Cover Image: A Stranger in the House

A Stranger in the House

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was a weird reading experience because I feel like the author thinks I’m an idiot. The writing is so simplistic it feels like a children’s book, the characters are utterly one-note, and the plot is uninteresting. Every single thing that happens is spelled out, just in case I fell asleep and missed a bit, maybe? I will say one thing, and this is genuine: this book would be good for when you just can’t concentrate (eg. have had an operation and are on painkillers) as it doesn’t matter if you miss a bit, it’ll explain it for you. And there is value in having a very, very low-attention book for times liked that.
Was this review helpful?
This was a pretty mediocre psychological thriller but it kept me reading. There are better books out there but I'm sure others will thoroughly enjoy this one anyway.
Was this review helpful?
I read Lapana's first book which was okay but too short and neatly wrapped up. This was about the same. I found myself having a hard putting down the book but when I finish I don't think it was that great. So easy to read and engrossing, just that. Not a great story nor writing, so a okay thriller I would say,
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing  me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Having previously enjoyed The Couple Next Door, I was excited to read this new offering from Sari Lapena. Although I finished the book and was entertained, I felt the story was a bit too far fetched to really engage me. I instantly disliked the duplicitous nature of the main protagonist from the minute she was introduced to the story. She has this seemingly perfect life and husband and yet feels the need to lie her way out of the scenario she finds herself waking up to. 

Unfortunately this book failed miserably. I look forward to Shari Lapena returning to the form of her debut novel.
Was this review helpful?
A tense and well paced thriller that keeps the reader guessing.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?

I loved this novel, it is a creepy tense tale of obsession, greed and the two female characters are brilliantly portrayed.

The film, Single, White, Female kept springing to my mind, but A Stranger in the House has an edge that took my breath away. Quite honestly I did not see the twist coming AT ALL.

Karen Krupp is a lady with a secret, but then so does her husband, and so does her friend across the street, Brigid.

The tension is high and I loved how the author revealed the story slowly, like a dripping tap, I was well aware at how I very quickly turned each page. 

This is a recommended read, I loved the previous novel by Lapena and this one is a worthy follow up. If I have one criticism, it was the writing style. It is rather like being read to, I would have much preferred  different 'voice'. That said it is a terrific tale and I am really looking forward to the next novel by this amazing storyteller.
Was this review helpful?
A Stranger in the House starts with a pulse-pounding prologue and a gripping, fast-paced first third and I was really hooked to begin with. Then the pace settles down a bit and there is a lot of information gathering in the middle third but it moves along swiftly enough.

Unfortunately, it has a disappointing final third. Maybe I’ve just read too many similar books lately but the ending was not a particular surprise. The pace was still brisk and there are revelations made but it did not quite live up to its early promise.

Separately, I wasn’t that keen on our two leads. Tom is not a likeable figure – a bit weak, a bit dithery and a little flat. Karen is better, a stronger character but I didn’t really warm to her. You don’t know whether you can trust her and that is fine – that is entertaining – but I almost didn’t really care what was going to happen to either of them.

There is some good plotting in the story and, as I say, some tense moments. I had enjoyed Shari Lapena’s first book, The Couple Next Door, and her new release also sounds good, so I am hoping that this is just a one-off where the book and I did not hit it off as much as I’d hoped. 3/5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for the ARC of A Stranger in the House.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed The Couple Next Door and was  excited to read Shari Lapena's next book. Unfortunately, this was just an okay read for me. A little predictable and I've read quite a few similar books recently. I'll still read her next book as I like Shari Lapena's writing style.
Was this review helpful?
I started this book and wasn’t sure what to expect from it.  I’d previously read this authors previous book ‘The couple next door’ and I struggled with it.  However after reading a few chapters of this book I was hooked.  It’s a domestic thriller with plenty of suspense throughout and a jaw dropping ending.  My only struggle was trying to like any of the characters, I just couldn’t warm to any of them.
Was this review helpful?
This book has sat on my Kindle for over 6 months and I am yet to read it.  Whilst I was originally really engaged by the blurb, it's yet to make it to the top of my TBR pile and it no longer really appeals to me.  I'm really sorry and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to read and review this book though.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks for the opportunity to have read this book.  It was an entertaining read, I could not wait to see if Karen got her memory back, and what really happened, or didn't happen that night.  It was a great read.  Can't wait to see more by this author!
Was this review helpful?
I was completely gripped by this story and thought the quality of writing was of a really high standard. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thank you.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent thriller! Whipped through it in a couple of days. Liked characters - Karen and Tom - and the way that Karen’s mysterious past is slowly revealed. Keeps reader guessing right until the end. Great twist too! Think I enjoyed this more than the ‘The Couple next door’.
Was this review helpful?
Once I read the write up for this novel I was hooked and had to know more about it. I though this book was a very good read and the fact that I actually guessed the conclusion for once didn't spoil my enjoyment in the slightest.
The lead character Karen is involved in an car accident and wakes up with no memory of what has happened. When Karen's husband arrives home from work he realises there is something wrong, in the kitchen the meal she was preparing is left unfinished and abandoned. Karen's mobile and purse are still in the house but she appears to have left in a hurry.
He fears the worse and rings the police only to be told she was involved in an accident in the rough part of town while speeding. This leads to many unanswered questions, why did she leave in a hurry, why was she speeding, where was she going.
This all leads to lots of suspense, intrigue and lots of twists and turns. A thoroughly entertaining read.

I would like to thank Random House and Net Galley for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena is by first book by this author.  I raced through the pages of it's deceptively simple plot.  What looked simple in the surface was far from the case.  Suffice to say, it grabbed my attention to ensure it won't be my last book by Shari Lapena.


My Thoughts on A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

Smooth plotting! There is a tiny cast of characters, and I was still undecided as to just who was the murderer. This one, no wait that one, no go back the first one! That was me for most of the book. And I loved that the author set a trap, based on preconceived notions that the reader might have. I for one jumped headlong into that trap.

There are really only 3 characters, plus the murdered person, and the two detectives that make up the cast. The intimate setting added to the sinister feel, as you knew it was no stranger that carried the danger element.  It also felt scarily realistic which gave me all the shivers.

I will say all 3 main characters infuriated me. Similarly to how I felt about the characters in Gone Girl. I loved to hate them, particularly sexist hapless Tom. Who is by far the weakest character in the book. Not in the sense of being underdeveloped by the author, just that he is a weak person and the two women ran rings around him.

"She must have nerves of steel, he thinks. He is not sure he likes thinking of her that way.”

My reaction to reading that line was Tom, you're pathetic!  And he was, but I enjoyed scorning him and his passive ways.

Overall a thumbs up, and an interesting introduction to another suspense author for me.  I've added The Couple Next Door to my to-read, and I'm expecting good things from it.


Who should read A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena?

If you enjoy domestic noir books, then I think you'd enjoy this.  Especially if you are a fan of authors such as BA Paris, or Gillian Flynn.

Thanks to Random House UK and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book for review consideration.  As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I've read mixed reviews about this read. For me I enjoyed it and loved reading about Karen and Tom. It was a page turner for me and I was drawn into their complicated lives. Looking forward to the next book by this author!
Was this review helpful?
So good. Had me riveted. Dark, twisted and genuinely compelling. I'm a fan of this domestic crime thriller genre - as are so many other people! - but Shari Lapena is an example of where this genre collides with great writing. Would highly recommend for fans of tense psychological thrillers and looking forward to reading more of hers in the future.
Was this review helpful?
A Stranger in the House
by Shari Lapena 
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—her 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.

I really enjoyed The Couple next Door by Shari LaPana and was thrilled to see that a Stranger in the house. is a brilliant and intriguing suspense thriller that was so compelling I couldn't put it down.
 This was a true page turner, I read it in one sitting and was glued to every page. I loved not knowing who to trust and I changed my mind several times about who was being honest. There were many twists and turns and again, like in her debut Lapena kept the twists coming all the way until the end. I just love when an author can still surprise me in the last few pages!
Was this review helpful?
I had seriously high expectations for this book as I loved her previous book 'The Couple Next Door'. I did really enjoy this however I believe that my expectations were too high and that's the reason that I was left feeling slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong the twists and turns in this book made you feel like you were on a rollercoaster, unfortunately it didn't live up to my high expectations.
Was this review helpful?
I was drawn into the book from the start and love how the book was written. A tangled web of characters - some of which are likeable but some I grew to really dislike. I guessed some of the twists but this did not detract from the story itself. Fast paced and edgy, a page turner which kept me engrossed.

I found this a very gripping read but I did enjoy the authors debut novel more. I am looking forward to Shari Lapena's next novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and  the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?