The Stranger Upstairs

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

While I was looking forward to reading this book, it disappeared from my list and I was not able to view it again.
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What would you do if your husband, who went missing 7 years before, suddenly came back into your life? But you're the only person who questions if he's the man you married. He may look similar but Sarah is adamant that he is not her husband and yet, he knows things about her that no one else could possibly know. This is the premise of The Stranger Upstairs.

The story is told via the POVs of Sarah and 'the husband/stranger' which gives readers different perspectives and will make them question his identity and be eager to learn about Sarah's big secret. 

The Stranger Upstairs had good intentions but it didn't pan out for me. First, I found too much time was spent with these two repeatedly arguing about his identity when a simple DNA test or a photo of the man could help prove or disprove his identity. I realize it's explained that he was 'photo shy' but he'd still have a photo on his driver's licence, health card, work ID etc.)  I couldn't believe that NO ONE, family nor friends, would notice if a different guy reappeared. Unfortunately, I also found the pacing slow and uneven and the resolution was weak and lackluster.

I had first read Melanie Raabe a few years ago and quite enjoyed her book The Trap and while I give marks for this latest book's unique premise, the execution was weaker than I had anticipated and with too many hard to believe ideas throughout, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have hoped. (2.5 stars - just okay)
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Thank you NetGalley, Melanie Raabe and The House of Anansi for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah’s husband went missing seven years ago in South Africa and she has been busy raising their little boy while wondering if she’ll ever see her husband again. He is presumed dead, but Sarah won’t go through with the paperwork, sure that he is still alive. Then one day she gets the call that she has been waiting for, Phillip is alive and coming home. As he gets off the plane Sarah realizes that this man is not her husband, but a stranger and to make matters worse, he seems to know all about her and the bad things she has done in her life, even things she has never told anyone. 

This book is written so you start off feeling for Sarah and how she got left behind with her little boy without a husband. Sarah is beginning to move on and that’s when she finds out that her husband is coming home. I felt like I could feel the stress in Sarah, knowing all she has been waiting for is finally happening and then the manic energy when she realizes that it’s not her husband. I liked how the book started to have the Strangers point of view in some chapters, just enough to make you curious, but nothing to tell you of the twists that are to come. 

I felt for Sarah in this novel and I couldn’t imagine trying to live in the same house with a stranger. The lengths that the stranger and Sarah go to in order to figure out what each person is guilty of is unreal, but I wouldn’t have done any less. I really enjoyed the ending of this novel; I didn’t see it coming at all. The writing in this novel was amazing; I could really sense Sarah’s fear and the stranger’s anger throughout the novel. I would definitely recommend if you enjoy a psychological thriller with a big twist to end the story. 

Pick it up September 11th!
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2.5 stars 

One day Sarah said goodbye to her husband for what she though would be a week and now it’s been years. When she gets a call saying that her husband is kind and he’s returning back home, Sarah is ecstatic. But when she is at the airport she doesn’t recognize this man. He is not her husband. But no one believes her. Who is this man and why is he pretending to be her husband?


I’m not going to lie, the plot alone is very interesting and throughout the novel, you will question who the man is and what does he want with Sarah. The reason I gave this book 2.5 stars is because from beginning to near the end, the novel was really great. But the ending and the revelation really disappointed. I will not be saying anything negative about this book because aside from the ending, I’d have to say it is very well written. The middle was really intriguing because the mystery of the stranger remained. Who is he and what does he want with Sarah? What will his next move be? You just don’t know what will happen next and what Sarah will do next, it kept me hooked. 

Its really such a shame because if the book finished with big shocker, it would’ve gotten a higher rating, no doubt about that. It’s still enjoyable to read! 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Spiderline for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Just like Melanie's first book this one had me hooked from the very first word, and every page turned into one more turned into one more until the next thing I knew I was finished the whole book. The book starts out with our main character living her life like she always does going to work and raising her young son, when she gets a phone call that changes her life. Her husband, the man who has been missing for years is coming home. The man she vowed to spend forever with is returning to her and she is filled with so many emotions. However when the door opens and the man standing before her is not her husband things take a drastic turn. With the media and everyone convinced that Sarah's husband has returned how does she admit that the man before her is a complete stranger? Who is this man and what does he want with Sarah and her family? This book had everything a good thriller/mystery needs compelling characters, a story that keeps the reader asking why and for ever question answered there is another one posed. With the whole thing taken from Sarah's point of view you really got to feel all of her emotions regarding this person who is trying to take over her life. You get a good view of her anger and confusion. I really liked how most of the book was written through Sarah's point of view but you would get little chapters written through the strangers point of view. I liked it because it gave you an insight slightly on what was going through his head at the moment. This book was unlike anything I've ever read before it had a dark mysterious almost noir feel to the writing style and I couldn't bring myself to put it
down. This one will be on the best seller list for sure. The ending was so unexpected I loved it!
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Sarah's husband has been missing for seven years, assumed kidnapped while on a business trip in South America. She's fallen into a comfortable life with their son Leo and her life is as on track as it will ever be. Until one day, she receives a phone call informing her that her husband has been released and is on his way home. At first she feels a whirlwind of emotions at the news but all of those quickly turn to fear when she realises that the man who has returned is not her husband. And whoever it is has a sinister plan involving Sarah. Can she figure out who the stranger upstairs is before it is too late?

This book is everything that I like in a mystery. The build-up of suspense, the constant guessing of what it all is, and the moment that makes you gasp out loud. I was completely satisfied with the way it all played out and the ending, which is often where mysteries can go wrong. But that didn't happen, at any point in the book. I liked how the book was told mostly from Sarah's point of view but did include some small parts from the strangers point of view. The book is well-paced, easy to imagine, and hits the spot when you just want a good mystery to dig in to. I had noticed Melanie Raabe's first book, The Trap, and was very interested in it but never got around to reading it when it came out last year. I will definitely be reading it now based on the strength of this book.
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