Fool Me Once: cast, plot and all about the latest Harlan Coben thriller

Fool Me Once on Netflix stars Michelle Keegan as a grieving wife with a puzzling mystery to solve.
Fool Me Once on Netflix stars Michelle Keegan as a grieving wife with a puzzling mystery to solve. (Image credit: Netflix)

Fool Me Once follows previous adaptations of Harlan Coben’s gripping novels Stay Close, The Stranger and Safe, all of which have been huge hits as Netflix thrillers. 

Richard Armitage, who starred in The Stranger and Stay Close, has a role in Fool Me Once too, this time playing Joe Burkett, a husband who comes back from the dead. 

Former Coronation Street and Our Girl star Michelle Keegan heads up the cast, however, playing Joe’s wife Maya Stern, who's struggled to move on since his murder. But her life changes dramatically when it turns out that Joe might not be dead after all. Fool Me Once also stars BAFTA-winners Adeel Akhtar and Joanna Lumley.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to once again be collaborating with my uber-talented partners Danny (writer Danny Brocklehurst), Nicola (executive producer Nicola Shindler) and Richard (executive producer Richard Fee),” says Harlan Coben, who is also an executive producer on the series. 

Fool Me Once will be our fourth Netflix series together, and man, it never gets old! Fool Me Once is a pulse-pounder — a shocking story of how secrets and deceit have the power to bring people together while simultaneously tearing them apart. I can’t wait to see how this dream cast brings these characters to life.” 

We can’t wait either, so here’s everything you need to know about Fool Me Once on Netflix…

Fool Me Once release date

Filming on Fool Me Once has now started in Manchester and the North-West of England but there’s no release date yet. The eight-part series will air on Netflix, so keep checking this page and we’ll update it when a confirmed date is released.

Fool Me Once plot

In Fool Me Once, Maya Stern (Michelle Keegan) is a widow trying to come to terms with the brutal murder of her husband, Joe (Richard Armitage). She installs a nanny-cam to keep an eye on her young daughter but is shocked when she sees a man she recognizes in her house — the husband she thought was dead. 

Detective sergeant Sami Kierce (Adeel Akhtar) is leading the investigation into Joe’s death but has secrets of his own, while Maya’s niece and nephew are trying to uncover the truth about their mother’s murder several months earlier. As we learn whether the two cases are connected, the characters embark on a thrilling hunt for the truth. 

Fool Me Once cast — Michelle Keegan as Maya Stern

Michelle Keegan plays grieving wife Maya in Fool Me Once. She's previously played Tina McIntyre in Coronation Street before going on to star as Sergeant Georgie Lane in Our Girl. She’s also had roles in Ordinary Lies, Plebs, Tina and Bobby and Brassic.

Michelle Keegan as Georgie Lane in Our Girl.

Michelle Keegan as Georgie Lane in Our Girl. (Image credit: BBC)

Richard Armitage as Joe Burkett

Richard starred in the previous Harlan Coben adaptations Stay Close and The Stranger. He played Lucas North in the BBC One series Spooks and has starred in The Hobbit movies, Strike Back, Robin Hood, Hannibal and Berlin Station. He’s also starred in Ocean’s Eight, Brain on Fire, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Captain America: The First Avenger

'Stay Close' on Netflix stars Richard Armitage.

Richard Armitage in the previous Harlan Coben Netflix drama Stay Close. (Image credit: Netflix)

Adeel Akhtar as DS Sami Kierce

Adeel Akhatr plays a cop with secrets of his own. He won a BAFTA for the drama Murdered By My Father and has also starred in Les Miserables, Four Lions, Enola Holmes, Killing Eve and Ali and Ava. He played Mohammed in Victoria & Abdul and had roles in Unforgotten, The Nest, The Night Manager and Sherwood. 

Adeel Akhtar as Inspector Lestrade.

Adeel Akhtar as Inspector Lestrade in Netflix movie Enola Holmes. (Image credit: Netflix)

Joanna Lumley as Judith Burkett 

Screen icon Joanna Lumley is playing Judith, Joe’s overprotective mother. She’s best known for her turn as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous but has numerous roles to her name, including Felicity in the series Motherland. Joanna has starred in Finding Alice, Coronation Street, The New Avengers, Jam & Jerusalem, Mistresses and The Sandman. 


Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone (on right) in Absolutely Fabulous with Jennifer Saunders. (Image credit: BBC / AA archive / Alamy)

Who else is starring in Fool Me Once?

Other stars of Fool Me Once include former Hollyoaks and Peaky Blinders actor Emmett J Scanlan who's playing Shane Tessier and Dino Fetscher (Years and Years) is Marty McGregor. Marcus Garvey, Hattie Morahan, James Northcote, Dänya Griver, Daniel Burt, Adelle Leonce, Natalia Kostrzewa, and Laura Gibbons flesh out the cast. 

Is there a trailer for Fool Me Once?

There's no trailer for Fool Me Once available just yet but when Netflix releases one, we’ll post it on this page.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.