Liz Currently Loves….The Stranger by Harlan Coben


Publication Date: March 26th 2015 from Orion

Source: Netgalley

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

I am a fan, generally speaking, of this author. I havent loved EVERYTHING but for the most part I never fail to get a darned good yarn when I pick up a Harlan Coben novel – I was especially fond of the Myron Bolitar series and his standalone books always have a gorgeously twisted centre to them, a mysterious edge that means you cannot help getting involved.

With “The Stranger” I was utterly hooked. I read it all yesterday, a one sitting read (well interspersed with real life stuff like feeding the kids) that had me romping through the pages, desperate to know what was going on.

We meet Adam Price, happily married, two great kids, who one day meets a stranger. What this stranger tells him rocks the very foundations of that marriage and sets off an insidious chain of events that will put everything Adam loves on the line.

In classic Coben style we have a seriously addictive mystery element interspersed with some great characters who you want to root for. The really good thing about all the stories is the people that pepper the pages could be anyone – your neighbour, friend, loved one – they are all realistically drawn, often start off with fairly mundane normal lives, then BAM Mr Coben throws them (and the reader) out of that comfort zone and offers up a problem not easily solved.

In the case of The Stranger, there is a strong emotional edge to it – after all, what if someone told you that the person you trust most in the world is not actually trustworthy. What if, then, you start to look back on your life and the events therein with different eyes and a different outlook. This is what Adam faces here – those elements of the tale are cleverly done.

Overall this was really very satisfying. The story twists and turns its way to a stunning conclusion, there is a far wider picture to be had here which is drip fed to us in chapters not devoted to Adam, you may work this one out you may not – but the themes are varied and intelligently interwoven into the plot and this made for a really really great read. One of my favourite Coben novels so far.

Definitely highly recommended. Plus I somehow missed “Missing You” last year so I have that on my pile to read, which makes me very happy.

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Happy Reading Folks!


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