The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
Expected Publication Date: May 16, 2017, by Simon & Schuster
Last year Megan Miranda’s All the Missing Girls was on my list of top ten favorite books of 2016, so imagine how excited I was when I started reading The Perfect Stranger! I thought I would be completely enthralled just like when I read All the Missing Girls Yet, I wasn’t even though The Perfect Stranger is a well-written, quick, suspenseful read with a twisting, exciting plot and some great characters. Although this book fell just a tad flat for me, I highly recommend it and give it between 3.5 to 4 stars because it’s still such an entertaining and a good read! The Perfect Stranger has much to offer as a highly gratifying, thrilling read, and I think many people will enjoy it very much if they cast aside preconceived expectations that The Perfect Stranger is the same exact stunning, sensational read as Miranda’s All the Missing Girls and just read it for its own merits!
Leah Stevens, a crime journalist, has just found herself in a really bad situation in Boston after one of her stories goes a little too far. Leah’s now facing a restraining order and threat of a libel lawsuit. Leah’s life is falling apart, and it’s best for her to get out of town and start over. During this time, Leah encounters Emmy, an old friend she lived with 8 years ago, in a bar. Emmy just broke up with a toxic boyfriend and wants to get out of town too. Together, the two old friends move to a small town in Western Pennsylvania and rent a small house.
It’s a fresh start for the two friends who rarely see each other since their schedules are opposite with Leah teaching at the local high school during the day and Emmy working odd jobs in the evening. Emmy has no cell phone, so Leah leaves her post-it notes as messages. After a while, Leah realizes there is a pile of messages Emmy hasn’t read in days, plus Leah hasn’t seen Emmy in days. Leah tries not to worry…
This is where the suspense and twist and turns begin in the book. On Leah’s way to work the next day, Leah encounters a police roadblock and realizes a woman has been attacked. Fearing that it is Emmy, Leah discovers that it’s a stranger. And one who looks almost exactly like Leah. Pretty creepy!
Of course, this makes the police want to talk to Leah, especially since a teacher from the school who was way too interested in Leah is the prime suspect in the attack. Leah hesitantly cooperates with the police and Detective Kyle Donovan; she doesn’t want to be involved because of the secrets she’s carrying.
In the end that doesn’t matter since Emmy appears to have disappeared, and Leah needs the police’s help finding her. Yet, as Leah looks for answers about her friend, it’s like Leah knows nothing about Emmy! Leah has no clue where Emmy works, and Leah has absolutely nothing to prove to the police that Emmy exists. The police are becoming very suspicious of Leah—is Emmy imaginary and if so, why? At this point, no one believes Leah and people around her are dying, so Leah must prove Emmy is real and clear her own name!
The plot is very twisty—the story was one big intricate web. I love that in a suspense story, and Miranda is an excellent writer, a master of her craft. The ending was rather anticlimactic, and I expected something bigger to happen, but that didn’t take away from this being an engaging, gripping read. One thing about Miranda’s books is that she is an effortless writer and knows how to hook her reader with her suspenseful plot and build up of tension. You can almost see the story in your head as you read it, and I would actually love to see her books made into films! Megan Miranda will continue to be one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read her next book!
I want to thank NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Megan Miranda for providing me with an advanced copy of The Perfect Stranger to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.