ABOUT THE BOOK:
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—heLr 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.
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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena is a 2017 Pamela Dorman Books publication.
Oh dear. Well, this novel is the fourth one I’ve read within a one or two- month span with very similar plot lines.
Although, by the time I got this one from the library, I’d grown weary of the repetitiveness, I have to say I enjoyed the quirky atmosphere, and the dash of dark humor thrown into the mix, which was refreshing.
Tom and Karen look like the ideal couple. But, their lives rapidly spiral out of control when Karen abruptly leaves the house after receiving a phone call, and winds up crashing her car in a bad neighborhood. The accident causes Karen to suffer memory loss, so she can’t tell anyone what happened or why she was in such dangerous location.
To complicate matters, a dead body is discovered near the car crash and it looks as though Karen could know something about the murder, and to top it all off, Karen begins to suspect someone has been in their house, moving little things around and going through her things.
With the cops asking pointed questions, Tom and Karen become increasingly paranoid, which puts an enormous strain on their once perfect marriage.
Karen finds support from her best friend and neighbor, who keeps a very close eye on Tom and Karen….
This story moves along at a brisk pace and has several very nice twists along the way, but it also has one of those annoying tacked on codas I’ve begun to despise. The last sentence was, no doubt, intended to leave the reader feeling a slight shiver down the spine, but honestly, I thought it was a nice touch of dark humor, and wickedly funny. I can’t go into details, but it was a very fitting conclusion and I would enjoy reading a short epilogue sometime in the future, updating us on how the characters are doing.
My issues with this book stems from having read so many psychological thrillers right in a row, with similar plots. But, this book stands on its own merits and overall, it was an enjoyable enough read.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shari Lapena is a Canadian novelist. She is best known for her 2016 thriller novel The Couple Next Door, which was a bestseller both in Canada and internationally. Lapena, a lawyer and English teacher before beginning her writing career, published her debut novel Things Go Flying in 2008. That novel was a shortlisted Sunburst Award finalist in 2009. Her second novel, Happiness Economics, was a shortlisted Stephen Leacock Award finalist in 2012.