A Stranger in the House
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can’t account for herself, and unsettling questions that threaten to tear the couple apartYou come home after a long day at work, ready for dinner with your wife.But she’s not there. And it looks like she left in a blind panic. Her cellphone and her bag are still in the house.You fear the worst. You call the police.And they tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. She lost control of her car as she sped through a street on the worst side of town. The police think she was up to no good.You refuse to believe it.Then you start to wonder. You’ve been married for three years and you thought you knew her better than anyone on Earth.But maybe you don’t.In your house, everyone’s a stranger. And everyone has something to hide. Something worth killing for.

A Stranger in the House Details

TitleA Stranger in the House
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 15th, 2017
PublisherPamela Dorman Books
ISBN073522112X
ISBN-139780735221123
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense

A Stranger in the House Review

  • Miriam Smith
    May 15, 2017
    I haven't read Shari Lapena's previous novel, the hugely successful "The Couple Next Door", so I was looking forward to reading a book by a new author to me and a one that comes highly recommended within my online book circles."A Stranger In The House" is a brilliant and intriguing suspense thriller that was so compelling I couldn't put it down - I know it's a cliche - but I found it so easy to read and follow, I just wanted to keep on turning the intriguing and entertaining pages.Karen is prepa I haven't read Shari Lapena's previous novel, the hugely successful "The Couple Next Door", so I was looking forward to reading a book by a new author to me and a one that comes highly recommended within my online book circles."A Stranger In The House" is a brilliant and intriguing suspense thriller that was so compelling I couldn't put it down - I know it's a cliche - but I found it so easy to read and follow, I just wanted to keep on turning the intriguing and entertaining pages.Karen is preparing tea at home whilst waiting for her husband to come home. This is the last thing she remembers! She wakes up in hospital being told she has just survived a car crash after what looks like she left her house in a blind panic. What caused her to run scared and what could have happened before the car crash that made her to drive so erratically?? The dramatic and exciting start really gets you in the mood for this suspenseful and intriguing thriller with twists and turns and an unexpected ending I really didn't see coming. I'm not too sure whether I truly liked the main characters - bar the determined detectives - the personalities just didn't do it for me, but this certainly didn't matter and bore no importance at all, as I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend this riveting book to anyone who loves this particular genre.It's a very competitive business the suspense/mystery thriller market but I believe the author has crafted this perfectly and without a doubt I expect this to be huge in July when it's released. It's very clever, well written, intriguing and suspenseful and has all the trademarks of a massive bestseller - I wish Shari Lapena every success with "A Stranger In The House" this year!A fantastic 5 stars!!
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  • Pauline
    June 19, 2017
    I really enjoyed The Couple Next door by Shari Lapena and I was looking forward to reading her new book A Stranger in the House, this thriller had quite a few twists and turns and an ending I did not see coming. I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathryn
    June 8, 2017
    Let me start this whole she-bang by saying I almost DNFed this book in excess of 10 times. I’ll repeat that statement slower for maximum impact. I. ALMOST. DNFed. THIS. BOOK. TEN. BLOODY. TIMES. For those unfamiliar with my reading habits this is a HUGE deal. Like scream-it-from-the-rooftops level HUGE. I’m a compulsive book finisher. I NEVER DNF. But this book--this book was my everest. After having enjoyed Shari LaPena’s debut novel, The Couple Next Door, I eagerly awaited her next work. But m Let me start this whole she-bang by saying I almost DNFed this book in excess of 10 times. I’ll repeat that statement slower for maximum impact. I. ALMOST. DNFed. THIS. BOOK. TEN. BLOODY. TIMES. For those unfamiliar with my reading habits this is a HUGE deal. Like scream-it-from-the-rooftops level HUGE. I’m a compulsive book finisher. I NEVER DNF. But this book--this book was my everest. After having enjoyed Shari LaPena’s debut novel, The Couple Next Door, I eagerly awaited her next work. But my god. Just…..my. god. There are no words. Nothing to sufficiently articulate the absolute CRAP that is A Stranger in the House. And what I don’t understand is how a writer could seemingly lose all ability to….WRITE. Because it’s not just messy characterization and plot, it’s basic mechanics that are problematic. Fundamental writing rules broken. Repeatedly. Actually not broken, more like blown up, run over, THEN backed over, only to be run over a third time. For good measure. In simpler terms, as a smarter man once said: God may have made the world in 6 days, but while he was chilling on the 7th, satan popped up & produced this. The premise is actually decent: Tom Krupp returns to his picture-perfect, suburban home to find his wife Karen’s mysteriously vanished. Weirder still, their front door is unlocked and Karen’s purse and cell phone left behind. Puzzling….. Shortly thereafter, police officers arrive to inform him that Karen’s been in an accident while driving erratically through “THE. HOOD.” GASP. Tom rushes to the hospital to find Karen alive, but with no memory of the crash or the immediate events prior. How convenient [insert heavy eyeroll]. THEN, a dead body and Karen’s dishwashing gloves (pink, natch) are discovered near the accident site. Evidence accumulates. Surprises are revealed. Marriages ripped apart. Lives torn asunder. Yada, yada, yada.Aside from painfully bad writing, A Stranger in the House features perhaps the single worst literary character: Tom Krupp. And this isn’t a “so-bad-they’re-good” thing. Oh, no. I actually, genuinely wish Tom were a real person just so I could kick him in the balls. What’s worse? Readers are meant to LIKE the man. But HOW I ask you? HOW? He comes home to find his wife missing and his reactions are all self-oriented: “He wanted rather fervently to see his wife…...He pulls his cell phone out of his pants pocket and checks to see if there’s any message from her that he might have missed. Nothing. Now he’s mildly annoyed. She might have told him.” He’s ANNOYED. Not worried. ANNOYED. His wife’s disappeared, left dinner cooking, the door’s unlocked, all her shit is there and his first reaction is annoyance???? Oh, but it gets worse. Tom has all the emotional range and maturity of a gnat. The instant his pristine Stepford life is disrupted, he devolves from loving husband to paranoid adulterer. His self-described (and described and described….FFS, WE GET IT) “perfect marriage” has the slightest bump….and recognize all these events are happening to KAREN, not him….he’s a two-step away from signing divorce papers. “Tom looks back at her, his heart tight. In all the time he’s known her (like 2 years. lbr, tommy-boy), and loved her, he’s never had even the slightest reason to doubt her, about anything. It all comes down to that night. What really happened? Doesn’t he owe her something for those years of complete trust?”YES, TOM. YOU DO. She’s your WIFE. And from all appearances, a damn good one, according to Tom Krupp’s 1950s scale of domestic bliss. Really, this shouldn’t be a question. And yet it continues, a paragraph later he says: “I don’t know Karen. He pauses. ‘I love you. But I’m scared.” DUDE. This is legit the FIRST sign of marital discord and already you’re considering bailing?? Tom continues to suck throughout the remainder of the book with such philosophical gems as: “he loves her, that hasn’t changed. He’s surprised that he can still love her, when he doesn’t trust her.” AWWW, TOM. YOU DESERVE A MEDAL. Gag. But wanna know the most offensive part (shockingly, not Tom)? The two female leads spend the entirety of the book lusting after the man. After Tom. TOM. Like he’s some prize pig. This condescending, sanctimonious, disloyal, emotionally immature, cowardly nitwit. Ladies: love yourselves. PLEASE. As for the rest of the book? UGH. Nothing interesting happens throughout the bulk of the middle section, character portrayals alternate between soap opera villains and Mary Sues, small, insignificant details were endlessly repeated, ‘show don’t tell’ broken on every. fucking. page, and holy moly: the most stilted dialogue I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. Leave it to Beaver on STEROIDS. Oh, and every well-worn trope is brought out to play. Can we PLEASE put a kibosh to the amnesia-centric plots? Amnesia isn’t that common. Enough already. This wasn’t a book. It was a Lifetime movie set to page. And a bad one at that.Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me a complimentary, advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Heidi
    June 8, 2017
    The book starts out strong: a man comes home from work to find the house unlocked and his wife’s car gone. The kitchen shows signs of dinner being prepared: a pot of water on the stove, vegetables chopped on the kitchen counter. He calls for his wife but there is no answer. She has left behind her purse and her mobile. Worried, he begins calling her friends, their neighbours, but no one has seen her. Then a policeman knocks on the door .... Lapena really sets the scene here, and I actually had g The book starts out strong: a man comes home from work to find the house unlocked and his wife’s car gone. The kitchen shows signs of dinner being prepared: a pot of water on the stove, vegetables chopped on the kitchen counter. He calls for his wife but there is no answer. She has left behind her purse and her mobile. Worried, he begins calling her friends, their neighbours, but no one has seen her. Then a policeman knocks on the door .... Lapena really sets the scene here, and I actually had goosebumps visualising it!Unfortunately, from here, the books began nosediving for me, like a shot-down plane on its fiery spiral into the abyss. Perhaps the first warning sign was the main protagonist’s amnesia. Don’t get me wrong, amnesia can be a good tool in a psychological thriller if used the right way. Include a few confusing flashbacks, some conflicting witness stories, some inner turmoil, some suspense. But not on its own, not simply to disguise the plot by throwing the big dark blanket of “I can’t remember” over everything just as an excuse to withhold vital information to the reader that could solve this “mystery” in two minutes flat. A Stranger in the House is a book with very few characters. Tom, Karen and Brigid from next door. And of course the detective, whose name I have already forgotten because for me, he felt like a very forgettable character. There wasn’t a single personality trait to the man that made him stand out from any other run-of-the-mill detective, except that he did not seem to be particularly good at his job. I was surprised to discover that this was the same detective from The Couple Next Door, the author’s debut novel, which I had enjoyed. Anyway, the problem with a very small cast is that unless they are engaging and captivating, the reader soon loses interest. I thought my life was pretty boring, but compared to this little troupe my social life is a downright circus! There are no friends, no family, no work colleagues. And to be totally honest, I hated all three characters. So now we have a problem, because I really didn’t care what happens to any of them, especially Brigid, who seemed so stereotypical that I was wondering at times if the author was writing tongue-in-cheek to throw some wild curveball right at the end. But sadly, no.I am sure that A Stranger in the House will appeal to an audience who is less particular about their fare of “psychological thriller”. The bottom line is – I do want to be thrilled. I want my mind messed with. I want tension, I want suspense. After enjoying The Couple Next Door, it saddens me having to admit that I did not get any of this from A Stranger in the House, even though there were moments when there was real potential for it to become interesting. After having read a few disappointing “psychological thrillers” lately, I believe that I may simply not be the right audience for A Stranger in the House. It may appeal to people who enjoy a quick and undemanding read for the beach or the plane, but for me was lacking in depth and thrills. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
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  • Denise
    April 20, 2017
    Implausible and predictable with a tiresome plot device -- amnesia.Disappointed in this follow-up novel after previously liking THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR -- a nice twisty mystery. This book was not one of those. The premise, a wife is cooking dinner for her beloved husband (they are almost newlyweds) when she apparently runs off somewhere in her car to a bad part of town and then gets in a car wreck that produces a concussion. What was she doing THERE?The police come knocking at the door when a dead Implausible and predictable with a tiresome plot device -- amnesia.Disappointed in this follow-up novel after previously liking THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR -- a nice twisty mystery. This book was not one of those. The premise, a wife is cooking dinner for her beloved husband (they are almost newlyweds) when she apparently runs off somewhere in her car to a bad part of town and then gets in a car wreck that produces a concussion. What was she doing THERE?The police come knocking at the door when a dead man is found inside an abandoned restaurant close to where the wreck occurred. Could she be involved? Ummm, yeah? Husband is suspicious and worried he's been lied to. Best friend next door is solicitous and way over-involved. The reader has it all figured out quickly. No surprises, no tension, no suspense, really no mystery.I read this over the course of a couple of hours hoping for something original. Just couldn't buy into the whole story, and though it was a fast read, it was actually unsatisfying. I do thank NetGalley and Pamela Dorman Books for the e-book ARC to review.
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  • Shalini Gopal
    June 14, 2017
    The story starts with an accident, a car plunging into an utility pole and a bewildered husband, Tom Krupp, searching for his lost wife, Karen. With the door unlocked and dinner half prepared, Karen has disappeared without her purse or cell phone. Her car is also missing. And then the Police appear at the door, Tom fears the worst.... Karen is alive but amnesiac. She alleges that she has forgotten the accident and the hours preceeding it... Has she really or is she faking it?? She seems to remem The story starts with an accident, a car plunging into an utility pole and a bewildered husband, Tom Krupp, searching for his lost wife, Karen. With the door unlocked and dinner half prepared, Karen has disappeared without her purse or cell phone. Her car is also missing. And then the Police appear at the door, Tom fears the worst.... Karen is alive but amnesiac. She alleges that she has forgotten the accident and the hours preceeding it... Has she really or is she faking it?? She seems to remember everything else and everybody including best friend/ neighbour, Brigid. Adding to this confusion, there is a murder, in the neighborhood of Karen's car accident. Who is the murder victim and is Karen a murderer??? Thus begins a roller-coaster of doubt, suspicion and wariness between Tom and Karen, with Brigid thrown in the midst. Karen seems to remembers nothing about the accident, Tom seems to have a shaky alibi and Brigid seems to want to know everything.. The story revolves around these three characters, their connection to each other and to the murder victim. Tom and Karen drift apart, when they should have been supportive, the lies, the unanswered questions and hurt gaining space between them. Brigid as a friend/ neighbour is the counterfoil. The police detectives soon start joining the dots, there are allegations cast, doubts raised, arrests and search warrants, anonymous tips, all that make a good police investigative story. This is Shari Lapena's second book after "The Couple Next Door" . She has written well. The story appears deceptively calm, reading like a routine murder mystery, cruising on, till the last few pages where the whole story reaches a different unexpected twist. The ending is simply fabulous ... I loved it.. I loved the intelligence, the cunningness of the ending, totally worth a read.The book is fast paced, I finished it in a few hours, easy reading; where Karen is scared yet strong and calm, Tom appears spineless yet shows a rare loyalty, Brigid is supportive yet sly. A totally entertaining book where pages just seem to keep turning. It's not a psychological thriller or a dark suspense, it's just a different murder mystery like the calm before the storm... I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Random House, UK, Transworld Digital and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Amy
    July 20, 2017
    All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com4.5/5Last summer I was raving about Lapena's debut, The Couple Next Door, so naturally I've been super excited about reading A Stranger in the House. I was thrilled to find that many of the things that I loved about TCND were found in this book, there was the same great addictive quality to her writing, there were secrets galore and the ever so popular untrustworthy narrators.The premise of this is fantastic with just the right amount of creep All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com4.5/5Last summer I was raving about Lapena's debut, The Couple Next Door, so naturally I've been super excited about reading A Stranger in the House. I was thrilled to find that many of the things that I loved about TCND were found in this book, there was the same great addictive quality to her writing, there were secrets galore and the ever so popular untrustworthy narrators.The premise of this is fantastic with just the right amount of creepy and it starts with a bang. Karen is driving like a bat out of hell and she gets into a terrible accident. She doesn't remember anything about where she was, why was she in a rough part of town? Who was she meeting there? There are SO MANY questions, but I'm going to stop here because this is one of those books you need to go into as blind as possible in order to have the best experience.Detective Rasbach is back which was a pleasant surprise for me as I really liked him in TCND. It was a great addition, it gives the book a series vibe without actually being a part of a series so if you haven't read Lapena's first book, you're fine to start with this one. There are no alternating timelines or crazy switches in perspectives here, though you do see things through the eyes of Karen, her husband Tom, her neighbor Brigid and Rasbach.This was a true page turner, I read it in one sitting and was glued to every page. I loved not knowing who to trust and I changed my mind several times about who was being honest. There were many twists and turns and again, like in her debut Lapena kept the twists coming all the way until the end. I just love when an author can still surprise me in the last few pages!If you're a fan of Lapena you'll love this and if you've never read her before but enjoy thrillers with an unreliable cast of characters with secrets, check this out. I think this will be another huge summer hit, don't miss it.
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  • Irena
    June 18, 2017
    Review to come.
  • Liz Barnsley
    May 10, 2017
    Hmm.This is one of those moments where I need to be honest and don't really want to be because I LOVED this authors first book - The Couple Next Door - and enthused about it so would love to keep up that level of support but for me, A Stranger in the House was just another predictable psychological thriller of the dime a dozen kind you see everywhere. Boy I'm so sick of characters with either a drug problem that fogs their thoughts or some random amnesia as a plot device to hide the reveals that Hmm.This is one of those moments where I need to be honest and don't really want to be because I LOVED this authors first book - The Couple Next Door - and enthused about it so would love to keep up that level of support but for me, A Stranger in the House was just another predictable psychological thriller of the dime a dozen kind you see everywhere. Boy I'm so sick of characters with either a drug problem that fogs their thoughts or some random amnesia as a plot device to hide the reveals that are pretty obvious anyway. Its tired and over used now and whilst I'm not saying NEVER use it a novel that relies on it entirely tends to fall flat for me these days.Now having said that the writing is still excellent, I love the way Shari Lapena twists her language to tell her stories. I am not put off reading future books at ALL especially considering how truly great I thought The Couple Next Door was. It was solely the plot in this one that wore me out. It genuinely felt like I'd read it before, and beautiful as the writing was, I just knew the end as soon as I started and whilst I engaged with some of the characters I didn't find them as compelling as the ones from the previous book, not because of them so much but because I felt I knew everything about them already.Its still a good read if you like the genre - I would not want to put anyone else off at ALL, this is very subjective. I'll look forward to Shari Lapena's next book. Its not you its me!
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  • Debra
    July 21, 2017
    3.5 starsTom Krupp comes home from work and realizes that his front door was not locked. What is even more alarming is that there are signs in the kitchen that his wife (Karen) was preparing dinner but now she is no longer in sight. He checks his home and his wife is not there. He becomes worries and decides to call 911. Across town (in a BAD section of town- we are told this repeatedly), a woman without any identification has driven her car into a pole. When the police arrive at his door, Tom b 3.5 starsTom Krupp comes home from work and realizes that his front door was not locked. What is even more alarming is that there are signs in the kitchen that his wife (Karen) was preparing dinner but now she is no longer in sight. He checks his home and his wife is not there. He becomes worries and decides to call 911. Across town (in a BAD section of town- we are told this repeatedly), a woman without any identification has driven her car into a pole. When the police arrive at his door, Tom believes that they are responding to his 911 call, but in fact they are there to inform him that his wife has been in an accident. His wife is badly injured and does not remember what occurred leading up to her accident or why she was in that area (the bad section of town that a nice housewife should not be found in) of town.Karen suffering from amnesia does not know why she left her home, her cell phone or her wallet behind. She is now facing charges for running into the pole and hopes to move on with her life. But wait! The police have found the body of a man shot 3 nears near the accident site. Could Karen have anything to do with the murder? Is she a suspect? Is she a witness? Was she in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is her amnesia real?Thus begins that murder investigation where the evidence is piling up. To make matters worse, Tom and Karen's neighbor, Brigid, has inserted herself more into their lives and into the police investigation. Is Brigid a good friend? Is she a noisy neighbor? Does she have something to gain by Karen being convicted? Tom and Karen begin to bicker as he begins to doubt her story. Plus, when she informs him that someone has been sneaking into their home and going through her things, he does not believe her. This book slowly mounts with tension, as the reader learns more so do the investigators. Who can be trusted? What really happened that night? I enjoyed the pacing of this book. There are a couple of layers to this book and once peeled back, the secrets of various characters are revealed. Not everyone is as they seem. I thought I had this book figured out, I thought I knew from the get-go who the killer was. I was right and wrong all at the same time. Ambiguous, I know! Read for yourself!!!I really liked how the revelations came about. This book is a murder mystery/psychological thriller hybrid. I found this book to be very clever at times. I can't really say why I feel this way without giving away too much more of the story. I especially liked when the "secret" started coming out. I would sit and read and think "Ohhh, that explains that! or Ohhh, that explains so-and-so's behavior. I think most people will enjoy the ending. This is not a graphic or gory book so most readers will most likely enjoy it.I enjoyed this book. It proved to be a fast read, was definitely entertaining and kept my attention. I received a copy of this book from Penguin Group Viking and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Tracy Fenton
    July 9, 2017
    I thoroughly enjoyed and often recommended Shari Lapena's debut novel The Couple Next Door so I was delighted to get the opportunity to read her new book A Stranger in The House thanks to Netgalley and the publishers.Sometimes I start a book and almost instantly I know that I don't like the style of writing, the storyline or the characters, but I continue reading it because perhaps I will change my mind and enjoy the book.Sadly my mind wasn't changed and my first impression is still as strong no I thoroughly enjoyed and often recommended Shari Lapena's debut novel The Couple Next Door so I was delighted to get the opportunity to read her new book A Stranger in The House thanks to Netgalley and the publishers.Sometimes I start a book and almost instantly I know that I don't like the style of writing, the storyline or the characters, but I continue reading it because perhaps I will change my mind and enjoy the book.Sadly my mind wasn't changed and my first impression is still as strong now that I have finished the book. There are many reasons this book didn't "do it for me" but the most important one is that I was totally unable to connect with any of the characters, there was absolutely no empathy or sympathy or understanding of their actions. The book lacked emotion from start to finish for me personally and it was almost like reading crib notes instead of a flowing story.Nothing about this story was original or surprising, the plot was unoriginal at best and felt rushed. Sadly this is one book I personally won't be recommending.
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  • Sassy Brit
    June 23, 2017
    A Stranger in the HouseWhen danger lies close to home who can you trust? I've just read the book A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I loved her fast-paced, well written debut book "The Couple Next Door", so (thanks to the publisher for the ARC) was pleased to be given the chance to review this author's second book, which I hoped was just as good. No pressure!^^ Imagine you're in an accident. You wake up not remembering what happened, and the police are knocking on your door raising suspici A Stranger in the HouseWhen danger lies close to home who can you trust? I've just read the book A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I loved her fast-paced, well written debut book "The Couple Next Door", so (thanks to the publisher for the ARC) was pleased to be given the chance to review this author's second book, which I hoped was just as good. No pressure!^^ Imagine you're in an accident. You wake up not remembering what happened, and the police are knocking on your door raising suspicions about your whereabouts in conjunction with a murder. ^^ Everyone is looking at you for answers, your best friend, your spouse. But who can you trust if you don't even know if you can trust yourself? ^^ This is exactly the predicament the main character Karen finds herself in. The very short review would be that this plot made for an absolutely fantastic read. I read it with hunger, eager to feed my curiosity about just how this book was going to end, and I couldn't do anything else until I'd finished. But I can't possibly stop here. (As you can see from the length of this review). ^^ Yet again, Shari Lapena has proved herself to be a very good author, not that she needs to prove it, the evidence is within the pages. The plot is intriguing, well-written and packed full of secrets waiting to be revealed!^^ Reading this story I steamed through the many twists and turns, and red herrings, trying to guess the answers along the way. ^^ This is one of those books where "unputdownable", as cliché as that sounds, is so apt. In fact, I'll go as far to say there were more ups and downs for this character Karen and her husband, Tom, than any roller-coaster I've ever been on. And I've been on a lot! Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading "A Stranger in the House" and think it was even better than "The Couple Next Door". I've no idea what Shari Lapena will come up with next, but I can assure you I'll do my best to be first in line to find out!
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  • Renny Barcelos
    May 22, 2017
    I have no idea what possessed me to request this book on NetGalley when I absolutely disliked this author's debut, The Couple Next Door. Whatever happened I did request it and was offered an ARC, which, just as the first novel, is a terribly written mess. Once again this author confuses the great tool that an unreliable narrator is for thrillers, with just plain and simply lying to the reader. You can't have an omniscient narrator that is unreliable. You can't just keep throwing new information I have no idea what possessed me to request this book on NetGalley when I absolutely disliked this author's debut, The Couple Next Door. Whatever happened I did request it and was offered an ARC, which, just as the first novel, is a terribly written mess. Once again this author confuses the great tool that an unreliable narrator is for thrillers, with just plain and simply lying to the reader. You can't have an omniscient narrator that is unreliable. You can't just keep throwing new information that directly contradicts other offered before just to move your plot and use the "unreliable narrator" excuse when writing in 3rd person, with an omniscient narrator. If I keep repeating this for, let's say, perhaps a dozen times, alternating a bit the word order--like you do, Shari Lapena, with just about all info in your books because you apparently don't trust your readers are capable of remembering anything--maybe then you will get it? Maybe your 3rd book (that I will definitely NOT read) will not follow the same formula?The characters could not be more stereotypical. The dialogue is preposterous. The writing is juvenile at best. The plot makes so little sense that the only way for it to "work" is by lying to the reader. Oh, and let's not forget how, once again, the detective has "intelligent eyes." He is clever. Oh, so clever. How do we know that? Because we are told so, certainly not for actions we are shown, nope. Because the actions show a very slow detective work, with lots of implausible and far-fetched sidelines that do not amount for any police procedure I have ever heard or read of. So much so that the super smart detective never solves the case. Seriously, this was a huge waste of time. I cannot believe I finish it. It is short, at least. I'd like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my (perhaps too) honest review.
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  • Zuky the BookBum
    July 21, 2017
    I really wish I had loved this book more! I have heard so many good things about her debut (which I still need to read!) so I was expecting great things from this one too. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t awful but I guessed the different twists straight away and I wasn’t so keen on the writing style, although more on that later because I’m conflicted!I thought the characters in this one were quite well developed. You definitely got a feel for them and their lives, but none of them were particula I really wish I had loved this book more! I have heard so many good things about her debut (which I still need to read!) so I was expecting great things from this one too. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t awful but I guessed the different twists straight away and I wasn’t so keen on the writing style, although more on that later because I’m conflicted!I thought the characters in this one were quite well developed. You definitely got a feel for them and their lives, but none of them were particularly enthralling characters to read about. I didn’t find myself rushing to get back to the book to know what Tom was going to do next, or how Brigid felt in the next part. They were fine, but not great. Nor, were any particularly likeable, in my opinion.When it comes to the writing, I’m a little conflicted. I said earlier I wasn’t so keen on it, but it did add some suspense to the novel, which is always good. I guess what I didn’t like so much was the repetition of “my wife / my husband” or using someones name about 3 times in a sentence.I can’t think of much more to say about this one… I enjoyed it enough to continue reading it, and reasonably quickly. It only took me a few days to get through (which may seen like a lot for a short book, but I was in the middle of leaving and starting a new job)!Even though this hasn’t been my favourite book of the year, I still want to read Lapena’s debut, and depending on if I like that, I will read her next book too. I always find second books slip in quality, ever so slightly? Not all the time, but that’s how I find it a lot of the time.
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  • Lisa Houston
    May 29, 2017
    This is the 2nd book by this author I have read. Same as the 1st book i was not in the least bit disapointed. It had good characters in the book. Strong storyline, with lots of twists and turns to keep you interested. Saving the best until the last few sentences. Really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend to others.
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  • Taylor
    July 10, 2017
    *3.5 stars*Tom arrives home from work to find that his wife Karen is not at home. Yet the door is unlocked and her purse and phone are still there. When his phone calls to her friends, including neighbour Brigid, don't yield any answers, Tom phones the police and learns that his wife has been in a serious vehicle accident. The accident, we soon discover, occurred near a murder scene. Karen has partial amnesia and cannot explain why she had left the house in such a hurry or what she was doing in *3.5 stars*Tom arrives home from work to find that his wife Karen is not at home. Yet the door is unlocked and her purse and phone are still there. When his phone calls to her friends, including neighbour Brigid, don't yield any answers, Tom phones the police and learns that his wife has been in a serious vehicle accident. The accident, we soon discover, occurred near a murder scene. Karen has partial amnesia and cannot explain why she had left the house in such a hurry or what she was doing in the neighbourhood in which she was found. As Tom, Brigid, and the police try to make sense of what happened, the reader is increasingly left with more questions than answers.This book was very well done. The author did a great job of leading the reader down a number of blind alleys right up to the time of the reveal. And then threw in a final twist for good measure. The story was nicely paced and believable, unlike her earlier work, The Couple Next Door, which I found to be totally over the top. My thanks to Goodreads Giveaways and the publishers for this advance copy.
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  • Melissa
    July 4, 2017
    This wasn't anything spectacular. It was pretty predictable overall and not nearly as surprising as the author's previous book (The Couple Next Door). I did like the ending, but it didn't go very far to make up for the blah story leading up to it. Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy, all opinions are my own.
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    May 24, 2017
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for an advance copy of A Stranger in the House, a psychological thriller set in New York State.Tom Krupps arrives home to find his wife missing although the house is unlocked and her bag and mobile are still there. He soon finds out she has been in a car accident in the bad part of town. He has no idea what she was doing there and she can't tell him because she has amnesia. In the meantime Detective Rasbach is investigati I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for an advance copy of A Stranger in the House, a psychological thriller set in New York State.Tom Krupps arrives home to find his wife missing although the house is unlocked and her bag and mobile are still there. He soon finds out she has been in a car accident in the bad part of town. He has no idea what she was doing there and she can't tell him because she has amnesia. In the meantime Detective Rasbach is investigating the murder of an unidentified man in the same part of town and when he hears about Karen's accident he puts two and two together but getting to four is not straightforward.I thoroughly enjoyed A Stranger in the House. Ms Lapena has a good writing style which is easy to read and invites the reader to believe what she is saying. I swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker for the first half of the novel but found that I was ahead of the game in the second. I had guessed most of it by 50% but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in the slightest as the twists and turns still threw up a few surprises, as did the characters' reactions. I wouldn't say the plot premise is the most believable I've ever read but Ms Lapena does an excellent job with the situation. The novel is an abject lesson in the perils of gullibility. It is Tom I feel sorry for. He has no idea whom to believe and allows himself, through his own innate goodness, to be manipulated. His bewilderment at every turn of events is well done and very credible. I also like Detective Rasbach's keen instinct and investigative smarts. He is not man easily fooled and his puzzlement forces the reader to think carefully about what they think they know.A Stranger in the House is a good read with the typical, fashionable twisted personalities and motives. It's not a genre I normally enjoy but Ms Lapena has produced a very readable novel which I can recommend as a good read.
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  • Nancy McFarlane
    May 29, 2017
    A Stranger in the House is another fantastic domestic thriller from Shari Lapena. It seems to be a fairly straight forward and predictable mystery at first: wives with secrets, husbands with secrets, creepy neighbor with secrets and a convenient case of amnesia. Or, is it? At first, after her accident in a seedy part of town she would never have visited and then the discovery of a murder victim nearby, it seems that Karen is probably faking her amnesia. Then other things make us think perhaps sh A Stranger in the House is another fantastic domestic thriller from Shari Lapena. It seems to be a fairly straight forward and predictable mystery at first: wives with secrets, husbands with secrets, creepy neighbor with secrets and a convenient case of amnesia. Or, is it? At first, after her accident in a seedy part of town she would never have visited and then the discovery of a murder victim nearby, it seems that Karen is probably faking her amnesia. Then other things make us think perhaps she is really suffering from amnesia, because no one can be that good of an actress. Karen lies to the police, her husband Tom lies to the police and their neighbor Brigid lies to the police. But, they all lie for different reasons and about different things. As time goes by it becomes fairly obvious to the reader what happened and then…the totally unexpected.
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  • Dee Ryan
    May 24, 2017
    I had just finished Shari's first book on audio book and dived straight into this one. Karen is preparing dinner for her husband and then she wakes up in hospital. She has no idea what happened or how she got there. The police say she was in a car accident in a really bad part of town. But what was she doing there?? She has no memory of any of it and cannot figure out how she ended up there? What could have made her get in her car and leave the house so suddenly? This book had so many twists and I had just finished Shari's first book on audio book and dived straight into this one. Karen is preparing dinner for her husband and then she wakes up in hospital. She has no idea what happened or how she got there. The police say she was in a car accident in a really bad part of town. But what was she doing there?? She has no memory of any of it and cannot figure out how she ended up there? What could have made her get in her car and leave the house so suddenly? This book had so many twists and turns that I nearly had whip lash. It was a fantastic read from start to finish. It is the kind of book that makes you want to turn just one more page incase there's another shocker on the next page. And the ending was spectacular so worth the read.
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  • Emily
    May 8, 2017
    I received an ARC through NetGalley. I think it was a very solid follow-up to The Couple Next Door; in fact, I found it easier to get into with a less predictable (and rather chilling) ending. Will certainly be purchasing for our library!
  • Andrea
    July 19, 2017
    I feel this book is almost as good as The Couple Next Door. The story line flowed really well and I could not predict the ending. I always like getting thrown a literary surprise now and then! All in all, I would definitely recommend this book.
  • Stephanie
    June 28, 2017
    The new novel by Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door, has gotten a lot of buzz, and I’m a big fan of psychological suspense, so I was happy to get an advance copy of A Stranger In the House (thanks to Penguin Group/Viking and NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review. In the prologue, a woman named Karen is rushing to escape something, driving wildly across town, and runs headlong into a light pole. Her husband, Tom, comes home and finds the door unlocked, Karen’s car gone, but her pu The new novel by Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door, has gotten a lot of buzz, and I’m a big fan of psychological suspense, so I was happy to get an advance copy of A Stranger In the House (thanks to Penguin Group/Viking and NetGalley) in exchange for my honest review. In the prologue, a woman named Karen is rushing to escape something, driving wildly across town, and runs headlong into a light pole. Her husband, Tom, comes home and finds the door unlocked, Karen’s car gone, but her purse and cell phone in the house. It doesn’t make sense to him, but he soon finds out Karen is in the hospital, suffering from amnesia. They love in a comfy neighborhood: “People who live here are successful and settled; everyone’s a little bit smug.” There is a nosy neighbor who seems way too interested in everyone else’s business, and she is only too happy to talk to the two detectives who come around looking into a murder that happened right where Karen’s accident happened – in a part of town where people like her just don’t go. There are lots of twists and turns to keep the reader glued to the story until the unexpected ending – but it might not be unexpected for everyone; I am notoriously bad at seeing these “unexpected” endings coming. I wasn’t wild about Karen or Tom, but the plot kept me happy. It’s a clever, suspenseful thriller of the woman in peril genre, and will be appreciated by fans of Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, etc. I think I may not remember much about it in a few weeks, other than the “oh yeah, I liked that one” memory. I will recommend it to people, though, so it’s a solid four stars.
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  • Kristin
    July 5, 2017
    I wanted to read The Couple Next Door but didn't get to it... now I'm going to have to. This book was something else. On one hand, it had all of these elements of cheap melodrama (view spoiler)[amnesia, a forged identity, a stalker, an affair (hide spoiler)] but somehow it actually read authentically and the pages just kept turning. What I really liked is that I had figured out one of the major elements of the plot based on clues (very satisfying) but there was also one huge element that I could I wanted to read The Couple Next Door but didn't get to it... now I'm going to have to. This book was something else. On one hand, it had all of these elements of cheap melodrama (view spoiler)[amnesia, a forged identity, a stalker, an affair (hide spoiler)] but somehow it actually read authentically and the pages just kept turning. What I really liked is that I had figured out one of the major elements of the plot based on clues (very satisfying) but there was also one huge element that I couldn't puzzle out and really walloped me in the surprise ending (also very enjoyable). So it kind of had the best of both worlds going on. Definitely mind candy, but not totally mindless. A good summer read!The fine print: received ARC from NetGalley.
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  • Gabriela
    June 7, 2017
    A deliciously twisted thriller, maybe one of the best I've read this year. I found it even better than The Couple Next Door and I cannot recommend Shari Lapena enough now. Her books are perfect summer reads too if you are looking for great compelling thrillers.The writing style is more polished in this novel, making it addictive, simply unputdownable. I had trouble focusing on the daily chores with a toddler while reading this one. Luckily it is also a quick read and with the ending somewhat gra A deliciously twisted thriller, maybe one of the best I've read this year. I found it even better than The Couple Next Door and I cannot recommend Shari Lapena enough now. Her books are perfect summer reads too if you are looking for great compelling thrillers.The writing style is more polished in this novel, making it addictive, simply unputdownable. I had trouble focusing on the daily chores with a toddler while reading this one. Luckily it is also a quick read and with the ending somewhat gratifying in the end.Some of the characters are so multi-faceted that it spins the mind. Sure, I expected Karen to have secrets, just not as deep as it turns out in the end. Hence the deliciousness of the book so to say. Mind-twisting plans that were realised in favor of this powerful woman, leading at the same time to moral questions of all kind. So if she were really a battered woman it would all have made so much sense morally. Yet, there is a wow factor in her real secret that boggles the mind. It made me wonder how people and situations can surprise and trick others. Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I am so glad I have asked for this one on Netgalley. Watch out for the publication date, coming up soon in July.
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  • Maria
    May 17, 2017
    When Tom arrives at home and he doesn't find his wife, he feels that something is not right. And when he finds her purse with the mobile inside, the only option he has is to call the police. His worst nightmare starts when the police calls at his door and tells him that his wife suffered an accident and doesn't remember at all what happened... He will start mistrusting everything, and one question will pop one time and another in his head... Who is the stranger he is living with?This is one of t When Tom arrives at home and he doesn't find his wife, he feels that something is not right. And when he finds her purse with the mobile inside, the only option he has is to call the police. His worst nightmare starts when the police calls at his door and tells him that his wife suffered an accident and doesn't remember at all what happened... He will start mistrusting everything, and one question will pop one time and another in his head... Who is the stranger he is living with?This is one of those books that you read in one sit, so have the day free, because you will not be able to put it down, it will abduct completely in their pages!From the beginning you know that there's something more in the story, a stalker in the house weeks previous to the "accident"? Who would want to enter Brown's house to sleep on the bed or use a glass of water? It doesn't make much sense... or it is?Who is really Karen, she says she has amnesia, but neither the police or her husband believes her... did she really forget everything about the accident or she doesn't want to remember?After all this year's books, I will think twice to choose who are my friends, because Karen's best friend, Brigid is hiding something, she is really obsessed with Brown's life, but why? I didn't liked her since the first page, she is hiding something... but what?I have to say I liked the couple of twists in the ending, they were completely unexpected! There are some things that you could predict since the beginning (I have read too many books!) but what makes a book to stay with you or forget is the ending and this one I can only say, touché!I will advise you that after reading this book you will start seeing conspiracies everywhere and be suspicious from everyone!So... do you really know the person you are married?
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  • Veronica Moss
    June 3, 2017
    A satisfying page-turner mystery/thriller that has it all: murder, intrigue, infidelity, obsession, fear, flawed characters ... based on the simple premise that people aren't always what they seem. Fast beach or plane read.
  • Kath
    July 17, 2017
    Actually 3.5 stars but I have rounded up.I was blown away by the author's previous book "The Couple Next Door" when I read it last year. So much so that I was really looking forward to read this book. Sadly this one, although a good read in itself, didn't quite reach the dizzy heights set by the previous.The main premise of this book is that the main character can't remember what happened. Or claims she can't anyway. Tom comes back home from work to find his house unlocked, dinner half completed Actually 3.5 stars but I have rounded up.I was blown away by the author's previous book "The Couple Next Door" when I read it last year. So much so that I was really looking forward to read this book. Sadly this one, although a good read in itself, didn't quite reach the dizzy heights set by the previous.The main premise of this book is that the main character can't remember what happened. Or claims she can't anyway. Tom comes back home from work to find his house unlocked, dinner half completed but his wife and her car missing. On further investigation he finds her handbag and phone left behind so, wherever she went, it was in a hurry. After calling all her friends he can think of, a policeman knocks his door and informs him that his wife, or specifically her car, has been in an accident. He rushes to the hospital to find it was his wife, Karen, who was driving but that she has no idea why she would have been in that part of town, nor why she was driving so badly to have crashed. And so begins a twisty turny journey fuelled by secrets and lies and duplicitous behaviour that was, on the whole, enjoyable but to me not quite convincing and believable enough for me to invest totally in which is probably why it fell a little short of expectations. With only the three main characters, husband and wife Tom and Karen and neighbour and Karen's friend Brigid, there is a lot of pressure on the author to create them as totally believable. There are a few detectives too but they all became as one with me as they were all quite small as characters and just merged into each other a bit as they weren't particularly distinct. Not that they really needed to be to be honest as they just played their parts in uncovering and drip feeding information at appropriate moments. There was also Karen's lawyer who also played his part satisfactorily. Apparently, I have just read in another review that this book shared the same detective as for the previous book. I have to say that I didn't particularly notice any familiarity myself either. Tom, Karen and Brigid were all pretty unlikable in their own different ways. I never quite believed Karen and found Brigid to just be a little annoying. Tom was OK, all caught up in the middle of things that I can't and won't explain here (spoilers) but I did find him to be a little wet at times and I did shout at him a fair few times along the way. To be honest, towards the end of the book, I didn't really much care what happened to any of them. I didn't ever get that connection that I crave and need in a book for it to be a good read for me. All in all, a solid enough read that kept me intrigued enough to carry on but which didn't quite hit the mark for me at the end of the day. Definitely not enough to write this author off though but I may well be a bit more discerning before I dive into her next book.My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    July 19, 2017
    When Tom Krupp comes home late that evening, he is astonished: the door is not locked. And his wife apparently is in the middle of cooking. Her cell phone and her handbag are there, but where is Karen? When none of their friends have heard anything of her either, he calls the police who seem to be at his house immediately: there was an awful accident and the victim could be his wife. Tom is preoccupied and relaxed at the same time. But just as the police he wonders what his wife was doing in tha When Tom Krupp comes home late that evening, he is astonished: the door is not locked. And his wife apparently is in the middle of cooking. Her cell phone and her handbag are there, but where is Karen? When none of their friends have heard anything of her either, he calls the police who seem to be at his house immediately: there was an awful accident and the victim could be his wife. Tom is preoccupied and relaxed at the same time. But just as the police he wonders what his wife was doing in that part of town. When a couple of days later a dead body is discovered, Karen’s accident and the murder are quickly linked. Yet, the woman cannot remember anything from that day, she’s suffering from amnesia since the accident. More and more evidence hints at her and Tom has to find out that his wife is everything but not the woman he thought she was. However, he does not know yet that the real danger might come from somewhere completely different.I already liked Shari Lapena’s first novel “The couple next door”, but “A stranger in the House” is much more thrilling and elaborate than her first book. First of all, there is so much the characters hide and only reveal when they are forced to. All of them have their secrets, some minor, some major, and this keeps you alert all the time. Especially since you never know whom you can actually trust. First of all Karen. It is obvious quite from the start that she has some buried secrets from her past and that she deliberately lied to her husband. Nevertheless, she is good at playing roles – also with the reader so until the very last pages. You cannot be sure of who she is and what she is capable of. Second comes Tom. He seems to be a nice and trustful guy, easy to delude perhaps. I was taken by surprise that he also has something kept from his wife which will play a major role in the development of the case. Third Brigid, their neighbour and close friend of Karen. I didn’t like her from the start. She is that nosy observer across the street who is meddling all the time and sticking her nose in other people’s matters. That her role takes some interesting turn came rather as a surprise to me.Even though the reader gets a much better picture of what happened than the police, there is still enough in the dark to keep you from knowing for sure. Since there were so many unexpected twists and turns, I wasn’t completely certain what to believe was the truth until the very end. The plot was cleverly constructed and to me absolutely convincing in all respects. To sum up, a thriller which keeps you alert and reading on.
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  • Stephanie
    July 20, 2017
    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 collisio 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 several times 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 are 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 year, then you are familiar with Detective Rasbach and his keen investigative skills!  Since the other characters, Tom, Karen, and their stalkerish/ 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 because 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.**
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