The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict #NetGalley #BookReview @mulhollandbooks @HodderBooks @laurabenedict

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Author: Laura Benedict

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Publication Date:  1 February 2019

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton / Mulholland Books

I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Synopsis

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of The Couple Next Door, I Let You In and The Girl Before

When Kimber Hannon returns home from a work trip, she’s ready to kick back and relax on the sofa. But on reaching the front door, she is shocked to discover that her key no longer works and there’s a man in the bedroom window.

Kimber calls the police, but the intruder tells them he’s renting the house. Her neighbour corroborates his story and it is Kimber who is forced to leave. But before she does, the stranger whispers ‘I was there. I saw what you did.’

These words reveal a connection to Kimber’s distant past, and dark secrets she’d long ago left buried. Her trespasser isn’t after anything as simple as her money or her home. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life – and destroy it.


My Thoughts

How would you feel if you went away for the weekend and came back and found a stranger living in your house? Well this is exactly what happens to Kimber in this story and although she thinks at first she doesn’t know the man who has moved himself into her house, it turns out he may not be such a stranger after all. 

At first I felt really frustrated for Kimber. The poor woman comes home, finds someone living in her house and the police don’t seem to want to do anything to help her and instead make things incredibly difficult for her. However, Kimber’s got more than a few skeletons in her closet and I soon found my empathy for her draining away as I learnt about her past indiscretions. She’s a difficult character to like and at times I almost felt like she was just getting what she deserved. She’s definitely a character I loved to hate. 

The story gets right down to it from the first chapters and the pace doesn’t let up much the whole way through. Because of Kimber’s nature and the various people she has crossed paths with in her life, there’s quite a few people in the mix who could potentially want to see her harmed. Despite all these possibilities I still couldn’t pin down who or why someone would want to mess with her life in the ways they do. 

This is one of those reads that although the main character isn’t particularly likeable you will still want to read to the end to find out the how’s and why’s. This was a good psychological thriller with a satisfying ending and a few twists and turns along the way. 


About the Author

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of eight novels of suspense, including the forthcoming THE STRANGER INSIDE (February 2019). On the lighter side of mystery, Laura wrote SMALL TOWN TROUBLE, a cozy crime novel, for the Familiar Legacy series (January 2018). Her Bliss House gothic trilogy includes: THE ABANDONED HEART, CHARLOTTE’S STORY (Booklist starred review), and BLISS HOUSE. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies like THRILLERS: 100 MUST-READS, THE LINEUP: 20 PROVOCATIVE WOMEN WRITERS, and ST. LOUIS NOIR. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family. Visit her at http://www.laurabenedict.com to read her blog and sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

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