Harlan Coben

Harlan_Coben. Photograph by: Claudio Marinesco
Penelope H. Fritz

Harlan Coben is an American author known for his mystery novels and thrillers. His books often involve complex plots with unresolved or misinterpreted events from the past, murders, and fatal accidents, and are known for their numerous twists. Coben has written two series set in and around New York and New Jersey, featuring the same main character. Some characters appear in both series.

Coben is a recipient of prestigious awards such as the Edgar Award, Shamus Award, and Anthony Award, making him the first author to win all three. His books have been translated into 43 languages and have sold over 60 million copies.

Born into a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, Coben grew up in Livingston and graduated from Livingston High School. He was childhood friends with Chris Christie, who would later become the governor of New Jersey. Coben pursued a degree in political science at Amherst College, where he was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, along with Dan Brown. It was during his senior year in college that Coben realized his passion for writing.

After graduating in 1984, Coben worked in the travel industry for his grandfather’s company. It was during this time that he wrote his first book, a romantic suspense thriller called Play Dead. The book was accepted for publication when Coben was 26 and was released in 1990. He followed it up with Miracle Cure in 1991. Coben then began writing a series of thrillers featuring Myron Bolitar, a former basketball player turned sports agent who often finds himself investigating murders involving his clients.

In 2001, Coben published Tell No One, his first stand-alone thriller since starting the Myron Bolitar series in 1995. The book was adapted into a French-language film that was released in 2006. Coben went on to write nine more stand-alone novels. His book Hold Tight, published in 2008, debuted at number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

In 2003, Coben published a short story titled “The Key to My Father” about his father, who passed away from a heart attack at the age of 59 in 1988. The story was featured in The New York Times on Father’s Day, June 15, 2003. In addition to The New York Times, Coben’s essays and columns have been published in Parade Magazine and Bloomberg Views.

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Penelope H. Fritz is a highly skilled and professional writer, with an innate talent for capturing the essence of individuals through her profiles and biographies. Her words are both eloquent and insightful, painting a vivid picture of her subjects and leaving readers enthralled.
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