Harlan Coben’s The Stranger: Thrilling Morality Play (Book Review)

Harlan Coben strikes again.

In this latest thriller, a stranger approaches lacrosse dad Adam Price in a bar one night and tells him that his wife faked a pregnancy. He’s left with a decision: to press the issue and find out the truth, or to let it go and always wonder? So, when he raises the question, he sets in motion a series of events that ultimately lead to the revelation of a bigger conspiracy, where everything hangs in the balance.

When his wife goes missing after their confrontation, Price is left with two questioning teenage boys, some of his wife’s friends, and several town leaders who want to know what’s going on. It’s not quite The Stepford Wives but there’s more going on here than you’d initially expect, and it’s not just Price’s wife, Corrine, who the stranger is out to get. Coben will tie in several figures from various towns and states to make for a tangled web, but you’ll be searching for answers about whether this is supernatural … or something sinisterly human. [At one point, I was imagining The Box…]

Having read absolutely every one of Coben’s books to date, I’ll say that this one was good but not great. Some of the characters seemed to be repeats of previous ones (or Linwood Barclay ones), interjected in at times to move the plot along, but failing to really capture the creativity that I love Coben for. One of the main perpetrators of violence just didn’t make sense; simplifying it down to the way it was ultimately resolved was much more fulfilling. rating: rainy day it (go buy Tell No One)



About Jacob Sahms

I'm searching for hope in the midst of the storms, raising a family, pastoring a church, writing on faith and film, rooting for the Red Sox, and sleeping occasionally. Find me at ChristianCinema.com, Cinapse.co, and the brand new ScreenFish.net.
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