Coben’s book, published in 2016 by Dutton, tells the story of Maya, a widowed veteran whose life is thrown into disarray after she sees nanny cam footage of her husband—who was slain two weeks earlier—playing with their 2-year-old child. A critic for Kirkus praised the novel as “a tale guaranteed to fool even the craftiest readers a lot more than once.”
The Netflix series based on the book premiered on Jan. 1; it stars Michelle Keegan (Coronation Street) as Maya and Richard Armitage (Hannibal) as Joe. Other cast members include Adeel Akhtar (Sherwood), Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous), and Emmett J. Scanlan (The Fall).
Coben, an executive producer on the series, discussed the origin of the novel, saying, “All my friends were starting to get into having nanny cams in the house, so I was trying to think of what would be something that would really shock the heck out of you.”
Coben also talked about the decision to adapt the novel as a series rather than a film.
“One of the problems sometimes is you try to condense this really twisty story—every episode ends in a huge twist—into an hour and a half or two hours,” he said. “Sometimes things get lost. So in this case we were able to expand a little bit.”
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.