Cover Image: A Stranger in the House

A Stranger in the House

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Member Reviews

It could have been hard to live up to The Couple Next Door but in my opinion it does. I really enjoyed this story. It starts with a car accident where Karen is involved and injured but can't remember the  how, why, when or where of it. She's married to Tom who came home to find his wife missing until the police arrive on his doorstep. The story builds from that point, told through Tom and Karen's experiences as she recovers and tries to remember what happened and the events leading up to it. It is nicely built up, keeping the suspense and mystery flowing and keeping you guessing as to who is telling the truth or not. A great read which I highly recommend.
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Thanks a million netgalley, bookouture, and the publisher for letting me read this book. Wow what a page turner!! From the very first page I was gripped and was kept glued right to the end!! Did NOT see the final twist coming!! Definitely recommend it!
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I had read the mixed reviews before reading this book and as I haven't read the authors previous novel I had no preconceptions. The story was well written with plenty of twists and turns. I read the book in a day, was this because the story kept me hooked or was it that it was simply an easy read with not too many characters to keep me on the edge of my seat. I did not feel any empathy toward the characters and was really not bothered about the outcome either way. But as I read the story and found the writing style easy to read I feel it deserves the 4 stars.
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I was slightly disappointed with A Stranger in the House, I'd love to give it more stars as The Couple Next Door is one of my favourites that I have recommended many times but I just felt that this latest offering didn't even come close,  I'd rate this one as just okay.
The plot was rather slow to get going and not very difficult to second guess.    It hasn't put me off the author, I will certainly read the next book.

Thank you.
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I loved the idea of this book a woman is cooking dinner then suddenly leaves her house, door unlocked and wraps her car around a  post and apparently has no memory  of any of this.Her husband meanwhile is equally puzzled and so the fun begins.I so wanted to like this I loved her previous book, I did like this but didn't really like any of the characters I know in real life not everyone is likable or truthful, and I certainly don't like everyone but I am still getting my head around authors deliberately writing unlikable or unreliable characters I still think it is a very brave thing to do as it may put some readers off, and I must admit I prefer to like the characters if possible I care more about them if I like them.Having said all of that in a long winded way this is still a good book and one that will keep you on your toes and guessing and really that is what you want from a thriller so I can't complain because this delivered .I would say it is worth a read but you might not like the characters .Thanks to netgalley and the Publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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I really wish I had loved this book more! I have heard so many good things about her debut (which I still need to read!) so I was expecting great things from this one too. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t awful but I guessed the different twists straight away and I wasn’t so keen on the writing style, although more on that later because I’m conflicted!

I thought the characters in this one were quite well developed. You definitely got a feel for them and their lives, but none of them were particularly enthralling characters to read about. I didn’t find myself rushing to get back to the book to know what Tom was going to do next, or how Brigid felt in the next part. They were fine, but not great. Nor, were any particularly likeable, in my opinion.

When it comes to the writing, I’m a little conflicted. I said earlier I wasn’t so keen on it, but it did add some suspense to the novel, which is always good. I guess what I didn’t like so much was the repetition of “my wife / my husband” or using someones name about 3 times in a sentence.

I can’t think of much more to say about this one… I enjoyed it enough to continue reading it, and reasonably quickly. It only took me a few days to get through (which may seen like a lot for a short book, but I was in the middle of leaving and starting a new job)!

Even though this hasn’t been my favourite book of the year, I still want to read Lapena’s debut, and depending on if I like that, I will read her next book too. I always find second books slip in quality, ever so slightly? Not all the time, but that’s how I find it a lot of the time.
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After reading this author's debut novel, The Couple Next Door, I was excited to see that her latest one was due for release.

When Tom returns home late from work one night to find his house unlocked, dinner half prepared and his wife nowhere to be seen, leaving her purse and phone behind he starts to wonder what has happened, then a policeman knocks at the door..... 

The events that follow in this story made this a very easy read, I finished it in a matter of hours and whilst it was a very gripping read I did enjoy the authors debut novel more, though I would still recommend this one.  

Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for the approval, I will post my review on Goodreads now and on Amazon on publication day.
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Thank you Shari Lapena and Netgalley for a copy of this book.
I loved "The Couple Next Door" and was very excited when I heard about "A Stranger in the House". This second psychological thriller from Shari kept me captivated from cover to cover. I like Shari's novels so much that I don't look for clues, I don't second guess the characters, I just flat out let her take me on her journey of fiction.  Shari writes very clearly with no extra fluff that confuses you and the story. Straight forward, fast paced and highly addictive is how I would describe Shari Lapena's writing. I cannot wait for the next one to come out swinging.
Thank you Shari Lapena.
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When Tom Krupp comes home late that evening, he is astonished: the door is not locked. And his wife apparently is in the middle of cooking. Her cell phone and her handbag are there, but where is Karen? When none of their friends have heard anything of her either, he calls the police who seem to be at his house immediately: there was an awful accident and the victim could be his wife. Tom is preoccupied and relaxed at the same time. But just as the police he wonders what his wife was doing in that part of town. When a couple of days later a dead body is discovered, Karen’s accident and the murder are quickly linked. Yet, the woman cannot remember anything from that day, she’s suffering from amnesia since the accident. More and more evidence hints at her and Tom has to find out that his wife is everything but not the woman he thought she was. However, he does not know yet that the real danger might come from somewhere completely different.

I already liked Shari Lapena’s first novel “The couple next door”, but “A stranger in the House” is much more thrilling and elaborate than her first book. First of all, there is so much the characters hide and only reveal when they are forced to. All of them have their secrets, some minor, some major, and this keeps you alert all the time. Especially since you never know whom you can actually trust. 

First of all Karen. It is obvious quite from the start that she has some buried secrets from her past and that she deliberately lied to her husband. Nevertheless, she is good at playing roles – also with the reader so until the very last pages. You cannot be sure of who she is and what she is capable of. Second comes Tom. He seems to be a nice and trustful guy, easy to delude perhaps. I was taken by surprise that he also has something kept from his wife which will play a major role in the development of the case. Third Brigid, their neighbour and close friend of Karen. I didn’t like her from the start. She is that nosy observer across the street who is meddling all the time and sticking her nose in other people’s matters. That her role takes some interesting turn came rather as a surprise to me.

Even though the reader gets a much better picture of what happened than the police, there is still enough in the dark to keep you from knowing for sure. Since there were so many unexpected twists and turns, I wasn’t completely certain what to believe was the truth until the very end. The plot was cleverly constructed and to me absolutely convincing in all respects. 

To sum up, a thriller which keeps you alert and reading on.
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Pretty entertaining and easy to read, but no real surprises. I really enjoyed the way in which the story flowed, it was difficult to put down at times. There were some twists to the plot which worked well but they were a little obvious.
Not quite as good as her first novel but a lot better than many second novels that I've read.
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I really liked Shari Lapena's debut novel, the worldwide bestselling "The Couple Next Door", so I was really excited to dive into this follow-up novel. Lapena knows that she nailed it with her first novel, and she sticks to the more or less the same recipe: ordinary people in sudden extraordinary circumstances and with changing perspectives in almost each chapter throughout the book. As in "Couple", Lapena throws the clever reader off balance now and again with a couple of credible twists and turns along the way, which worked really well for me.
With this book - the difficult follow-up to a debut bestseller - Shari Lapena shows that she is indeed a gifted and entertaining storyteller in the crowded mystery genre, and I will be anxiously waiting for her future books.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read this as an arc.
I loved Shari's first book The Couple Next Door, and while this was not quite as good as that one, I still really enjoyed it. Plenty of twists and turns, this tells the story of newly married couple Karen and Tom, with their nosy neighbour Brigid always a menacing presence in the background. When you think the story is going one way, bam, it takes you in another direction! The one niggle I had with the book was the amnesia storyline, it seemed too convenient a method of providing unreliable narration. This was a great easy read, and I loved the ending!
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Actually 3.5 stars but I have rounded up.
I was blown away by the author's previous book "The Couple Next Door" when I read it last year. So much so that I was really looking forward to read this book. Sadly this one, although a good read in itself, didn't quite reach the dizzy heights set by the previous.
The main premise of this book is that the main character can't remember what happened. Or claims she can't anyway. Tom comes back home from work to find his house unlocked, dinner half completed but his wife and her car missing. On further investigation he finds her handbag and phone left behind so, wherever she went, it was in a hurry. After calling all her friends he can think of, a policeman knocks his door and informs him that his wife, or specifically her car, has been in an accident. He rushes to the hospital to find it was his wife, Karen, who was driving but that she has no idea why she would have been in that part of town, nor why she was driving so badly to have crashed. 
And so begins a twisty turny journey fuelled by secrets and lies and duplicitous behaviour that was, on the whole, enjoyable but to me not quite convincing and believable enough for me to invest totally in which is probably why it fell a little short of expectations. 
With only the three main characters, husband and wife Tom and Karen and neighbour and Karen's friend Brigid, there is a lot of pressure on the author to create them as totally believable. There are a few detectives too but they all became as one with me as they were all quite small as characters and just merged into each other a bit as they weren't particularly distinct. Not that they really needed to be to be honest as they just played their parts in uncovering and drip feeding information at appropriate moments. There was also Karen's lawyer who also played his part satisfactorily. 
Apparently, I have just read in another review that this book shared the same detective as for the previous book. I have to say that I didn't particularly notice any familiarity myself either. 
Tom, Karen and Brigid were all pretty unlikable in their own different ways. I never quite believed Karen and found Brigid to just be a little annoying. Tom was OK, all caught up in the middle of things that I can't and won't explain here (spoilers) but I did find him to be a little wet at times and I did shout at him a fair few times along the way. To be honest, towards the end of the book, I didn't really much care what happened to any of them. I didn't ever get that connection that I crave and need in a book for it to be a good read for me. 
All in all, a solid enough read that kept me intrigued enough to carry on but which didn't quite hit the mark for me at the end of the day. Definitely not enough to write this author off though but I may well be a bit more discerning before I dive into her next book.

My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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I read The Couple Next Door and really enjoyed it, so I was thrilled to be able to read the new book by Shari Lapena. Thanks to Netgalley. 

A Stranger in the House starts well but somewhere in the middle I found myself losing interest. The characters weren't very likeable and quite boring. The story seemed to improve towards the end and I'm glad I read it. It's very easy to read with only a few characters in it. The final chapter was a surprise, didn't see that coming.
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I thoroughly enjoyed and often recommended Shari Lapena's debut novel The Couple Next Door so I was delighted to get the opportunity to read her new book A Stranger in The House thanks to Netgalley and the publishers.

Sometimes I start a book and almost instantly I know that I don't like the style of writing, the storyline or the characters, but I continue reading it because perhaps I will change my mind and enjoy the book.

Sadly my mind wasn't changed and my first impression is still as strong now that I have finished the book.  There are many reasons this book didn't "do it for me" but the most important one is that I was totally unable to connect with any of the characters, there was absolutely no empathy or sympathy or understanding of their actions.  The book lacked emotion from start to finish for me personally and it was almost like reading crib notes instead of a flowing story.

Nothing about this story was original or surprising, the plot was mediocre at best and felt rushed.   Sadly this is one book I personally won't be recommending.
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A Stranger in the House

Karen is very contented with her life, she lives in a nice house with her husband Tom, has a nice bookkeeping job and is happy until one evening while preparing dinner she gets a phone call. Abandoning the cooking she runs out of the house. When her husband Tom returns from work he realises something isn't right, dinner half prepared, no Karen and her purse and phone just left on the side. When he has exhausted all avenues he finally calls 911 to report Karen missing. As he puts the phone down there's a knock at the door. It's the police. This is an intelligent thriller with twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages.
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The Couple Next Door was a great debut from Shari Lapena is, if anything, even better.  From the first page to the last, the reader is gripped and the story has such pace and flow that you just have to keep reading!  When Tom arrives home from work one evening to find his house unlocked but empty and his wife's car missing, his life will be irrevocably changed for ever.  The tension is tremendous, the twists and turns of the plot breathtaking and the denouement surprising.  A tremendous read!
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Following in the gone girl and girl on a train vibe, is an excellent thriller that kept me guessing until the end.....we meet husband Tom, whose wife has disappeared and later found in a car accident with lots of questions around it, when a man is found dead,more questions start and that is where the fun begins! Highly recommend!
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A gripping story with so many twists. I wasn't sure who to believe right to the very end. Well worth more than the five stars that I can give. Too good a book to miss
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I really enjoyed The Couple Next door by Shari Lapena and I was looking forward to reading her new book A Stranger in the House, this thriller had quite a few twists and turns and an ending I did not see coming. 
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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