The Stranger (2015) by Harlan Coben is an engrossing read that holds your attention throughout.
The book’s protagonist is Adam Price. He is married to Corinne and together they have two sons. But then the stranger arrives and informs him that his wife lied about being pregnant a few years back. When he brings it up with Corinne, she goes missing and much of the book centres on his search to find her. As he searches, more and more layers begin to unfold. The background for the family is very well-written and really makes you as a reader root for them. A very suspenseful read with many twists and turns in pure Coben style and as always with Coben, the ending is not obvious.
The concept/plot of this book is incredibly intriguing. A stranger comes along revealing secrets that he has figured out through the internet. When people thought their secrets were safe through the net, they really weren’t. There is a great commentary on how our lives are never really anonymous even when we might think they are. So there was a great plot Coben thought out with many intriguing avenues the story might go down. This book covers a few different stories but each are connected to this mysterious stranger who pops up out of nowhere as the bearer of bad news.
Much of the plot asks the question of whether honesty is always the best policy. And whether it is anyone’s right to reveal the secrets of others. The story also deals with the consequences of secrets being opened up and the heartbreak they can cause to people. How maybe there is a good reason why some secrets should probably remain hidden. What Coben does with this starting point is brilliant as the story progresses. He shows how the opening up of the can of worms can often lead to further secrets from those with much to protect or spurred on by greed.
A really good book with much mystery and the mundane of life mixed together in a wonderful crime cocktail.
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