Pages: 289 Price: £13.00 (Hardback) Published: 2017 by Bantam Press
“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 is not so sure. And even you don’t know what to believe…”
I absolutely love Shari Lapena’s work. I have read, and throughly enjoyed, both of her books. I was blown away by ‘The Couple Next Door’ and now ‘A Stranger In The House’ has done the same.
‘A Stranger In The House’ just hooks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let you go. The story is fast paced and is so absorbing you don’t want to put it down. The book starts by instantly throwing you into the plot by describing the accident which happens to the wife, Karen. Karen is running out of a restaurant in a dangerous part of town and quickly speeds away. However in her haste to get away she crashes into to a pole and ends up in hospital with no memory of what she was doing. The police then become quickly involved when we learn that a murder took place at the same location Karen was running from. And so we have the return of Detective Rasbach, for those unaware that is the same detective in ‘The Couple Next Door’. There is no connection between the books whatsoever but I just love the fact that Shari Lapena has decided to use Detective Rasbach as her continuity. I really like Detective Rasbach as a character so I really hope in future books Shari Lapena continues to use him.
The thing I love about Shari Lapena’s books though is just how real they feel. The way ‘A Stranger In The House’ is written and the plot of the book just makes it feel like it could be an event that is actually happening, her characters are real and the plot believable. The only downside to this book is I found I couldn’t imagine what the characters looked like, with nearly all books that I have read I have found I can perfectly picture the characters in my own way, with this book not so much. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t settle on my own visualisation of the characters, maybe that’s just me and maybe I’d have better luck with a second read that is guaranteed to come.
Personally I found the antagonist in the book easy to guess but that might have just been me, however this isn’t a problem because the character is worked on and developed through out and we learn more and more about them and why they do their actions which I actually thought was great. I loved the ending of the book, I just thought it was such a perfect finish and also really clever so props to Lapena for that one.
Overall I couldn’t really recommend this book enough, I’d definetly advise to try and read it in as few sittings as possible as strange as that is, I just found that it’s one of those books that is literally unputdownable and so to continue the rapid tension building and plot development you need to just read it.
My Rating: 5/5 STARS
You can get the book here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-stranger-in-the-house/shari-lapena/9780593077405