Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A Stranger in the House

Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Suspense, Canadian
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 423
Source: Publisher
First Published: August 15, 2017
First Line: "She doesn't belong here."

Book Description from GoodReadsFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can't account for herself and unsettling questions that threaten to tear a couple apart.

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. 
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to DoubleDay Canada for providing me with a paperback copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 3 stars

My Review: Last year I found Shari Lapena's debut novel, The Couple Next Door, gripping, intense and filled with twists that messed with my head. Oh ya, it was that good and easily became one of my favourite summer reads of 2016.

Lapena is back with her sophomore novel and once again there are twists and suspicions run rampant but, unfortunately, I can't say that it lived up to my expectations. My expectations were, admittedly, rather high based on how much I loved her first book but this time around the intensity was lacking and a few of the twists were predictable.

The book started off very strong with an interesting premise but I hesitated to up my rating to four stars for a few reasons. First, I wasn't a fan of the characters. While you get their points of view I still didn't feel like I knew them and none were very likable. I need to be able to get behind a character and I just didn't have a connection to any of them. I also thought the writing style/dialogue felt a little awkward this time around and I wasn't a fan of the ending.

While this wasn't quite as explosive of a read as I had been expecting, it did keep me guessing and was a quick read which would make it a good summer pick. Fans of slow simmering suspense filled with mystery, fear, obsession and some intrigue, who enjoy a long list of suspects to keep them guessing should enjoy this read.  

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