Book Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

December 11, 2017 Book review 4

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena is my first book by this author.  I raced through the pages of it’s deceptively simple plot.  What looked simple on the surface was far from the case.  Suffice to say, it grabbed my attention to ensure it won’t be my last book by Shari Lapena.

Book Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari LapenaA Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Published by Bantam Press on July 27th 2017
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”
Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.
There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.
The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.
Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions.
Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

ARC REVIEW CRIME Murder Mystery Page-Turner suspense

My Thoughts on A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Smooth plotting! There is a tiny cast of characters, and I was still undecided as to just who was the murderer. This one, no wait that one, no go back the first one! That was me for most of the book. And I loved that the author set a trap, based on preconceived notions that the reader might have. I for one jumped headlong into that trap.

There are really only 3 characters, plus the murdered person, and the two detectives that make up the cast. The intimate setting added to the sinister feel, as you knew it was no stranger that carried the danger element.  It also felt scarily realistic which gave me all the shivers.

I will say all 3 main characters infuriated me. Similarly to how I felt about the characters in Gone Girl. I loved to hate them, particularly sexist hapless Tom. Who is by far the weakest character in the book. Not in the sense of being underdeveloped by the author, just that he is a weak person and the two women ran rings around him.

“She must have nerves of steel, he thinks. He is not sure he likes thinking of her that way.”

My reaction to reading that line was Tom, you’re pathetic!  And he was, but I enjoyed scorning him and his passive ways.

Overall a thumbs up, and an interesting introduction to another suspense author for me.  I’ve added The Couple Next Door to my to-read, and I’m expecting good things from it.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars

Who should read A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena?

If you enjoy domestic noir books, then I think you’d enjoy this.  Especially if you are a fan of authors such as BA Paris, or Gillian Flynn.

Thanks to Random House UK and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration.  As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.

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