Cover Image: A Familiar Stranger

A Familiar Stranger

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the author for an advanced copy of this book (I am very late to this and I feel stupid because it was so good)

I first discovered this author probably back in 2015 when I picked up The Girl in 6E which I became obsessed with and devoured the whole series). Since then I read The GhostWriter which I enjoyed, but this was even better!

I loved the twist near the middle, I was caught off guard and it was so fun seeing the different perspectives. It kept the pace and mystery going for a long time and I was entertained until the end.

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This is not your typical thriller. If you didn't like some elements in the thrillers Behind Her Eyes, Daisy Darker, and The Soulmate, you may not like this one, too.

I loved the writing as it was easy to read and fast-paced. It was intriguing and the plot kept me wanting to read more.

But the second part and the ending were not good. I was okay with the ghost thing. However, the husband, the affair, and the cartel felt like a cliche to me. However, the killer was a devious character which made it interesting.

The characters that made me want to keep reading were Lilian and Lenny. I wish the plot just centered on them as they were very likable characters. I felt for Lenny.

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So this was so well-written that it was difficult to fall asleep. The author writes a tragic intertwined bundle of love stories that draws you in quickly and doesn’t let you go until the very last page.

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Well that was super crazy! 4 high stars for this one. I found this entertaining to say the least and it was definitely a page turner. These were some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read about and the turns just kept coming. I couldn’t put it down and I loved the ending. I will definitely be reading more from this author because I like the way she writes and I found most of it shocking.
Thanks Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.

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Lillian Smith's life is unremarkable, filled with writing obituaries and navigating a disconnected family. However, everything changes when she encounters David, a charming stranger, in a coffee shop. Drawn into an affair, Lillian crafts a new identity, free from responsibilities and marital constraints.

In the embrace of her liaison with David, Lillian feels an unprecedented sense of recklessness, unpredictability, and desirability. Yet, as the intensity of her affair grows, she distances herself from reality, even alienating her closest friend. When traces of her secret lover persona surface on her son's social media, she risks not only damaging her marriage and reputation but unravelling much more.

With each layer of deception, Lillian's dual worlds spiral into peril, and betrayals extend beyond her expectations. A Familiar Stranger unfolds as a psychological thriller, following a woman who perceives her life as mundane. Yearning for excitement, she immerses herself in a web of lies that escalates into murder. From the very first page, I found A Familiar Stranger captivating, with various perspectives adding depth to the narrative. The chilling ending was immensely satisfying, with only minor reservations. While a hint of a cliffhanger lingered, most threads were neatly tied up, concluding the story effectively.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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✨to quote beyonce: so what are you gonna say at my funeral, now that you've killed me?

✨it could sum up this book pretty well. this book that wasn’t amazing or spectacular but had my attention throughout. this author’s books have that effect on me.

✨for some reason this book reminded me soooo much of the Netflix show Dead to Me. nothing about the plot is the same but the ~vibes~ are. it could be the affluent people we follow, a murder plot, lovers and affairs, likable cop figures… borderline copaganda! in this book, Lenny was everything to me.

✨all this to say that this book was fine! and there’s something about the writing and the structure that keeps me coming back to this author’s books even though the 2 I’ve read i have rate a 3 star.

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This book was really difficult to get into. Most of the time I could not keep up with what was going on with the characters or the storyline, perhaps it was me. Lacking. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I could not put this book down. I stayed up way past my bedtime. I kept saying after this chapter I'll go to bed. But then there would be a cliffhanger and I had to move to the next chapter. I had to know what was going to happen. The twists kept me in suspense. I loved it.

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A. R. Torre's A Familiar Stranger is a book that caught me completely by surprise. I had never heard of this author before and did not know what to expect from a suspense novel of hers, but was surprised to find this story to be fresh and unexpected. As I turned the pages, I had no idea what sort of dark and twisty path this compelling novel was headed down. It was a wild ride to say the least!

A Familiar Stranger follows Lillian Smith, an obituary writer who is dissatisfied with her ordinary upper middle class life and decides to interject some excitement into it by taking on the personality of another women, embarking on an affair that will change her life forever. When Lillian's affair is blasted across social media, she discovers she isn't the only one keeping secrets. Can she trust those she is closest to, or does everyone have something to hide?

Right from the start, Torre lets on that no one in this novel is to be trusted, but hard as I might try, I did not see the twists that Torre had coming my way. This made for a really fun, engaging read that kept me guessing where this book was headed, but consistently getting it wrong. I love when an author can fool me, so A Familiar Stranger was right up my alley!

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I will read anything A.R. Torre writes. They had me at Double Lives. I love a book that lets me go from chapter to chapter not knowing what’s next and not being able to guess what’s going to happen at the end. This one is the epitome of dark and twisty.

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This was my first A.R. Torre novel, and to say I was disappointed is an understatement. I found this novel very predictable and at times a little confusing. The beginning was very straight forward, but towards the end the story was pulled in all different directions, and ended abruptly. Towards the end multiple POVs were added to accommodate the addition of new characters, causing the confusion at times. The second half of this novel being so bumpy made it a struggle to get through.

I want to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC of this book.

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I really enjoy A.R. Toore, this one was a slower bur but man it was still exciting. I can not wait for the next one

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I've come to expect a fair share of the unbelievable from Torre's books, but that's partially what I love about them. Slipping into one of her thrillers is the highest form of escapism, and that's why I had such specific expectations when I dove into A Familiar Stranger. This one definitely forces you to suspend your credibility radar, but it is so far out there that I couldn't give it the standard 4 star rating that I hoped I could. I will say, there are some very unexpected twists in this one, which is a huge plus, so if you enjoy a book that makes your jaw drop and do the "double take" reader move, this one is for you. This may not be my favorite book from the author, but she always knows how to write a gripping story, and I'll highly anticipate whatever she chooses to write next.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️

𝙎𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙖 𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧. 𝙒𝙝𝙤 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙨𝙝𝙚’𝙨 𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙚?

📍 Read if you like:
• Psychological Thrillers
• Morally Grey Characters
• Thrilling Surprises
• Books About Revenge

This was my second A.R. Torre book and while I enjoy them for the most part, the endings are always so far-fetched and not my thing.

This was a short and super quick read, it’s full of morally gray characters and I loved that the whole time I didn’t know who to trust. There were some surprises I didn’t see coming and some that were predictable, but the ending wasn’t my kind of thing.

I can’t go into why I didn’t love the ending as it’s a major spoiler, but if you read it then you’ll know it was sort of “extreme”.

This author’s thrillers are always quick to read with unlikable and unreliable characters. The twists are something you’ll either love or hate, and they can be predictable at times. I did enjoy the aspect of revenge in this one, but overall it was just fine.

Thank you so much NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for my honest review!

•𝗧𝗪/𝗖𝗪: Alcoholism, infidelity, murder, drug use, mental illness, addiction

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Absolutely amazing! I have literally no words to describe how utterly captivating this book was to read. It offered numerous perspectives, from an interesting bunch of individuals, and left you with the inability to figure out (till the end) who may have done it nor root for anyone in particular. I don't want to spoil anything, but so many things throughout the story kept showing up making the thread for the plot increase more and more. I truly enjoyed figuring it all out as I continued reading. If you like mysterious and thrilling stories with double lives, then I definitely recommend picking up and checking this book out.

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I was in love with this book, then it took a turn. I wasn't really fond of the turn it took. I won't reveal anything. I'm sure maybe it was just fine with some. It's a fast easy read, well written, even the "turn" it took was well written just not my kind of thing. That said, I would recommend it.
Thanks to netgalley, the publisher and the author for the chance to read this advanced copy for a fair review.

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Well this was a twisty read. There is a lot of shocking reveals through the whole book, enough to keep you page turning and attention focused.
If you were given the opportunity to write your own obituary, would you? Lillian has made her life out of writing obituaries, which I had no clue was an actual thing. I didn’t know that the writers actually take time to sit down with families and learn about the deceased, picking what to write about them. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do that. And if I had that job, I would totally have my obit already written up and ready.
There are so many lies to expose, and completely out of the park twists toward the end of the book. I had my suspicions, and sort of figured out where the book was going, until the husband ruined everything! Wait til you get to that point, lol. Ur going to feel like that one jumped out in front of you and you hit it at 60 mph.
You’re going to like this one. It’s the second I’ve read by this author, and I enjoyed it. I’m officially hooked on AR Torre

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I love every single one of Torre's books. This one was so different from all of her others that I wasn't sure if what I was reading was correct. But wow! What a twist. Heartfelt and full of energy and twists and turns that you won't see it coming! Thank you for the advanced copy of this book. I recommend it to everyone!

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What a wild ride! Many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Follows a typical thriller trope along the lines of infidelity but puts a new spin on things. Good characters. Excellent writing. Any thriller fan will easily enjoy this book.

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This story sucked me in completely! Holy moly!! There is so much going on in this book. Just do yourself a favor and read it. All of Torre's books are unputdownable! Get this one now!

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