Review: The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Stranger Harlan Coben largeThe Stranger examines the fragility of the American Dream; how the perfect life can be founded on a lie, and how its disclosure can decimate even the most durable family ties.

The Stranger has been operating for many years. He appears out of nowhere, when you’ll least expect it; during a High School lacrosse game; while you’re at the grocery store; a night out with the girls; during your Sunday morning coffee. You won’t know who he is, and you won’t know why you trust him – but you do. Because his revelations are undeniable. His truths are catastrophic, and will shake the foundations of your happy life. And before you can ask any questions, before you can seek guidance, he is gone, stumbling on the crumbling remains of your world. Who is the Stranger? Where does he get his information? And how does he benefit from these disclosures?Stranger USA

Adam Price is the Stranger’s latest victim. Living a content life – happily married, father of two boys, successful career – this is a man who is cruising through life. He has accomplished what the majority strive for. Then the Stranger whispers a devastating secret into Adam’s ear, about his wife, Corrine, and Adam’s perception changes. He hasn’t been living the American Dream; instead, a nightmare cruelly masquerading as that ideal. Upon confronting Corrine, she soon disappears, forcing Adam into a dark, deceptive world, rife with conspiracy and violence. Because everybody has secrets, and some will kill to protect them.

Coben keeps the pot at full boil, lacing his story with plenty of suspense and intrigue until the satisfying gut-punch ending. Wilily plotted, swiftly paced, and sprinkled with the author’s trademark mordant wit, The Stranger is Harlan Coben in top form.

My thanks to Peguin Group Dutton for proving a digital ARC

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