A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena is a psychological thriller. I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The novel follows Tom and Karen.  Tom comes home from work one night to find that Karen isn’t home and must have left in a hurry because she left her purse and cell phone behind. The police knock on the door and tell Tom that his wife has been in an accident. She lost control of her car while speeding through the worst part of town and drove into a telephone pole. Karen comes out of the accident with some cuts and bruises and a concussion, but she also has no memory of what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops believe she is faking the memory loss and when Karen comes home from the hospital she realizes that things have been moved and someone has been in her house. Everyone has questions, the cops, Karen, Tom…and when the cops make a discovery that makes Karen look guilty of a crime far worse than speeding, secrets begin to be revealed and the truth finally comes out.

I loved The Couple Next Door and when I saw that this was coming out I knew I had to read it. If you enjoyed it than you’ll definitely enjoy this one as well. It follows the same format. The book opens with a mystery, there are lots of questions and suspicions, secrets are revealed, the truth comes out, the ending is shocking and BAM that’s not the end, cliffhanger…

I loved the mystery in this novel. Just when you think you have it figured out another secret is revealed and then you have more questions. Everyone looks guilty and you have no idea who to trust or who to believe. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and I did not want to put this book down.

I’ve noticed that I don’t fall for any of Shari Lapena’s couples. I don’t dislike them, but I also don’t find myself connecting with their relationship. This could be because it’s a thriller and that’s where the focus is and not a romance-centric type with a little mystery thrown in. Now separately, I had all the feels. Tom, I was worried with him, what happened to his wife? Where is she? Is she OK? I was hurt and confused with him, Is Karen being honest? What is she not saying? I was also mad at him and with him when some of the secrets came out. Karen, I felt her confusion, I felt afraid and at times alone, I felt betrayed and hurt and I also felt her relief. Tom and Karen made mistakes, they both had secrets, they were human. They could be real people that live next door to me or you. I loved that about them. Like I said, I wasn’t drawn to them as a couple but I loved them individually and considering that the mystery was the focus, I’m OK with that. 

Now, of course I need to touch on the ending a little bit. There was so much build up to the end of this novel. Just when you think you have all the answers, you’ve figured it out and everything is solved, the rug is pulled out from under you and you find out that there’s actually one more big secret, and at least for me I did not see it coming. Then the books final page ends on a sort of cliffhanger. This time I had my suspicions about where the author might be going and I was right but it was still really enjoyable and I love that she went there. 

A Stranger In The House left me wanting more. I highly recommend this book especially to anyone who enjoyed The Couple Next Door. I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads. Definitely go and check it out.

Keep reading…Lola


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