Fool Me Once review: Tangled mystery fails to impress

Based on a book by Harlan Coben, Fool Me Once revolves around Maya’s efforts to solve the mystery of her husband and sister’s deaths. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


Fool Me Once follows Maya, a disgraced army captain who lost her job after the fact that she killed civilians during a mission was made public by a whistleblower.

Additionally, both Maya’s sister, Claire, and husband, Joe, were recently killed. Joe and Claire worked together, and the police have not been able to find their murderers.

A few days after Joe’s death, Maya sees Joe playing with their daughter, Lily, on a nanny cam that Maya had hidden in Lily’s room.

When Maya questions the nanny about it, the nanny, a loyal employee of Joe’s family, attacks her with pepper spray and escapes with the footage.

No one believes Maya when she says she saw Joe. In fact, her mother-in-law, Judith Burkett, thinks that Maya needs psychiatric help.

Maya resolves to investigate on her own. As she gets closer to the truth, the secrets of Claire’s past and Joe’s powerful family are revealed.


As the protagonist, Michelle Keegan had to carry the show, and she did not disappoint. Maya’s actions remain shrouded in mystery, thanks to Keegan’s performance.

Adeel Akhtar manages to portray Sami Kierce as a cynical detective who is struggling with his own demons. However, that does not keep him from being witty from time to time.

Joanna Lumley is the snotty mother-in-law who looks down her nose at Maya, her working-class daughter-in-law. Lumley makes the audience doubt her without giving away much.

Richard Armitage plays Joe, but as the show starts with his funeral, he only gets limited screen time. Armitage, as well as the rest of the cast, give adequate performances.


From the very beginning, the show looks at every character through the lens of suspicion. It successfully creates an atmosphere that makes it hard for the audience to trust anyone.

It is not just the characters that are mistrustful, but the places they inhabit also evoke a sense of distrust. For instance, Maya’s home does not feel like a safe space.

Even Joe’s family mansion, a symbol of his family’s wealth and power, evokes a sense of unease rather than amazing the audience with its grandeur.

The mystery surrounding Joe and Claire’s deaths remains unpredictable for most of the show, with everything becoming apparent only towards the end.


The mystery remains unpredictable, but when all the secrets are revealed, the audience will find it hard to accept everything that the show expects them to believe.

It is not just the main revelation that is less than satisfactory; the conclusion also seems a little too convenient.

On top of that, it cannot be denied that the show’s plot is extremely dense and congested, with everything tangled and clumped together.

The show is overstuffed with subplots. Some subplots, such as the one involving Claire’s first child, take up a lot of space but contribute only a minimal amount of information necessary to further the plot.

As there is too much happening at any point in time, the audience loses the will to put together the various pieces of the puzzle that they have been given.

Furthermore, the show struggles to keep the tension high at all times. With a more structured plot, it might have been able to maintain a sense of suspense.


Fool Me Once is not dull, but it is not very interesting either. It is a murder mystery with an extremely tangled plot, which can be tolerable if one doesn’t have high expectations.

Fool Me Once
Fool Me Once review: Tangled mystery fails to impress 1

Director: David Moore and Nimer Rashed

Date Created: 2024-01-02 15:24

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Fool Me Once ending explained: Who killed Joe and Claire?

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