ace with Drop Shot (John Lutz)
Myron Bolitar is one of the most engaging heroes in mystery fiction. One False Move is a blast from start to finish. (Dennis Lehane)
- Harlan Coben official website
- Author interview on the Five TV show
- Netflix orders The Stranger TV show