Is Stay Close based on a true story? Netflix thriller’s origin explored

In case you missed it, there is another thrilling narrative to watch unravel alongside The Lost Daughter on Netflix.

Stay Close is a crime-thriller miniseries directed by Daniel O’Hara and arrived within the streaming platform’s catalog on December 31, 2021.

The eight-part series stars James Nesbitt, Sarah Parish, and Richard Armitage and follows the lives of three individuals – a photojournalist, a homicide detective, and a soccer mom – who are all connected by a disturbing past event.

Is Stay Close based on a true story, however? We explore the source material that brought this show to life.

Stay Close | Official Trailer | Netflix

Is Stay Close based on a true story?

No, Stay Close is not based on a true story.

Instead, the miniseries is a direct adaptation of Harlan Coben’s 2012 novel of the same name and the author worked closely with the project to bring it to the small screen.

Even though the events are primarily fictionalized, Coben confirmed to Radio Times that the inspiration for the story’s ‘Barbie and Ken’ killers came from a football game:

“At half-time in NFL football games in the ’70s and ’80s there used to be group called Up With People, who would perform this really wholesome act,” he recalled in a statement to the press.

“They would sing all these Kumbaya-type songs and they had these fake painted smiles on. I’m sitting there going, ‘There’s got to be more behind those fake painted smiles.’ So I decided, wouldn’t it be cool if two of them were kind of psychotic killers?”

stay close barbie and ken
Image from Netflix Media Center.

Harlan Coben’s novels

The American mystery and thriller writer has a number of published standalone novels alongside a couple of established series.

Coben’s Myron Bolitar series includes 11 titles released between 1995 and 2016, and the author’s Mickey Bolitar series has three novels written between 2011 and 2014.

Additionally, Coben has released an impressive 19 titles as singular stories outwith a series, including Play Dead, The Woods, and the writer’s most recent title, Win.

Has the series been renewed for season 2?

No, Netflix has not renewed Stay Close for a second season.

The thriller was originally billed as a miniseries, which usually means that the narrative will be capped at one season.

Stay Close is expected to follow the same pattern as Netflix’s last adaptation of another Coben novel, The Stranger, which also ended after one season.

Other miniseries have broken this rule in the past, however, Stay Close is not expected to return for a second season, largely because all of the source material has been covered.

By Jo Craig – jo.craig@grv.media

Stay Close is now streaming on Netflix.

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