My first Shari Lapena thriller. It is not the first I´ve got, but the first I´ve read. And with THAT cover you really have no excuse to not want it, do you?! One of my blogging friends was absolutely thrilled about this book and so I thought this could be something I´d like too. It was not at all what I was expecting after reading the summary, and some things I didn´t like much, but in the end, I can say that it was a reading pleasure for me. From the psychological point of view.

A Stranger In The House*
by Shari Lapena
Translation Rainer Schumacher
Publisher Lübbe on July 27, 2018
Genre Thriller
Pages 332
Format Paperback
Source Publisher

You are an angel to your husband, a murderer to the police. You´re preparing dinner for you and your husband when the phone rings – it´s the call you´ve been fearing for years. Shortly afterward you wake up in the hospital. You had an accident – and you can not remember it. When a body is found near the accident site, the police believe in a connection between the two events. Your husband is stunned by this assumption. But you know more than your husband. And suddenly you´re not sure how devious the suspicion of the police really is … (personal translation by © Vi at Inkvotary). 

Karen wakes up in the hospital and has no memory of how she got there. Her husband is worried about her because right before his eyes his beloved and adored wife changes from the beautiful angel to a secretive stranger. She is hiding something from him, and the once-great trust in each other seems to have vanished. But why is she that way? Why can´t she tell him what it is that she fears? Or is she simply not the woman he thought she´d be?

Right from the start, the psychological finesse is absolutely thrilling. Nothing is as it seems, and the author uses a very plain language to tell the reader the story of Karen and Robert. And first, I was very intrigued by that. But after a few chapters, I started to get annoyed by Robert. Or better said, by the man, he turned into during the ongoing plot. The conflict Karen is in the way how she lets herself get treated by the police, that she does what she does – all that is brought together in a very good way. The story between the two main figures is not 100 percent perfect, but what kept me at bay was the psychological thing here, not the story around it. That one is a very normal one. But with Robert turning from the strong, happy husband into an emotional mess who can´t stop complaining about what is now and what they lost (the happy marital life) that was a bit too much.

The way how the author shows that conflict, how she brings things together, all the twists and turns in this thriller was wonderful to read. And the end was nothing I had expected. I assumed something like that but wasn´t really sure.

There are some figures in this thriller, I wasn´t very fond of. And Robert is one of them. He looks at first as if he is a loving and caring husband who totally adores his wife. There is nothing she could do wrong to make him angry it seemed. But after a while, he changes. He gets distrustful. Everything Karen does, he scrutinizes. Every word, every move by her and he can´t say if it is true or just a terrible game. Where has the angel he married, gone? Yes, those are all things that occur when you are in the attention of the police and can´t remember anything that led you to the point where you are now. But why all the moaning over everything your partner does? And Robert is moaning a lot. He is completely out of balance. Karen does one move and he is asking himself why she did that. She is saying something he doesn´t want to hear and he is thinking why is she now like this? At first, it was an element, that gave this story some tension, but then? Sure, some complaining is ok, and if you feel like something has changed dramatically after the accident your wife has had, that is fine too. But all the time? No, that isn´t fine anymore. And Brigid is just sick. She wants what she can´t have. Wants to live a life that´s not hers and her biggest desire is to become a person, she isn´t. I didn´t like her at all. 

In the end. I was left with some mixed feelings and a bit disappointed. Didn´t really know what to think of this thriller. I absolutely liked the psychological finesse in the story, but the story itself wasn´t really mine. I had expected a bit more after reading the summary, but this book couldn´t quite deliver. But despite that, I had a really good time reading it. Sounds confusing, I know, but that´s how I feel about this book.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Lübbe/ Lesejury in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Shari Lapena
Shari Lapena ©Tristan Ostler

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to write fiction.  Her thriller debut The Couple Next Door caused a furor internationally even before its release. The novel was sold to 28 countries and ranked #1 on the Sunday Times bestseller list for weeks, as well as on the bestseller list of the New York Times. 


No comments:

Note: By submitting your commentar, you accept that the comment you write, and the personal information associated with it (e.g. username, email address, linked profile on Google/Wordpress) will be transmitted to Google servers. You can find more information in my privacy policy and in Google´s Privacy Policy.

Hinweis: Mit dem Abschicken deines Kommentars akzeptierst du, dass der von dir geschriebene Kommentar und die personenbezogenen Daten, die damit verbunden sind (z.B. Username, E-Mail-Adresse, verknüpftes Profil auf Google/Wordpress) an Google-Server übermittelt werden. Weitere Informationen dazu findest du in meiner Datenschutzerklärung und in der Datenschutzerklärung von Google.