Review – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐



Why would you run scared from a happy home?

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…


Once again Shari Lapena has done it.  She has achieved ninja-book-warrior status by keeping me on the edge of my seat until the final page (and even then the final page surprised me!).

This book makes for fast paced, edgy reading with a bit of action thrown in too.  There is no pussy-footing round with Lapena, just hardcore entertainment.  You will be taken on a twisty adventure and just when you think you know what is going on, Lapena throws a huge curveball in your face… and for that reason I am not sure whether to love her or hate her!

This book is blessed with short chapters, an all time favourite of mine.  I just love this style in a thriller as you are constantly being left with a mini cliffhanger.  It means that you have to keep on reading which surely is what any author is trying to achieve with their audience.

To set the scene of the story, it all begins with an out of character high speed car crash, a dead body in an abandoned restaurant and a husband wondering where on earth his wife is.  So when the police come knocking on his door, he can only assume the worst… why is his wife lying in a hospital bed and can he believe anything she says?

Tom Krupp, the husband, oh how I loved his character.  He is kind, caring, hardworking and loves his wife deeply.  But surely no-one can be that perfect… I really hope there are no skeletons in his closet!?

Karen Krupp, the wife, I was baffled by her to begin with.  She is a complete mystery which I guess is what Lapena was aiming for – she can’t give everything away, right?  I would love to share what I later learnt of Katherine but then that would be no fun for you guys, no-one likes a spoiler.

There is also Brigid, the nosy neighbour, who is a little bit psychotic too.  I didn’t like her at all!  She is unhappily married and bitter, but is Katherine’s best friend and confidant.  Can Brigid be trusted though or has she got an ulterior motive?!

Investigating the homicide is a Detective Rasbach, and what a rottweiler he is.  He is like a dog with a bone and will not let go until he finds out the truth.  Under other circumstances I am sure he is a very pleasant bloke but as I felt loyal towards Tom and Karen, I just couldn’t get on with his character.  Although I know he is only doing his job.

So, if you enjoy a book full of secrets then this is the one for you.  A perfect read if you don’t mind a late night.

Thank you to Thomas Hill at Transworld Books for providing me with an advanced review copy in return for my opinion – I appreciate it.

Oh, and A Stranger in the House is available from this Thursday 27th July so go buy it!!

My final word: Breathtaking!


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