Published by Park Row on September 17th 2019
Best Books of Fall 2019
“A darkly thrilling tale of survival and obsession. Lisa Unger never disappoints.” —Riley Sager, bestselling author of
Lock Every Door
Even good people are drawn to do evil things…
Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood.
Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?
Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.
Okay, friends, I’m going to let you in on an embarrassing secret. This is my first Lisa Unger book. There is no good reason for this. It just happened to have worked out that way. I’ve always wanted to read one of her books. So when the opportunity came up for me to join the blog tour for The Stranger Inside, I jumped on it! Welcome to my stop.
There was a lot to love about this book. I’m always drawn to books that feature some sort of vigilante justice as a theme and in that regard, this book really delivered. I was drawn in right away by the dual perspectives of Hank, told in the first person, and Rain, told in the third. Their shared victimology bound them together in a number of ways some of which were expected and some of which were quite dysfunctional. One might even say creepy. (Me, I am the one.)
The Stranger Inside was unique in that it was both character and theme driven. The reader is implored consider a number of topics ranging from the way women’s roles and expectations change as we start families to why two people who experience the same tragedy can walk away changed in completely different ways. It’s always great when you can read a book that’s page-turning and entertaining but also makes you think.
In my opinion, The Stranger Inside leans more toward dramatic suspense than thriller but there were a few edge-of -seat moments. And one big twist that I did not see coming!
This may have been the first book I’ve read by Lisa Unger but I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you have a favorite, I’d love to hear what it is.
Many thanks to Park Row press for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.