Stay Close Review – Your New Netflix Frenzy Watch? This irresistible thriller | Television
FFourteen of author Harlan Coben’s 31 novels, we’re told, are expected to be adapted for Netflix. Your mileage can vary, of course, but since I have a barely satiated appetite for drinking thrillers, I see this more as a promise than a threat.
Last year we had The Stranger, an adaptation of Coben’s 2015 bestseller, which went from cliffhanger to cliffhanger to tell the increasingly baroque and demented tale of a husband (Richard Armitage) who discovers of a mysterious stranger that his wife faked her pregnancy and miscarriage before her disappearance. Dum-dum-DAH.
Another is now here and Stay Close promises almost the exact same – including Richard Armitage, who is now seedy photographer Ray and, by the end of the opening episode, on the verge of becoming firmly linked to the main plot. It centers on Megan (Cush Jumbo), whose idyllic life, loving family, and perfect kitchen are proof that she is the keeper of a secret past that will soon show her ugly head and threaten all that is in her. Dear.
And that’s what proves. Carlton Flynn, a young man wearing a distinctive collar, disappears in much the same place as another man, Stewart Green, 17 years ago to the day. The latter case is the only case Detective Broome (James Nesbitt) has never been able to resolve. He eased the pain by sleeping with Stewart’s mom, which may or may not become relevant later on (although I think it’s fair to point out that in Cobenworld most things do).
Megan comes home after a night out to find a card on her doorstep addressed to “Cassie”. Its old name! But how?! “Everyone is findable these days,” the card’s sender tells him when they meet, which apparently is enough of an explanation. But who?! It’s Lorraine (Sarah Parish), one of the people left behind when Cassie fled her old life. But why?! Lorraine wants to warn him that Stewart, apparently the reason Cassie wanted to escape this old life, is back. But he can’t be, our heroine blows – “He’s dead!”
It’s possible that her certainty had something to do with the flashbacks she continues to have on an alleged bloodied and bloodied corpse. Before she leaves, Lorraine – who, by the way, works at the Vipers Club where Carlton was last seen – gives her boyfriend the plastic engagement ring promised by a man whose heart she broke on leaving.
Who can it be? Speaking of nothing, we turn to Ray again. He is attacked for his camera. But he has already uploaded his latest photos to the cloud. Turns out he inadvertently captured footage of what could be Carlton’s last moments in the local woods (through which, if flashbacks are anything to go on, Cassie herself ran away. ). While he ponders what that might mean, he flips through old photo albums. They are full of pictures of him with Cassie. But wait! There is still time for one last scene – of Megan’s eldest daughter lying on her bed and playing with a pendant around her neck. You will never guess who it is. Dum-dum-DAH! See you for the next episode, plus the next six – and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.