A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Publishing Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Fiction - Suspense/Thriller/Mystery
The Premise from the Publisher: "You come home after a long day at work, excited to have dinner with your beautiful wife. But when you walk through the door, you quickly realize that she's not there. In the kitchen, there is a pot on the stove, and vegetables on the counter, abandoned. Her cellphone and her purse are still in the house, in the bedroom, exactly where she keeps them. It looks like she's left in a blind panic. You fear the worst, so you call her friends to see if they know where she is. Then you call the police. The police tell you that your wife's been in an accident. They found her in the worst part of town, after she lost control of the car while speeding through the streets. But why would she go to that neighbourhood? And why was she driving so fast? Was she running toward something? Or away from something? The police think your wife was up to no good. You refuse to believe it, at first. Then, as the stories and facts don't line up, and your wife can't remember what happened that evening, you start to wonder. You've been married for two years and you thought you knew her better than anyone else in the world . . . but maybe you don't" (Doubleday).
My overall thoughts and review: This book is Lapena's second book after her debut of The Couple Next Door. If you want to read my review for that one, you can find it here! I really enjoyed that one and there is something simplistic and nicely paced about Lapena's writing. I love how straight forward it is and there is a stronger emphasis on dialogue. I also love that the chapters are not incredibly super long and I feel like the actual story is moving quickly, so it felt fast paced as I read along. This premise of this story definitely intrigued me becaause its the question of whether or not she really doesn't remember or she is simply saying that to hide something. On the surface, Tom and Karen Krupps seem like the perfect happy couple with nothing bad to hide, but this accident shakes open a whole bunch of secrets. You start doubting Tom and Karen and with each chapter, more secrets unravel. I also loved how you began to question other characters as well, like Brigid, the neighbour & Karen's best friend. Detectives Rasbach & Jennings try their best to decipher the truth and although the case appears fairly straight forward with certain facts, some things simply don't add up and it blows the case out of the water. I liked that it brought on questions of "how much can you really know of a person?" and whether or not we hide our skeletons from the people we love. I didn't particular like any of the characters which was interesting, but I was still invested in their story and wanted to find out more about them. I did feel like the end felt a bit rushed and I would've liked some more details about a certain character's past. It does end in a really nice way which leaves the door open for more, and has you feeling unsettled like nothing is ever truly resolved. I quite like it when thrillers/mysteries do that because it isn't always the case in life where things are wrapped up in a neat bow. Overall, if you liked Lapena's previous book, you will surely enjoy this one!
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Available for purchase at:
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Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.