Book Review – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Tom and Karen Krupp are the perfect happy couple. She waits for him to come home from his accounting job everyday with a nice home-cooked meal in tow. They are even planning to start a family soon. However, one evening, Karen disappears, leaving her cell phone in the house, doors unlocked, pasta water boiling. She subsequently gets into a car accident and suffers from amnesia, forgetting what happens that night. Tom gets home, couldn’t find her, calls her friends and then the police. A dead man gets found a few days later. As she gets investigated due to the murder (it took place near the place of her accident), she slowly regains her memory, recalling the frightening events that took place that fateful night.

As I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but find similarities to Lapena’s first novel I read “The Couple Next Door“. The narration is mostly third-person and thus makes for easy reading. Some people however, would find it boring and yearn for the messiness of flashbacks, different perspectives, etc. The pleasant thing I found about Lapena’s writing is that she doesn’t wait TOO long to show you her secret. For example, something might happen, and makes you eager to find out why. Most of the time, the ‘why’ is answered in the next chapter (or next few).

As usual, this book has not disappointed the love-for-domestic-thrillers in me. in the spirit of her previous book, everyone has secrets to hide. Well, almost everyone. Even her neighbors are involved. (Hint, hint). Plot is fast paced and uncovering of secrets quite nicely paced out. i thought I would be left unfulfilled at the ending but turns out the last two pages did justice to that. Several parts left me reeling, plus the characters are really believable too.

Rating: 4.75/5 (Good pace of plot twists, easy reading. Doesn’t leave you on a cliffhanger for long – some might like it, some might not, to each his own. Great ending but a little abrupt, could have been more work done there leading up to the conclusion)

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