After the massive success of her thriller The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena is back with A Stranger In The House. Shari certainly seems to be obsessed with the concept of neighbours, relationships and secrecy. In The Couple Next Door, it was a case of how well do you know your neighbours, coupled with the kidnapping of a baby. In this new book, Stranger In The House, it’s still about neighbours, this time being nosey (who can’t relate), and not minding their own business.
The novel centres around a mysterious situation – a major accident – that devastates the life of one couple and lays the foundation of a mystery. It’s a normal night….so it seems. Karen Krupp is cooking dinner, waiting for her husband to come home. But here’s where the mystery begins. Why did Karen run out recklessly in the middle of the night, without her purse or a note for her husband…something totally out of character for her? What was she doing in a sketchy part of town? A very careful driver at the best of times, how did she lose control of her car and end up driving right into a pole?
There are more questions than answers, and amnesia fueled by a concussion doesn’t help. She remembers nothing. Or does she? The police sure don’t seem to believe her, convinced that she’s faking it. Her husband has a hundred questions of his own, and definitely has his doubts. Afraid, confused, Karen doesn’t know who to turn to. She has a best friend – a meddling neighbour – across the street. Can she turn to her? Can she trust her? What has she really done? How will she prove her innocence?
What follows is a twisting series of leads that make you believe one thing, then spiral you into suspicion.
A Stranger In The House is a clever, suspenseful and satisfying thriller. The characters aren’t as developed as in The Couple Next Door, but there is an element of familiarity to them.