Cover Image: Stranger in the Lake

Stranger in the Lake

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Blog: The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Published: August 4, 2020


I've been in such a weird book funk lately, so I was very surprised when I not only read, but devoured Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle. 

The story is told from the main character, Charlotte’s POV. I really liked Charlotte. I thought she was interesting and likeable. It was easy to understand her reasoning for marrying her husband even though the townspeople didn’t.  

The mystery was not easily guessed, which I was happy about. Some of the characters did make some odd choices though, so I started second-guessing almost everyone. It made it harder for me to guess who the real culprit was. 

This is the second book that I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. It was a quick and entertaining read. And it didn't take long for things to start happening in the book. There were several surprises and twists to the story, and I enjoyed discovering each and every one of them. Like her previous book, Dear Wife, Kimberly Belle has created a story that is intriguing and grabbed my interest from the very first chapter. I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.  

                                                                             RATING:  3½ OUT OF 5.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle.

I'm a big fan of Belle, but I can't say that this was my favorite.  It wasn't unenjoyable, just meh.  Like, I read it and now I'll forget that I read it.

When Charlotte marries Paul the town is stunned.  Paul comes from a wealthy upper class family, and Charlotte is from the trailer park.  But Charlotte is enamored with Paul and the new found security that comes with being his wife.  But Paul comes with his own baggage.

Shortly after Charlotte finds out she's pregnant, the body of a woman is discovered in the lake near their property.  But this isn't the first time that a woman in Paul's life has turned up drowned.  Suspicions immediately fall on Paul, and soon Charlotte doesn't know who she can trust.

It was a decent premise, but maybe a bit tired, I feel like I've read it a hundred times already.  And it wasn't a particularly strong story.  Even though there was plenty of suspense there, it never packed enough of a punch for me to sit on the edge of my seat.
Was this review helpful?
Super gripping right from the beginning.  I thought the whole way through the book it was going one way,  but then it twists and turns completely upside down.  Charlotte married up.  She comes from the trailer park across the lake from wealthy architect widow Paul. She knows Paul has a very close friendship with Micah and Jax, but she isn't sure just how deep it goes.  A stranger appears drowned in the lake right at their dock,  not too long after Paul's first wife was also drowned.  Who is this girl, what did she know, and how did she get in the lake? So many questions, and not enough answers.  It's Charlotte safe? Did Paul have something to do with it? With every turn of the page,  you get deeper and deeper into the story.
Was this review helpful?
Charlotte is known in town for marrying the wealthy widower, Paul, who is ten years older than her. On the day that she tells Paul that she’s pregnant, she sees him talking to a stranger in town. The next morning, the stranger’s body shows up in the lake, under the dock at their house. Charlotte lies for her husband, but she ends up unraveling secrets and lies that are decades old.

I love stories set in small towns with a dark history. There were a few other mysterious deaths in this town that were brought up during the investigation of the stranger’s death. There was a death of a drug dealer twenty years ago, as well as the death of Paul’s ex-wife. These were all mysterious deaths that weren’t solved sufficiently for the public, so they were brought up again in this story.

There were some parts of the story that were difficult to read. Charlotte’s mother had a substance abuse problem. The scenes that involved children as well as the drugs were upsetting. However, it added some depth to the story and explained Charlotte’s decisions.

The ending of the story was kind of complicated. I figured out one of the guilty characters fairly early on in the story. I felt like the original mystery of the stranger in the lake was lost with all the other mysteries. There was a lot more going on in the story, so that mystery ended up being pushed to the side and wasn’t as important at the end of the story. I would have liked it more if it had focused on the main mystery, which was also the title of the book.

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is my second Kimberly Belle thriller and I though this was better than my first. I started to read it and then managed to obtain the audiobook. The story itself was entertaining although the ultimate twist seemed pretty obvious to me, as it has to others. I think the writing style allowed for this and in a thriller, I want to be introduced to the villains early enough that several are in my thought process but not have the conclusion be to obvious. Despite this prediction of the plot twist, the story was good and the pacing was good. It was a book that kept me listening and I flew through it in a couple of days.
In terms of the actual narrator, my opinion is that she was decent but not my favorite. It felt like having her try to do different characters voices was a stretch. I still enjoyed the audio and it wasn't a deal-breaker for me.

Thank you for the early copy for review.
#StrangerInTheLake #Netgalley #Harlequin #ParkRow
Was this review helpful?
Kimberly Belle never fails at the suspense-with-a-twist. She somehow manages to suck you in at the first page and keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, with a twist you never saw coming. Even if you’ve read her books before, and you know her style, she always surprises you. It’s why I love reading them.

Stranger in the Lake is dark and twisty with a lot of mystery. The woman who showed up drowned underneath Charlotte’s dock is not the first. Her husband’s first wife was found there as well. Are rumors about him true? Charlotte simply can’t believe what others in town do. But his’s just not adding up. Her suspicions start to get the best of her.

Nothing is at all what it seems on this lake in Appalachia. You’ll be drawn in immediately. My favorite part was when something I suspected all along rang true. I actually yelled out loud, “I KNEW IT!” a la Chandler Bing. Don’t hesitate to pick up this book. You need something cold and chilly during this hot summer. Stranger in the Lake is it.

I received a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Charlotte & her new husband Paul live in a beautiful home on Lake Crosby, NC.  Paul is a successful architect whose wealthy first wife drowned in the lake several years ago, leaving her millions to Paul.  Charlotte & her brother were raised by their neglectful, drug addicted mother in a rundown trailer, on the wrong side of the tracks in the tow of Lake Crosby.  Charlotte's marriage to Paul caused a number of locals to see her as a gold-digger.  Paul, on the other hand, is seen by some townspeople as a suspect in the death of his first wife.  Days after Charlotte tells Paul she is pregnant, she finds the body of a woman in the water under their dock.  When the police arrive and question her & Paul, they both deny knowing her, even though both had spoken with her in town earlier in the week.  

This was a real page-turner.  Wonderfully written, just creepy enough to make you want to know what happened, but cringing as you turn each page.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  A true thriller.  I strongly recommend.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author Kimberly Belle and the publisher Harlequin for the complimentary e-book I was granted in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Was this review helpful?
I love Kimberly Belle’s books and this might be my favorite. I couldn’t put it down and didn’t find it predictable which has become rare for me. If you’re looking for a page turning thriller look no further!
Was this review helpful?
Thrilling and fast-paced! I love Kimberly Bell’s books. However I had a harder time getting into this book, but I think this was more about the state of the world then the book itself. I think I liked the The setting of the story more than the story itself. The setting was very atmospheric, but the plot felt a little flat for me.
Was this review helpful?
Kimberly Belle does it again! Although I didn't adore this book as much as I did Dear Wife, Stranger in the Lake was a good, gripping read that I'd definitely recommend to fans of the author.
Was this review helpful?
Charlotte is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who marries rich and successful widower, Paul. Life is good for the happy couple...until the day Charlotte discovers the body of a stranger in the lake just outside their house. After a string of threats and warnings, it becomes evident that this was no accidental drowning. But who is this stranger and what happened to her?

I read Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle as part of an online book club and it was just ok for me. I thought it was somewhat predictable and I found myself skimming over some parts of it. I did, however, love the setting of the secluded and eerie lake and I really liked Charlotte and Jax. While not my most favorite, I think it would be the perfect quick read for domestic thriller lovers! Thank you to Parkrow Books and NetGalley for this digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Charlotte Keller, nee McCreedy, grew up in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. With her mother angry, high, or both, raising her little brother, Chet, fell to her. No one was more surprised when she fell for widower and prominent architect Paul Keller after he came into the gas station where she was working a shift. Married a year, they are happy despite the whispers of others.

Yet, on a winter’s morning, Charlotte finds the body of a young woman floating under their deck—the very spot where Paul’s first wife drowned, some say by suspicious circumstances. When the police ask the Kellers if they know the woman, Paul is quick to say no, but Charlotte knows he’s lying. She saw him talking to the woman the previous day. Before she can confront Paul, he quickly loads a backpack and leaves without explanation.

Charlotte’s love and trust is tested as she begins to suspect that Paul might be responsible not just for the death of the stranger in the lake, but also his wife. She’s determined to learn his secrets, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more someone wants to silence her.

The Stranger in the Lake is an entertaining, fast-paced thriller, and the remote setting and winter weather ratcheted up the suspense. It is told in two timelines, the present, from Charlotte’s perspective, and 1999, from the point of view of Jax, one of Paul’s oldest friends. Seeing the characters change in the intervening period was interesting, especially Jax since his transition was most extreme. I had a harder time understanding Charlotte who operated under a moral code I never quite grasped and which seemed rather unforgiving. Aspects of the book reminded me of The Familiar Dark, Broken Girls, and The Night Swim and undercut some of its originality.
Was this review helpful?
I picked this up when I was in the middle of a bad reading slump, and it turned out to be a great slump buster!

I was immediately enthralled with Charlotte and Paul's story. They lived a picture perfect life. They even just found out they were pregnant! But then Charlotte finds a dead girl floating against their dock, and Paul disappears into the woods.

The mystery was fast paced and twisty. I never could figure out who to trust. I wanted to think Paul was a great person who had suffered a terrible tragedy, but I could never be sure. Add in Paul's next door neighbor and then his friend who lives off the grid and things get wild.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the relationship between Charlotte and her brother. I just knew he was always on her side and had her best interests at heart.

Stranger in the Lake is a great summer thriller! I highly recommend it to all you thriller fans! It was a super fast read.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.
Was this review helpful?
i was drawn to this book because i really enjoyed Dear Wife
this was a great psychological thriller in a small town while you read fast to figure out who did it
it is about Charlotte who falls in love with an older man who she ignores all rumors and thoughts when people assume that he has killed his previous wife. 
she starts to question Paul and his involvement with the death of his wife when another woman ends up dead in the same spot that she was at.
it was a creepy book about a small town, a man with a lot of money and secrets and a creepy little lake

i was given this ARC by netgalley and publisher for an honest review and opinion
Was this review helpful?
3.5-4 stars. I was pulled in by the story but felt early on that the simplest answer wasn’t the truth. I had part of the mystery figured out. I was immediately put off by the relationship Charlotte had with her husband Paul. He was just unreliable. Brother Chet surprised me, turning out to be a stand up guy. Overall a sad story of lies and the more lies we tell to cover them up. Definitely worth the read!
Was this review helpful?
This was a pretty solid, albeit unmemorable, thriller / mystery. It was pretty easy to figure out who the "bad guy" was, so that part of the story wasn't too strong, but I did like the story on a whole. True to form with thrillers these days, there was a twist at the end that I could have done without (not every story needs a twist).

I thought it was totally believable that Charlotte would grasp onto anyone and anything that could help escape her upbringing (the part about hiding food in various spots in her mansion was particularly poignant); I found her strained relationship with Sam to be realistic and really loved her relationship with Chet.

A middle-of-the-road read for me.
Was this review helpful?
Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle is a mystery/thriller, and my first book by this author.  Charlotte  married Paul a wealthy, older widower, which caused gossip.  Charlotte grew up on the wrong side of town, and worked in a gas station when she met Paul, so there were rumors she was a gold digger.  Paul's wife died in a swimming accident, and there was also rumors he killed her. When Charlotte found a women's body under their pier, the same place Paul's first wife was found, the mystery begins.  This book has more twists and turns that kept me reading until the end.  I will be reading more books by Ms. Belle.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.  
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Stranger In The Lake is author Kimberly Belle's latest mystery/thriller.
Newly married Charlotte discovers the body of a woman in the lake near her home. Was it an accident or was this stranger in the lake murdered? Was it a coincidence that her husband Paul's first wife was found in the exact same spot?
A slow burn, rags to riches, small-town mystery full of lies, deceit and whodunits.
Not my favourite book by Kimberly Belle but definitely worth the read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin - Trade Publishing/Park Row for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
If I had to describe Kimberly Belle’s latest novel I would have to use: Captivating, Dark and Mesmerizing. And yet, even as I write them, they don’t reveal just how absolutely dark and intoxicating this book is.

It’s not a secret I’m a fan of Kimberly Belle. There hasn’t been a book I haven’t loved. I take copious notes when I read her stories for one simple reason: her writing is so beautiful.

Stranger in the Lake: There are a few things about this book I love more than most: the small lakeside town vibe brought about a lot of memories. I grew up in small town Ontario, surrounded by large lakes, small rivers, communities closed off to strangers and yet welcoming at the same time.

The story is focused on the lake, a body and a woman who thought her past was her biggest hinderance. As a typical suspense, the journey in this book is like one of those windy mountain roads that twist and turn from start to finish. Once you start, there’s no going back…I promise that you’re going to get addicted to this story and the characters.

Was I surprised by the twists – yes, even though I was looking for them…which, is exactly what I want in a book!
Was this review helpful?
This was such a quick and easy read, which makes it perfect for the summer. I REALLY enjoyed the first 100 or so pages of this book and was hooked right from beginning. Around the halfway point, this book definitely started to slow down and I wasn’t as intrigued by the story. I felt that it dragged on quite a bit and the ending was pretty underwhelming, but it was a solid Read
Was this review helpful?