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:
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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).
- I liked the premise that, inside the gates, everybody seemed to have a secret, which rings true in many real life tight-knit communities.
- 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.
- 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!).
- Could Doctor Tom Delaney really go AWOL as much as he did being a surgeon?
- 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.
- The ending was a surprise but that’s the kind of twist Coben is famous for. (watch it and you’ll understand why!).
- 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?