HARLAN COBEN’S SHELTER on Prime Video is a new thriller, mystery, and crime series. The series has 8 episodes, and it’s extremely binge-worthy. There’s a YA core story, but also key adult characters. Read our full Harlan Coben’s Shelter series review here!
HARLAN COBEN’S SHELTER is a new Prime Video series based on the author’s YA [Young Adult] book series. The genres are crime, drama, mystery, and thriller. In other words, exactly what you would expect from Harlan Coben.
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While Harlan Coben’s stories don’t normally feature teenage characters as main characters, they have always been big parts of his stories. In this new series, the teenagers make up the core cast while several adult characters are also a huge part of the story. A few things have been changed from the original story, but that’s to be expected.
Continue reading our Harlan Coben’s Shelter season 1 review below. The first three episodes are on Prime Video from August 18, 2023.
The dark family secrets
In Harlan Coben’s Shelter, we follow the story of Mickey Bolitar. He is not in the best place after the sudden death of his father, which happens during the opening scenes and is quite brutal. His mother is still alive, but very depressed and hospitalized. This leads Mickey to live in his grandparents’ house with his aunt (his father’s sister).
His aunt has moved back to her childhood city to help take care of her nephew and we do also get her story. One I enjoyed a lot as she’s one tough cookie. Also, she holds the key to many stories about Mickey’s dad. Once the two settle more into this new life together, there are sweet moments where they reminisce about the family member they both lost.
However, this isn’t “just” a drama about a teenage boy thrust into a new life in Kasselton, New Jersey.
Oh no, there’s crime and mystery from the first day in High School. Mickey meets another new student, Ashley Kent, who disappears. Very quickly he finds himself tangled up in her mysterious disappearance. One that leads to some very brutal types. The kind with face tattoos and those quick to draw a gun out and pull the trigger.
Fortunately, Mickey is also quick to make friends. There’s the inventive and charming Spoon and the secretive and brilliant Ema. Together, they go beyond the sleepy facade of Kasselton and find a dark underground. One that just might hold the answers to decades of disappearances, deaths, and legends.
And maybe even a few secrets from his own complex family history. It gets dark, but the truth needs to come out.
A truly wonderful cast
As with any story from Harlan Coben, you should expect lots of twists and turns. Also, quite a few cliffhangers, which will make you want to keep watching. A very important ingredient when dealing with all these plot twists and wild escalations and developments is having a strong cast.
It does take quite a lot to make these stories believable, and fortunately, the cast of Harlan Coben’s Shelter is quite the powerhouse.
The series stars Jaden Michael (Vampires vs. the Bronx) as Mickey Bolitar with Constance Zimmer as his aunt Shira Bolitar. As his friends, there’s the unbelievably charming Adrian Greensmith as Arthur “Spoon” Spindell. His character, in particular, could’ve been extremely annoying, but he pulls it off.
Also, as his other key friend and fellow teen sleuth, we have Abby Corrigan (season 2 of Castle Rock) who breathes wonderful life into the mysterious Ema Winslow. As the strange “Bat Lady”, we see Tovah Feldshuh, who is always amazing. In other key roles, we also see Missi Pyle, Sage Linder, Brian Altemus, and many others.
Watch Harlan Coben’s Shelter on Prime Video now!
The creators of Harlan Coben’s Shelter are Charlotte Coben and Harlan Coben. Harlan Coben is also a showrunner and executive producer along with Allen MacDonald. They are joined by executive producers Edward Ornelas and Erik Barmack. Charlotte Coben also serves as a producer with Patricia Cardoso as director and executive producer.
This marks Harlan Coben’s first collaboration with Prime Video. He has already worked with Netflix several times and his daughter, Charlotte Coben, has also worked on a few series already. Both The Stranger and Stay Close. Of the two, I definitely preferred the first, but hey, to each their own.
We’ve watched the first five episodes but I cannot wait to watch the final three when they are released. The final episode of season 1 will be released on September 22, 2023.
Harlan Coben’s Shelter premieres on Prime Video with its first three episodes on August 18, 2023.
Creator: Harlan Coben
Producer: Charlotte Coben
Directors: Edward Ornelas, Christina Choe, Deborah Kampmeier, Patricia Cardoso
Cast: Jaden Michael, Constance Zimmer, Abby Corrigan
Harlan Coben’s Shelter follows the story of Mickey Bolitar after the sudden death of his father leads him to start a new life in Kasselton, New Jersey. Mickey quickly finds himself tangled in the mysterious disappearance of a new student at his school, Ashley Kent, which leads to uncovering unimaginable secrets within their quiet suburban community. With the help of his friends—the inventive Spoon and the secretive Ema—Mickey pulls back the sleepy facade of Kasselton to reveal a dark underground that may hold the answers to decades of disappearances, deaths, and legends … and perhaps even his own complex family history.