Monday, 10 September 2018

The Stranger Upstairs

Author: Melanie Raabe
Genre: Suspense
Type: digital e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: House of Anansi
First Published: Sept 11, 2018
First Line: "The world is black."

Book Description from GoodReads: He calls himself your husband. But you're the only one who knows the truth. 

Several years ago, your husband, and the father of your young son, disappeared. Since then, you’ve dreamt of his return; railed against him for leaving you alone; grieved for your marriage; and, finally, vowed to move on.

One morning, the phone rings. When you answer, a voice at the other end tells you your husband’s on a plane bound for home, and that you’ll see him tomorrow. You’ve imagined this reunion countless times. Of course you have. But nothing has prepared you for the reality. For the moment you realise you don’t know this man.

Because he isn’t your husband; he’s a complete stranger -- and he’s coming home with you. Even worse, he seems to know about something very bad you once did -- something no one else could possibly know about . . . Could they?

From Melanie Raabe, the author of The Trap, The Stranger Upstairs is another dazzling, dizzying psychological thriller guaranteed to keep you guessing until the very last page.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 2.5 stars (aka 'just ok')

My Review: What would you do if your husband, who went missing 7 years before, suddenly came back into your life? But you're the only person who questions if he's the man you married. He may look similar but Sarah is adamant that he is not her husband and yet, he knows things about her that no one else could possibly know. This is the premise of The Stranger Upstairs.

The story is told via the POVs of Sarah and 'the husband/stranger' which gives readers different perspectives and will make them question his identity and be eager to learn about Sarah's big secret. 

The Stranger Upstairs had good intentions but it didn't pan out for me. First, I found too much time was spent with these two repeatedly arguing about his identity when a simple DNA test or a photo of the man could help prove or disprove his identity. I realize it's explained that he was 'photo shy' but he'd still have a photo on his driver's licence, health card, work ID etc.)  I couldn't believe that NO ONE, family nor friends, would notice if a different guy reappeared. Unfortunately, I also found the pacing slow and uneven and the resolution was weak and lackluster.

I had first read Melanie Raabe a few years ago and quite enjoyed her book The Trap and while I give marks for this latest book's unique premise, the execution was weaker than I had anticipated and with too many hard to believe ideas throughout, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have hoped.

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