Book Title and Author: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Publication date and Publisher: August 15, 2017 by Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 320 pages (eBook)
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: July 20, 2017 (ARC-Edelweiss)
Why would you run scared from a happy home?
You’re waiting for your beloved husband to get home from work. You’re making dinner, looking forward to hearing about his day.
That’s the last thing you remember.
You wake up in hospital, with no idea how you got there. They tell you that you were in an accident; you lost control of your car whilst driving in a dangerous part of town.
The police suspect you were up to no good. But your husband refuses to believe it. Your best friend isn’t so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe . . .
What would you do if you were Tom Krupps and arrived home to find your wife Karen missing, her purse and phone still home, the house unlocked, and dinner being prepared? Likely, you would be very worried about your wife and begin calling neighbors, friends, and then the police to report her missing just like he did. The police arrive to Tom’s immense relief…but wait! The police are not there because Tom reported Karen missing but to tell him she’s been in a serious accident. A head on collision in the bad part of town has left Karen with a severe concussion and amnesia. Tom is now more than worried; he is frantic over his wife and left wondering what could possibly have caused her to fly from their house and endanger not only her own life but others by driving so recklessly. It’s a truly dramatic start to a very suspenseful thrill ride that was hard to put down! If I hadn’t had out of town friends visiting while reading it, I would have devoured it in one sitting..it was just that good! I enjoyed Lapena’s The Couple Next Door last year but it did not compare to her newest book. She has only gotten better as a writer, which promises great things for her next novel! The writing in A Stranger in the House is very well done and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat waiting to see what is going to happen when they turn to the next page!
Lapena’s writing is full of twists and turns, and the question on everyone’s mind, especially when they find a man shot not far from the accident scene is if Karen is faking her amnesia to cover a murder she committed! Karen can’t tell anyone why she left her home, why she was where she was, or why she was speeding and driving as if she were being chased when she had her accident. Perhaps the amnesia is all a little too convenient? The cops certainly think so and even her husband Tom begins to question what he really knows about his own wife. Does Tom know his wife at all? And what secrets is Tom hiding from Karen? These are all questions that come to light (and get answered!) as Karen becomes the object of a murder investigation led by Detective Rasbach. If you read Lapena’s novel from last yearThe Couple Next Door, then you are familiar with Detective Rasbach and his keen investigative skills! Since the other characters, Tom, Karen, and their overly friendly neighbor Brigid were not all that likable, it was wonderful to have one great character in the book although I have to admit that I liked Karen at the end quite a bit once everything was explained. I hope Rasbach shows up again in Lapena’s books since he’s very interesting as a character but not the focus of the books, so he doesn’t take center stage or anything away from the premise or main characters.
The only reason I didn’t give A Stranger in the House 5 Stars is that I had guessed one of the biggest parts of the mystery by the 40% point in the book even though Lapena kept tossing twists and turns right up to the very end. My figuring things out didn’t ruin the story at all since there were still some major surprises headed my way and the ending was superb! The last chapter really surprised me!
This is a book that really makes you think about how much we can actually believe the people we know and makes you question whether we really even know that much about those we love. Could those we love the most be hiding deep, dark secrets? If you love the mystery/suspense genre, I highly recommend this book! I think it will be a huge hit for Shari Lapena!
**Thank you to Edelweiss, Pamela Dorman, and Shari Lapena for the ARC copy of this book in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.**