Fool Me Once (2024) – Cast and Character Guide

A cast and character guide to Netflix’s “Fool Me Once.”

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“Fool Me Once” Synopsis

“Fool Me Once” is a Netflix murder mystery focused on a woman trying to uncover who killed her husband and sister and why. Based on the Harlan Coben novel of the same name, Maya Burkett (Michelle Keegan) just lost her husband in a horrific shooting, but when Maya sees nanny cam footage that suggests her husband is still alive, family secrets begin to reveal themselves. Maya’s life is further upended when Detective Sami Kierce (Adeel Akhtar) discovers that Maya’s sister and husband were murdered by the same weapon. 

Who killed Maya’s husband and sister? Why did they do it? What connects these two murders? Maya, Detective Sami Kierce, and Maya’s niece each have their theories as they unravel the lives of their lost loved ones. As the 8 episodes of “Fool Me Once” venture into family secrets, childhood trauma, and plots of vengeance, danger and murder still lurk behind every corner. 

fool me once

Content Information

“Fool Me Once” is rated TV-MA for occasional cursing, gun violence, and fighting.

“Fool Me Once” General Information

Network(s) Netflix
Genre(s) Crime




Created By Harlan Coben
Based On “Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben
First Aired January 1, 2024
Executive Produced By Harlan Coben,  Nicola Shindler, Danny Brocklehurst, and Richard Fee
Screenplay By Danny Brocklehurst

Please Note: The content below contains pertinent spoilers; descriptions are updated as new information is presented; images are changed as better ones are captured; and this is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, guest star, or recurring role. 

Groups & Organizations

  • The Burkett Family: is a wealthy family involved in a corrupt pharmaceutical company. The family involves Maya’s late husband, Joe, and her mother-in-law, Judith. 

Notable Locations & Items

  • Manchester, England (Episode 1): All characters have British accents and are relatively wealthy. 
  • The Burkett Family Mansion (Episode 1): Where Maya often confronts Judith about family secrets.

Maya Stern

fool me once 1

Played by: Michelle Keegan

Description: Maya Stern is now a single mom and widow. She grieves the loss of her husband and her sister, both of whom died in mysterious shooting incidents. When Maya learns that the murders are connected, she boldly starts her own investigation, separate from law enforcement. Maya is a combat veteran, and while she’s always ready for a fight, she’s also haunted by her past in war.

  • Introduced in: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Brassic,” their role in “Our Girl,” and their role in “Coronation Street.”

Additional Information

  • Michelle Keegan got her start in the soap opera “Coronation Street.”

DS Sami Kierce

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Played by: Adeel Akhtar

Description: Detective Sami Kierce sees his detective job as simply that: a job. He’s more interested in life with his fiancé but is still committed to discovering how Maya’s husband and sister’s murders are connected. As Kierce ventures further into his case, his own health issues begin to wreak havoc on this case and his personal life. 

  • Introduced in: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their roles in “Murdered by My Father,” “Utopia,” and “Ali & Ava.”

Additional Information

  • Adeel Akhtar has received multiple British Academy Television Award nominations and has won for his work in “Murdered by My Father” and “Sherwood.”

Eddie Walker

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Played by: Marcus Garvey

Description: Eddie Walker is Maya’s brother-in-law and grieving widower. After losing his wife, Eddie struggles to raise his two children by himself and turns to alcohol for escape. But when Eddie learns more about his late wife’s secret past, he slowly begins to sober up and

  • Introduced in: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their roles in “The Lodge,” “Hijack,” and “The Gold.”

Judith Burkett

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Played by: Joanna Lumley

Description: Judith is Joe’s mother and Maya’s mother-in-law. Judith is the only one who has seen Joe’s body, and while Maya sympathizes with Judith, she’s also suspicious of the secrets Judith keeps from her. Judith is wealthy and influential, and she insists Maya is distressed and might even be losing her mind.

  • Introduced In: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their roles in “Finding Alice” and “Absolutely Fabulous.”

Additional Information

  • Joanna Lumley has a long history of activism, including speeches and marches for climate change, animal rights, and human rights. 

Joe Burkett

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Played by: Richard Armitage

Description: Joe may be dead, but his presence haunts each episode as multiple people investigate his murder. Joe may seem like a great husband, but his shady past makes him a questionable character.

  • Introduced in: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Stay Close,” their role in “The Stranger,” and their role in “The Hobbit.”

Additional Information

  • Richard Armitage has a long history of theater and voice-over work, including radio and audiobooks.


fool me once 6

Played by: Danya Griver

Description: Abby is Eddie’s daughter and Maya’s niece. She’s the more inquisitive child, and when she discovers her mom was pregnant with another child, she sets out to discover who the father is and what happened to that child.

  • Introduced in: Episode 1
  • The actor is also known for their role in “Malory Towers.”

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