'Stay Close' on Netflix: release date, cast, plot, first look and everything else on the latest Harlan Coben adaptation

'Stay Close' on Netflix sees Richard Armitage among the thriller's top stars.
'Stay Close' on Netflix sees Richard Armitage among the thriller's top stars. (Image credit: Netflix)

With its stellar cast, Stay Close is the latest thriller by prolific crime author Harlan Coben to be adapted by Netflix. And it's another of his twisty-turny crime dramas that will keep you guessing until the very end.

After the success of Harlan Coben's Netflix thriller The Stranger last year and previous adaptation Safe with Michael C. Hall, it's fair to say there’s just a little excitement surrounding Stay Close which is rumoured to be launching at the end of 2021. 

With an incredible line-up including Richard Armitage, Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt and Sarah Parish, the eight-part thriller poses the question of how well you ever really know someone. Following the lives of three people who struggle to contain their dark secrets, viewers will see how some shocking news can so easily blow their lives apart. 

"I'm so happy and excited to Stay Close (pun intended) with creators Danny Brocklehurst, Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee — the same team behind The Stranger, Safe and The Five," says top thriller author Harlan Coben. "And talk about a dream-come-true cast — Cush Jumbo, an incendiary and awesome talent; Jimmy Nesbitt, a legendary actor I always wanted to collaborate with; and wow, Richard Armitage back again after starring in The Stranger. From what I’ve seen Stay Close will be our most gripping and binge-able series yet."

One of the show's leading actors, Richard Armitage, recently revealed on Instagram: 'I’m wrapped on Stay Close. What a ride, we got their by the skin of the teeth 😷. Thank you to our crew for their amazing work. I’ll miss you. Manchester you’re the best 🐝'

'Stay Close' release date 

Stay Close arrives on Netflix on New Year's Eve 2021, this date covers the US and worldwide. There are eight episodes and each is around 45 minutes long. Filming wrapped on Stay Close back in July.

Is there a trailer for 'Stay Close'? 

An official trailer for Stay Close has now been released by Netflix. Take a look below for a first look at what happens in the Harlan Coben thriller...

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What's the plot of 'Stay Close' on Netflix?

Stay Close intertwines the lives of working mum Megan (Cush Jumbo), failed documentary photographer Ray (Richard Armitage) and Jack Broome (James Nesbitt) a detective haunted by a missing person’s case. Each of them is battling to conceal their own long-buried secrets but when Megan’s old friend Lorraine (Sarah Parrish) shares some shocking news it throws their lives into disarray and their demons return to haunt them. As they all confront the reality of the suburban dream, they soon realise that the line between respectability and the truth is incredibly thin. 

The 'Stay Close' poster.

The 'Stay Close' poster. (Image credit: Netflix)

'Stay Close' cast — Cush Jumbo on playing Megan 

Cush Jumbo leads the cast as Megan, a working mother of three who has a secret past. "Megan is living what, on the outside, looks like quite a content life in the beautiful suburbs, with a husband, children, the family car and tennis lessons,’ says Cush. "It all looks very lovely, but it starts to become clear that there are some fractures beneath that when somebody from her past shows up - and it’s a past that her partner knows nothing about?

‘My biggest challenge during filming was shooting on Blackpool Pier in the rain during a storm! It was set in the year 2000, when fringes were long and hair was poker-straight and everyone wore very thick lip gloss. Trying to do a scene when your hair is stuck to your lipgloss, and the funfair’s going, and the sea is coming over the edge, and Richard and I are trying to hang on to our hair and our costumes - that was a big challenge!?"

Previously, Cush played Lois Habiba in the series Torchwood in 2009 before playing Damaris Clarke in Getting On (2010-2012). She also appeared in Vera but is perhaps best known for playing Lucca Quinn in The Good Wife and later The Good Fight. She also stars in the BritBox drama The Beast Must Die, which sees her star alongside Jared Harris to play a bereaved mother looking to find and kill the man who killed her son in a hit-and-run. 

Cush Jumbo in 'Stay Close'.

Cush Jumbo as Megan in 'Stay Close'. (Image credit: Netflix)

Cush Jumbo and Jared Harris in The Beast Must Die.

'Stay Close' star Cush Jumbo recently starred with Jared Harris in the BritBox mystery series 'The Beast Must Die'. (Image credit: BritBox)

'Stay Close' cast — Richard Armitage on playing photographer Ray

In Stay Close, Richard Armitage plays Ray (see main picture above), a talented photographer whose career has nosedived and who now finds himself earning a living as part of the Paparazzi. Richard also starred in the Harlan Coben adaptation The Stranger, so was thrilled to be on board with another. 

"I couldn't wait to return to Manchester to work with Nicola Shindler, Danny Brocklehurst, Harlan and the team again," Richard said. "I love Harlan’s style and this plot and character will be brilliantly challenging. At a time when we have remained apart, Stay Close promises to break all the rules.

"The prospect of coming back to work with these guys again got me through lockdown! One thing they were very nervous about was asking me to come back and play another character - obviously it’s a different character, but it needs to look and feel different, so that was the main thrust of it. But it was a no-brainer really - I love Harlan, I love his enthusiasm, he’s a brilliant man."

Richard headed up BBC1 spy series Spooks between 2002 to 2010, playing Lucas North. He went on to play Guy of Gisborne in the BBC1 mini series Robin Hood from 2006 to 2009. He starred as John Porter in Sky's 2010 series Strike Back and also appears in The Hobbit movies.

Photographer Ray (Richard Armitage) in 'Stay Close'.

Photographer Ray (Richard Armitage) in 'Stay Close'. (Image credit: Netflix)

Stay Close star Richard Armitage in The Stranger.

'Stay Close' star Richard Armitage in Netflix series The Stranger also by Harlan Coben. (Image credit: Netflix)

'Stay Close' cast — James Nesbitt on playing Jack Broome

James Nesbitt plays Jack Broome, a detective who can’t let go of a case that’s haunted him for years. "I’m thrilled to be part of such a great production. The scripts drew me in from the get-go," he says. 

"I like that it’s a rare story - that a former couple can work together without having been able to live together,’ says Nesbitt. ‘What’s great about their relationship is that he is a balance for her in many ways, and I think they’re even better now when they’re apart - although I do think you can see, at times, wee bits of regret in both of them."

James Nesbitt won our hearts playing Adam in the long-running series Cold Feet. He also played Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the 2007 series Jekyll and took on the titular character Tommy Murphy in Murphy’s Law. He’s also starred in dramas such as Lucky Man, Line of Duty, The Missing and Bloodlands

James Nesbitt as Jack Broome in 'Stay Close'.

James Nesbitt as Jack Broome in 'Stay Close'. (Image credit: Netflix)

Stay Close star James Nesbitt in recent BBC1 drama Bloodlands.

'Stay Close' star James Nesbitt in recent BBC1 drama Bloodlands. (Image credit: BBC1)

'Stay Close' cast — who else is starring

Sarah Parish (The Pillars of the Earth, Peak Practice) plays Megan's old friend Lorraine who throws up a few surprises. Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard plays Harry, a small time lawyer, while Small Axe star Daniel Francis is Megan’s partner Dave. Poppy Gilbert (Call The Midwife) also appears as sweet Barbie, who's seemingly in the perfect relationship while comedian Eddie Izzard plays a local lawyer.

Also look out for former EastEnders star Jo Joyner as Erin Cartwright, a quick witted, highly observant Police Detective and Broome’s ex-wife. Andi Osho (Line of Duty) is Simona, a retired ex-army sergeant who’s now pregnant with her first child, Bethany Antonia (Get Even) plays Megan and Dave’s eldest daughter Kayleigh Shaw , Rachel Andrews (Butcher Boy) is Bea, Kayleigh’s best friend. They are each other’s greatest ally, co-conspirator and support mechanism.

In 'Stay Close' Eddie Izzard plays a shady-looking lawyer.

In 'Stay Close' Eddie Izzard plays a shady-looking lawyer. (Image credit: Netflix)

Sarah Parish plays Lorraine, a friend of Megan's, in 'Stay Close'.

Sarah Parish plays Lorraine, who is a friend of Megan in 'Stay Close'. (Image credit: Netflix)

Jo Joyner in 'Stay Close'.

Jo Joyner as detective Erin Cartwright in 'Stay Close'. (Image credit: Netflix)

Other Harlan Coben adaptations on Netflix

Here are previous Harlan Coben thrillers you can enjoy on Netflix before Stay Close arrives...

The Stranger 
Richard Armitage played Adam Price, who was thoroughly enjoying suburban life until a stranger revealed a huge secret about his wife. As Adam searched for answers he became embroiled in a tangled web of deceit. The Stranger also starred Jennifer Saunders and Siobhan Finneran

Although the series Safe wasn’t based on one of Harlen Coben’s books he did write it for Netflix. It featured Dexter star Michael C. Hall as Tom Delaney, a widower whose teenage daughter went missing after a party in their exclusive gated community. As Tom desperately searched for his child he faced threats from both inside and outside his own neighbourhood. Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, Cuffs) also starred alonsgide Freddie Thorp of Fate: The Winx Saga fame.

The Five 
Harlan Coben and Danny Brocklehurst also teamed up to write The Five, which was first shown on Sky in the UK. It told the story of childhood friends Mark, Danny, Slade and Pru who were together when Mark’s younger brother disappeared 20 years earlier. When new DNA evidence was found, the friends had to face the truth about what happened that fateful day. The series starred Tom Cullen, Lee Ingleby, Sarah Solemani and O.T. Fagbenle. 

The Innocent
In Spanish original The Innocent, Mario Casas plays Mateo, a man who served time in prison for murder after trying to break up a fight. Nine years later he has just learned that his wife Olivia (Aura Garrido) is pregnant but then takes a shocking call from her phone while she’s on a business trip. And Mateo also faces questions over his innocence from a detective investigating a suicide. Soon it’s a race against time to discover the truth.

More about 'Stay Close' author Harlen Coben

Prolific author Harlen Coben has written 31 novels to date, including the much-loved Myron Bolitar series about a former basketball player turned sports agent. He has more than 75 million books in print worldwide, including bestsellers Fool Me Once and Tell No One. Harlen has signed a five-year deal with Netflix to turn 14 of his books into shows so you can expect more of his thrilling dramas soon. 

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 Whattowatch.com. 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.