Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ARC Review: The Perfect Stranger

The Perfect Stranger
Wendy Corsi Staub
Harper/July 29, 2014

In New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub's new thriller, one woman finds herself in the crosshairs of a twisted predator who might just be masked behind a familiar screen name . . .

During the darkest period of her life, Landry Wells found solace in a group of bloggers who had been in her shoes and lived to tell the tale. She's shared things with her online friends that even her husband and children didn't know. Things that now, looking back, make her uneasy.

One of the bloggers is dead, victim of a random crime—or was it? Did she trust too easily; reveal too much? At the funeral a thousand miles from home, Landry is about to come face to face at last with the others. These women are her closest confidantes in the world: they understand her; they know everything about her—and one of them might be a cold-blooded killer . . .

This was a little different from my usual read.  It's suspenseful with clues dispensed throughout the story as to who the killer might be.  I found myself not only curious to find out who the murder is and the motive but also became caught up in the lives of these women and what they had been through together and were still going through in their fight and recovery from cancer.

The point of view of the killer enhances the story.  The thought process they go through after thinking they've gotten away with murder is eerie in how it is so human.  We don't like to humanize murderers but instead when we think of them, we regard them as less than human and not on the same level as us.  When you get into their head, it makes them that much more real and easier to understand their twisted logic.

The plot twists are not so obvious early on, instead the reader gets a sense of something "not quite right" but must continue reading and discovering clues.  Not only does the story explore the difficult journey cancer patients must face but it also deals with the safety of the internet and how much is too much to share with the world.  And how much can you trust someone on the other side of the screen.

The women in the story have different backgrounds, different experiences, different lives but have the common experience of fighting cancer which brings them together.  These are women who would not have met had it not been for that bond.  It was interesting seeing how they fit together despite their diverse backgrounds.

The Perfect Stranger was a refreshing change and a look at how the internet can provide both positive and negative affects to our world.

Rating:  B+