Safe by Harlan Coben – My Review

It was about two years ago when I read my first Harlan Coben book; over the last 12 months he had become one of my favourite writers, and his style of writing is having a big impact on my own writing.

I love the way in which he has the ability to produce page turners, feeding readers clues in carefully selected stages, before the mystery/motive/suspect is, in the majority of cases, neatly tied up in the last few chapters.  I have never been able to completely get it right when it comes down to working out who the culprit is, or the motive behind the mystery, which is a refreshing change to the books (and shows) that make it far too easy for me.  That’s the kind of writer I inspire to be.

Coben’s first foray into TV was the British drama, The Five; it was  a big hit for me.  That’s why I was looking forward to seeing what his second TV masterpiece, Safe starring Dexter’s Michael C Hall, had to offer.

Having binge-watched the eight episodes – thanks Netflix! – I can honestly say it was like reading one of Coben’s books; I couldn’t wait to get to the last few episodes to find out the truth.  But I must admit I did have a few issues with the show.

So here’s a few of my thoughts on Harlan Coben’s Safe:

  1. Michael C Hall was a good casting for the widowed surgeon Tom Delaney, but I couldn’t truly get past his portrayal of Dexter.  (Sorry Michael, you will always be Dexter Morgan to me!)
  2. I wasn’t convinced with Michael’s British accent and at times it came across as slightly forced and unnatural, which was highlighted more with a mostly British cast.  He could have easily kept his American accent, just like Audrey Fleurot, with her French accent.
  3. The houses were amazing albeit a tad too clean and tidy, with the Delaney’s kitchen my favourite (but it did look a bit familiar).
  4. I liked the premise that, inside the gates, everybody seemed to have a secret, which rings true in many real life tight-knit communities.
  5.  The flashbacks throughout the episodes worked well offering the viewers vital clues without having to waste valuable viewing time – a bit like a Harlan Coben book.
  6. I did, however, note a few questionable things, and will need to watch the episodes again just to make sure of a couple of things.  I see that one of the them has already been picked up by another eagle eyed viewer.  (sorry for a being so cryptic but no spoilers!).
  7. Could Doctor Tom Delaney really go AWOL as much as he did being a surgeon?
  8. Pete Mayfield (Marc Warren) and Emma Castle (Hannah Arterton) were great supporting characters, but the long-lost father/daughter subplot was done and dusted in a split second, despite the initial build-up.
  9. The ending was a surprise but that’s the kind of twist Coben is famous for. (watch it and you’ll understand why!).
  10. Did I enjoy it?  It’s not on the same level as Coben’s, The Five, but it was a good watch.

So will you be heading over to Netflix to catch this show?