Missing You’s Harlan Coben reveals one thing he will NEVER do for future Netflix TV series

Virgin Radio

6 Jun 2024, 14:57

Harlan Coben and Ryan Tubridy in the Virgin Radio studio

Credit: Virgin Radio

Fool Me Once and Missing You author Harlan Coben has revealed the one thing will never do in his Netflix partnership.

Chatting with Ryan Tubridy on his Virgin Radio mid-mornings show about his latest thriller novel, Think Twice, Coben also opened up about his work with Netflix on dramas such as Fool Me Once and Missing You.

When asked if the success of his novel’s Netflix adaptations might change how he writes his books, the author had a clear answer. “When I write a novel, it’s completely different [to writing for TV.]



Celebrity Race Across the World’s rumoured line-up: who will take on the epic challenge?

What’s coming to Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video and Paramount+ in June 2024

The Night Manager series 2 - everything we know so far


“The worst thing a novelist - if any novelist is out there listening - can do is to write a book thinking ‘Ooh this is going to make a really good TV show’. It’s the death of a novel. It’s just not the same!”

Therefore, despite how closely he’s working with Netflix, the mystery writer aims never to write any of his future novels with a TV adaptation already in mind.

In Coben’s latest novel Think Twice, sports agent Myron Bolitar is left confused when the FBI come looking for info about his dead colleague Greg Downing after his DNA has turned up at the scene of a high profile double-murder. Soon enough, Myron and his close friend Win find themselves asking the question: can a man who’s already dead be wanted for murder?

Speaking with Ryan, Coben went on to explain how the difference between writing for TV and writing for readers means that when he does adapt his books for television: “I’m not slavishly devoted to this text. I change everything!... TV is one medium and books are another medium.

“James Cain - the guy who wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity - was once asked: ‘Don’t you hate what Hollywood has done with your books?’ and he [said]: ‘They’ve done nothing to my books. They’re right there on the shelf,’” the writer reflected.

But while Coben is unafraid to change up a lot of things when adapting his books into TV shows, something they always have in common is his dedication to telling thriller stories which also don’t shy away from having heart.

“I don’t think [just tension] is enough anymore,” the author told listeners. “If you took Think Twice to bed and said ‘Wow, it’s so fast paced, I ripped through it.’ It’s sort of not enough for me. I need you to have really felt for Myron and Win… I don’t want just to fool you, I want it to genuinely move you.”

However, Coben did tease that he also hopes Think Twice will keep people fooled. “People pride themselves [in guessing the ending]. You’re out there - you will not guess the ending of Think Twice!” he teased.

Think Twice by Harlan Coben is out now.

Listen to The Ryan Tubridy Show on Virgin Radio UK, weekdays from 10am-1pm.