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Fool Me Once
Cover of Fool Me Once
Fool Me Once
A widowed veteran gets the shock of her life in this impossible-to-put-down thriller from #1 New York Times bestseller Harlan Coben.
In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben's page-turning thrillers, filled with his trademark edge-of-your-seat suspense and gut-wrenching emotion. In Fool Me Once, Coben once again outdoes himself...

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya's husband, Joe—who was brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.
A widowed veteran gets the shock of her life in this impossible-to-put-down thriller from #1 New York Times bestseller Harlan Coben.
In the course of eight consecutive #1 New York Times bestsellers, millions of readers have discovered Harlan Coben's page-turning thrillers, filled with his trademark edge-of-your-seat suspense and gut-wrenching emotion. In Fool Me Once, Coben once again outdoes himself...

Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya's husband, Joe—who was brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.
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  • From the book Maya always woke up at exactly 4:58 a.m. Some claimed that she had one of those internal alarm clocks, but if she did, it could only be set for 4:58 a.m. and it couldn't be turned off, even nights she stayed up late and craved a few extra minutes of sleep, and if she tried to "set" the internal alarm even a few minutes earlier or later, it switched back to the default setting of 4:58 a.m.

    This has started during basic training. Her drill sergeant had a wake-up time of five a.m., and while most of her fellow recruits would groan or struggle, Maya had already been awake a full two minutes and was ready for the drill sergeant's imminent and rarely pleasant arrival.

    Once Maya had fallen asleep (read: passed out) last night, she had slept soundly. Oddly enough, whatever demons possessed her, they rarely came out in her sleep—no nightmares, no twisting of the sheets, no waking up in a cold sweat. Maya never remembered her dreams, which could mean that she slept peacefully or that whatever happened in those dreams, her subconscious was merciful enough to let her forget them.

    She grabbed her hair band from the night table and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. Joe had liked the ponytail. "I love your bone structure," he would say. "I want to see as much of your face as possible." He also liked to play with the ponytail and even, on some occasions, gently pull it, but that was another matter altogether.

    Her face flushed at the memory.

    Maya checked her phone for messages. Nothing important. She swung her legs out of bed and padded down the hallway. Lily was still sleeping. No surprise there. In the genetic internal alarm department, Lily was more like her father: Sleep until you absolutely have to rise.

    It was still dark outside. The kitchen still smelled of baking, obviously the handiwork of Isabella. Maya didn't cook, bake, or otherwise engage in culinary activities unless forced to. Many of her friends were big-time into cooking, which Maya found amusing, since for generations and indeed throughout pretty much the entire existence of mankind, cooking was considered a tedious and grueling chore one tried to avoid. In history books, you rarely read about monarchs or lords or anyone the slightest bit elite enjoying spending time in the kitchen. Eating? Sure. Fine dining and wine? Of course. But preparing the meals? That was a menial task given to lowly servants.

    Maya debated scrambling herself some eggs with a side of bacon, but the act of merely pouring milk atop cold cereal called out to her. She sat at the table and tried not think about the reading of Joe's will today. She didn't think that there would be any surprises. Maya had signed a prenup (Joe: "It's a family thing—if any of us Burketts don't sign, we get disinherited."), and once Lily was born, Joe had set it up so that in the event of his death, all his holdings would go into a trust for their daughter. Maya was happy enough with that.

    There was no cold cereal in the cabinet. Dang. Isabella had been complaining about the sugar content in them, but had she gone so far as to toss them? Maya headed back to the fridge and then stopped.

    Isabella.

    The nanny cam.

    She had woken up thinking about it, which was odd. Sure, she checked it most days, but not all. It never felt urgent to her. Nothing even the slightest bit questionable ever occurred. Maya normally kept the fast-forward button pressed down. Isabella was always sunny and happy, which was a bit troubling because that wasn't Isabella's default state. She did light up around Lily, but Isabella had a face like a totem pole. She wasn't big on smiling.

    Yet she always...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2016
    In his new thriller, a seemingly unsolvable puzzle isn’t so unsolvable. Two weeks after witnessing her husband, Joe, murdered in Central Park, retired special-ops Army Captain Maya Stern consults her newly installed nanny cam and sees Joe enter their living room with their two-year-old daughter. Is it possible Joe survived? Is she losing her mind? Is someone trying to fool her? (The title gives that last one away.) The question becomes, who’s trying to fool her, and why? Reader LaVoy does a masterly job of ginning up genuine suspense and adding much-needed heft to characters so gossamer they threaten to blow off the page. The author did make his protagonist, Maya, fully dimensional, but it’s LaVoy’s impassioned enactment of her trials and tribulations that makes the listener care what happens to her. A Dutton hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 1, 2016
    Capt. Maya Stern Burkett, the heroine of this stellar standalone from Edgar-winner Coben (The Stranger), has suffered more than her fair share of tragedy. Her career as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot came to an end after whistle-blower Corey Rudzinski exposed the civilian deaths caused by her actions in Iraq. Even worse, her husband, Joe Burkett, is shot to death in front of her in Manhattan’s Central Park, though Maya is able to give a good description of the masked killers to an NYPD homicide detective. Maya is already dealing with the nightmares from her combat experiences and the murder of her sister, Claire, four months earlier while Maya was stationed in Kuwait. Then, weeks after Joe’s funeral, a recently installed nanny cam shows her two-year-old daughter, Lily, crawling onto Joe’s lap. Other shocks follow. Implausible links arise between Joe’s death and Claire’s, and she must face the possibility of more revelations from Rudzinski. Coben is like a skilled magician saving the best, most stunning trick for the very end. Five-city author tour. Agent: Lisa Erbach Vance, Aaron Priest Literary Agency

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 1, 2016
    Coben (The Stranger, 2015, etc.) hits the bull's eye again with this taut tale of a disgraced combat veteran whose homefront life is turned upside down by an image captured by her nanny cam. Recent widows can't be too careful, and the day she buries the husband who was shot by a pair of muggers in Central Park, Maya Burkett installs a concealed camera in her home to keep an eye on Lily, her 2-year-old daughter, and her nanny, Isabella Mendez, while she's out at her job as a flight instructor. She's shocked beyond belief when she checks the footage and sees images of her murdered husband returned from the grave to her den. Confronted with the video, Isabella claims she doesn't see anything that looks like Joe Burkett, then blasts Maya with pepper spray and takes off with the memory card. Should Maya go to the police? They were no help when her sister, Claire, was killed in a home invasion while she was deployed in the Middle East, and she doesn't trust Roger Kierce, the NYPD homicide detective heading the investigation of Joe's murder. Besides, Maya's already juggling a heavy load of baggage. Whistle-blower Corey Rudzinski ended her military career when he posted footage of her ordering a defensive airstrike that killed five civilians, and she's just waiting for him to release the audio feed that would damage her reputation even more. So after Kierce drops a bombshell--the same gun was used to shoot both Joe and Claire--Maya launches her own investigation, little knowing that it will link both murders to the death more than 10 years ago of Joe's brother Andrew and the secrets the wealthy and powerful Burkett family has been hiding ever since. Once again, Coben marries his two greatest strengths--masterfully paced plotting that leads to a climactic string of fireworks and the ability to root all the revelations in deeply felt emotions--in a tale guaranteed to fool even the craftiest readers a lot more than once.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 2015
    You would think that former special ops pilot Maya would be happy to see husband Joe on the nanny cam playing with their two-year-old daughter, but she's shocked; Joe was murdered two weeks previously. Coben is an Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony award winner with eight consecutive No. 1 "New York Times" best sellers to his credit.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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