Book review: The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Sunday, March 29, 2015 Permalink

Harlan Coben’s a writer with 27 novels under his belt, delivering thrillers that offer readers complex plots and a maze of false leads. His latest novel, The Stranger, is—fortunately— no different.

The man who sidles up to Adam Price one night calls himself The Stranger. And what he shares with the respected lawyer and father of two will change Adam’s life forever.

The Stranger reveals a secret about Adam’s wife Corrine, though seemingly shows no pleasure in the task. Adam struggles to understand why this man—unknown to him and his family—feels compelled to divulge information, however his more immediate concern is to work out whether The Stranger is telling the truth. And when it seems he is, Adam confronts Corrine and their world unravels further.

Although Corrine admits to the deception, she claims there’s more to it; but before she can explain she disappears.

the stranger book cover

When the dust has settled Adam’s left to question The Stranger’s motivation. Reticent to turn to the police, Adam starts to trace The Stranger and discovers there’s more to his actions than meets the eye.

He soon learns The Stranger has a habit of devastating lives and we meet some of those who’ve been on the receiving end. But our focus is on Adam as he tries to learn whether Corrine’s taking time out, or if her disappearance wasn’t voluntary and is part of something bigger. Indeed, we’re given a hint early on as to what that might be.

In typical Coben style, there are a lot of factors at play and the novel’s narrative unfolds via several intricate layers: Adam’s dealing with a politically sensitive case at work and the family’s involved in the surprisingly cut-throat world of competitive lacrosse. (And no, I am not joking!)

Coben’s writing is – as usual – incredibly polished but continues to offer a sense of informality and familiarity I find incredibly alluring (oops, sorry #adverbalert!). He gives us real characters, believable dialogue and a plot jam-paced with surprises.

The Stranger by Harlan Coben, published by Orion Books was released in Australia via Hachette on 24 March 2015.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 

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