The Stranger Inside, by Laura Benedict, was a treat to read. This suspense novel gripped me from the beginning. Early on, I was reminded of the film, Pacific Heights. As the story continued, I discovered that the mystery behind the stranger inside of Kimber’s home goes much deeper than a squatter who has taken over.
What stood out the most about this book was the complexity of the characters, particularly the main character, Kimber. She isn’t the innocent protagonist who has been deeply wronged. There is much more to her than that. This is precisely why it’s so difficult for her to figure out who could have it out for her—so many possibilities.
It is easy to see through her story how guilt and shame can keep you prisoner. Deception truly tangles a complex web that can be difficult to escape. I loved the development of her character and the transformation of who she was as a person. The dialogue was realistic. I felt like each character had his or her, own voice.
The pacing of the book was perfect.
Things got moving right away. Just when you think one problem is about to be resolved, another shoe drops. Even though the plot was complex, I was able to follow it every step of the way.
The story was told from 2 different timelines, each with a different POV. The chapters told from Kimber’s youth were written from her sister’s point of view, while the current day plot was told from Kimber’s (3rd person, limited) The chapters were dated, so it was easy to keep track of which one was which. Plus, the writing style was slightly different for the time period of Kimber’s younger days.
I loved the fact that the writer was able to give us all of the clues with such finesse. This allows clever readers to figure out the reason why the stranger inside of Kimber’s house has a vendetta against her, but not easily.
The author unravels the details of Kimber’s life, little by little.
We can see all of her flaws, but we never stop rooting for her.
Another thing I appreciated was the way she wrote children in the book, whether it was Kimber and her sister in the past timeline, or Hadley, Kimber’s friend’s daughter, in the current one. There is a very real quality that about these children that many writers all too often miss.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was some vulgar language and sexual content. I must say that it wasn’t gratuitous and did further the storyline in an honest, authentic way. Because of that, I will not remove a star, but I do include this information for readers who would prefer not to purchase a book with this content.
The book was formatted perfectly. I read it on my Fire HD with no problems. I didn’t find a single typographical, spelling, or grammar error. This is a top-notch suspense book that will keep you turning the page. If you like suspense with realistic characters, check out The Stranger on the Inside.
I give it 5 stars.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Stranger Inside is now available for pre-order
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.