The Stranger. Harlan Coben. Penguin Group (USA). March 2015. 400 pp. ISBN#: 9780525953500.
It all starts so simply – a strange person stands next to Adam, a happily married man, at least he thought so despite some ups and downs normal in any marital bond. He tries to ignore the hints given by the person to verify that his wife Corinne is hiding something. He follows the hint and discovers his wife has had contact with an online site for some purchases with a shocking connection. He immediately distrusts her and that makes all the difference, a very wrong conclusion. Her response – wait – we need some time apart until I can tell you about this secret.
Another whispered secret to other persons cause the same misjudgment. Meanwhile, Adam has a disagreement with a fellow parent over lacrosse selections and there seems to be more adversity out of the situation than is warranted over just a sports game.
The Stranger is about a series of planned events that all have a haunting quality about them and all lead to terror and fear pervading the involved characters’ lives. As in many plots of Coben, however, the outcome is far from what the reader expects. What seemed so simple to unravel is more complex and far-spreading than each character realizes.
Money, debt, and promises, with heavy costs, proceed to ruin the lives of many. The end of these separate yet united connections is quite shocking.
While the plot sometimes slows a bit too much, the pages where danger increases are riddled with tension and mystery.
Harlan Coben is a talented writer who has written a rather simple story with some adventurous, intriguing moments and a haunting conclusion. Good read for those who are fans and even those who love a good mystery!
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