Cover Image: A Stranger in the House

A Stranger in the House

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Member Reviews

When Karen Krupp is in a car accident, questions are asked. Why was she in such a hurry to leave her house? Why was she speeding when she is always true to the law? And why was she in the worst part of town? Unfortunately Karen has suffered concussion resulting in memory loss and so it's down to the police to figure out exactly what has been going on.

'A Stranger In The House,' is a good, if somewhat formulaic psychological thriller. Nonetheless it was still an intriguing and enjoyable read.
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apologies I didn't get around to downloading before the book was archived
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Shari Lapena for the advance copy of "The Stranger In The House" in return for an honest review. Having previously read "The Couple Next Door" and loving it I had high expectations for "The Stranger In The House" but I had my doubts that it would be as good but Shari Lapena did it again in her amazing style of writing that just grabs you from the first page and sucks you in until you've finished the last page. I enjoyed every minute of the rollercoaster ride this book took me on and I read it in almost one sitting!!!
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Having thoroughly enjoyed Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door I was very excited to read A Stranger In The House and promptly requested to read it via Netgalley.

The book quickly sucked me into the story, I wanted to know just what Karen had been running from when she crashed her car. Was her amnesia real or was she pretending? Had her marriage really been so perfect? And what was with the curtain twitcher who lived opposite?

When a book immediately throws you into the action it can mean that reader doesn’t get to know who the characters are before their lives were thrown into turmoil, but Lapena’s writing doesn’t fall into that trap. I felt that I had a good understanding of Tom and Karen’s relationship which made the book all the more enjoyable.

As the twisted story revealed itself more was revealed about Karen and her past, I started to think that I’d worked it out but of course I hadn’t at all. Lots of twists and turns in this book that’s for sure!

I think that A Stranger In The House is even better than The Couple Next Door, so I am now really looking forward to her next book!
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This is one of those books that you read and should enjoy because it's your type of book - but somehow it fails to hit the right buttons. Unfortunately,  for me, the characters were slightly wooden and not very likeable,  there wasn't enough mystery or suspense in it. and I found it too easy to predict what was going to happen. There were a couple of twists towards the end (one of which I felt the author could have expanded on to make Karen a bit more interesting) which were unexpected but for me this was a forgettable read.
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A beautiful couple leading beautiful lives until,the night Tom comes home from work to find a Marie Celeste situation - Karen isn't there.  Tom runs around for a bit like some headless chicken, wondering what he should do about the situation.  A creepy neighbour lives in their street to add some spice to the mix.  It was entertaining rather than edge of your seat thrilling, a turn the page gently, not rip apart in the haste to find out what happens.  Tom was a selfish drip, Karen was rather cold and unlikeable as were many of the other characters in this story.  Great idea and cover and I would definitely pick it up for a closer look if I saw it in a bookshop.
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Really quick read. Shari Lapena is going to be an auto-buy author.
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Having read Shari Lapena's previous novel, The Couple Next Door, I was SUPER excited to find A Stranger in the House up for grabs on NetGalley. 
As a fast paced, wickedly written thriller, ASITH held me until the very end despite a certain main character's reactions and decision making beginning to irritate me not far from the first few pages. With plenty of twists and turns leading right to the last few pages, ASITH is every bit as good as The Couple Next Door.
I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Karen witnesses something traumatic and flees in a blind panic.  As a result she crashes her car, suffers amnesia and doctors are unsure when she will regain her memories of that night.
Tom, her husband, arrives home to find Karen unexpectedly missing and all signs indicating a hasty departure.  He only learns of the accident when police knock at the front door.  As she recovers he struggles to believe she is unable to remember details of that day and suspects she is hiding something from him.
While Karen is in hospital two teenagers discover the body of a man in an abandoned restaurant.  Police investigating the murder discover that Karen is linked in some way to the dead man and concentrate their enquiries on Karen and her past.  When police locate the murder weapon Karen is arrested for committing the murder and sent to prison.
Brigid is Karen’s neighbour and best friend.  She barely registers her husband’s existence as her marriage falls apart and spends all her time on Karen and her life.
At times I felt like shaking Brigid’s husband to make him do something instead of burying his head in the sand.  A friend said to me “its only a book”.  If it was ‘only’ a book I wouldnt get so caught up in it.  This is the first book I have read by this author and I am really keen to see if she can produce another as gripping as this.
This mystery/thriller has plenty of twists to take you by surprise even to the point where you think you can see the end coming.  Here you will discover that everyone has secrets and some people will stop at nothing to get what they want.
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I was thrilled to get the ARC of this book and loved every gripping, emotional  and compelling page. I read it in two sittings. Toms wife disappears without any cause but he soon has the police knocking at his door with devastating news which gets worse and worse as time goes on. If you love a brilliant psychological thriller I can highly recommend this book.
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A Stranger in the House is a very enjoyable, easy read.  A man’s body has been found. A woman, who never breaks driving laws, is found having crashed into a lamppost (or similar) having been driving erratically. She is suffering from amnesia and can’t remember if she had anything to do with the murder. I enjoyed this book, also having enjoyed The Couple Next Door. It makes you think how far you’d go to protect your own partner and how well you know your friends. Highly recommended.
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The follow up to The Couple Next Door is not a disappointment.  Opening with a mystery,it progresses to complex,  thriller. Although some of the twists, I guessed, the ending did come as a surprise. A worthy  read for fans of this author.
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Having seen Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door in the top 10 for so many weeks, I was excited to see if her second novel lived up to the hype around this author. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and raced through it in just a couple of days. It was a very competent and skillfully handled psychological thriller. It doesn't do anything wildly different or original but for anyone looking to be entertained and gripped, I would highly recommend. The ending was pitched perfectly too - a very satisfying read! I eagerly anticipate Shari's next novel! I have posted my review on Amazon as RachelReads.
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Shari Lapena's previous book, The Couple Next Door, was one of my book club choices and divided opinion with the uncomfortable nature of the crime at its centre. This new novel is less controversial and has fewer surprises for its readers. Once familiar with the author's style, it is easier to see where the plot is going and what the 'twist' is likely to be. However, it is an enjoyable read and kept me entertained throughout.
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A Stranger in the House was a great book. Karen can't remember what happened, her husband Tom comes home from work to find the house unlocked, dinner started but no wife. He then finds out she's been in a car accident and rushes to the hospital, there he finds out that Karen has no recollection of what happened. The story starts unravelling and Secrets and Lies are uncovered. 
Loved the twists and thought this was another great book by Shari Lapena.
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I absolutely loved The Couple Next Door and it was probably one of the books that had me gripped last year. I was therefore eagerly awaiting this new title, A Stranger in the House. Yes it was good, a great read but there was just something missing, or perhaps I was missing something, I don't know. If your're a Shari Lapena fan, I'm sure you will enjoy it, but for me, it didn't quite do it! 3.5*. My thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for the advance reader copy.
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I bought and read Shari Lapena's first thriller, 'The Couple Next Door" and loved it. So, when I read an excerpt in the back of the book for 'A Stranger In The House,' I hot-footed it straight to NetGalley to request a copy. My email pinged  a day later and I downloaded it immediately. 
"Maybe she got lucky with the first book" I thought as I read the first sentence. "Perhaps she will have written a copy-cat book and I bet  it'll be a bit bland and boring" I thought, with a tinge of jealously and disbelief that anyone call pull off a second bestseller so quickly after writing the first one. How wrong I was! And now I'm going to tell you why . . . 
Shari has a way with suspense that just grabs you from the first paragraph and keeps you there in anticipation, searching for the twists as you try to guess what is going to happen next. She starts with a great hook, particularly in this, her second book. You are compelled/hypnotised to keep reading to answer the questions that have been posed This book makes you immediately want to know what happens and why it has happened, but whoa there cowboys, hold your horses! Shari drip feeds the clues like a stubborn tap that won't turn off and just as you start to form a theory and solve the puzzle, she zaps it in the head, leaving you wondering and shaking your head, determined to beat the author so you can guess before the book ends. And you do kind of guess, but you're not entirely sure and you  couldn't claim to have had it worked out ages before, even as you read the last word because you don't trust Shari and are waiting for a one liner or a sentence that will turn it around again. This 'eager, hungry reading is a pleasant change from a lot of the psychological suspense/thrillers out in the market at the moment which are quite same. This isn't. It's a standalone, a unique style and although the storyline hasn't been unheard of, what Shari does with it and how she brings it alive is the gift that makes an exceptional writer.. The characters are believable and authentic, they could be your neighbours or your friends, someone we all know. They just pop out of the page in 3D for you to get to know and enjoy and suspect. Also, Detective Rasbach from 'The Couple Next Door'  is back in this book and I have to admit to a little crush on the blue eyed good looking detective so  I was delighted when he popped up again with his laid back investigative style and sharp mind. So, to the brief synopsis  . . . 
We meet Karen and Tom who on the outside appear to be a normal couple going about their business. That is until Karen mysteriously leaves the house one evening without keys, phone or her purse and crashes the car. What looks like a run-of-the-mill car accident on the surface, soon becomes a murder investigation and Karen is the prime suspect. Not only that, Karen has been hiding things about her past and she's not who she seems. Introduce the weirdo-psycho friend, Brigid,  across the road who has a crush on Karen's husband and a history of a previous affair with Karen's husband, Tom,  and the stakes get really high.
I just loved this novel and read it in one sitting. If you like a police procedural/psychological suspense that keeps you guessing then this book is definitely for you. I defy anyone to not keep turning the pages until the very end. Shari Lapena's storylines are  a masterclass in plotting, suspense. characterisation and authenticity. Her writing style is very different to what's out there at the moment and she has a distinctive voice, which is incredibly difficult to achieve in a very competitive fiction  market. I'm fairly confident that if she wrote another thriller —  after reading a paragraph —  I'd know it was her. And, as an aspiring writer myself, that makes me soo jealous! I would totally recommend this book and suggest you go out and buy it right now and whilst you're at it, get 'The couple Next Door'  if you haven't read it already. I promise you you'll thank me for it —  although your husband/family/friends may not when you buy it to go on holiday and just mutter "uh,huh" or 'really" in  a low, disinterested voice —  as you read, read, read and hurriedly turn the pages. It's been a while since  I've found a book that i'm prepared to read as I'm getting off the train and going up the escalator, but this is one of them!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my advanced copy.
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I was excited to read after reading her first book but I was really disappointed. I didn't like any if the characters and found the storyline very predictable .
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A compelling story that keeps you guessing until the very end! Amazing
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Lapena has done it again, thoroughly entertained me with her novel! A Stranger in the House is a fun read. Like The Couple Next Door, I don’t think the plot should be taken too seriously but it sure is enjoyable. Lapena has mastered the art of unreliable narration, this time through the use of memory loss, she kept me in suspense – Karen wakes up in hospital and cannot recall the events that preceded her accident, her husband’s unsure, as is her best friend, so by default I was unsure too.

I did predict ahead of time the situation that would arise as the police started digging into what happened but that didn’t spoil it because even if you can predict what’s to come, you’re still not sure who’s version of events to believe – that’s unreliable narration for you! Characters losing their memory is by no means a new idea in fiction, it allows the author a platform to heightened suspense and tension for the reader, hence why I’m a fan of books with unreliable narration.

While I predicted the tangled web these characters would find themselves in, I appreciated Lapena clarifying things towards the end of the novel. So, if you dislike open endings and don’t want to be left pondering what the author was thinking, then A Stranger in the House is a good pick.

It’s also good when a novel has a variety of characters, those you grow to like and those you grow to dislike – you’ll find that in this novel too. Karen is one of those characters you grow to like, you’re unsure of her at first, with no memory, you’re not sure if you should like her or not because you don’t know if you can trust her, but by the end of the novel, there was no disputing it – I was a fan.

The plot in this novel is realistic, much more so than that of her previous novel, but it’s not the realism I look for when I read Lapena’s books, it’s the enjoyment factor. Her novels are so much fun to read, there’s no hard-to-read parts, no blood and gore, just a fun, ‘light-hearted’ psychological thriller that you can lose yourself in.
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