About the Book
In this tautly crafted tale of psychological suspense, a recently widowed mother resorts to the unthinkable to protect her shattered family. But does she go too far?
After mystery author Diane Christie loses her husband to suicide, she and her son move to the small coastal town of Fog Harbor, Massachusetts. Her daughter is attending college nearby, and Diane hopes that her family can now begin to heal. But rebuilding their lives after the tragedy isn’t so simple.
Diane’s depressed college-age daughter, Alexa, still avoids her, critical of everything Diane does, and even her generally amiable teenage son, Josh, has started acting out. Diane pushes forward, focusing on her writing and her volunteer work at a local crisis hotline. She knows that healing takes time.
But then a girl from Alexa’s college is found strangled. Worse still, the murderer uses the crisis hotline to confess to Diane . . . and claims she is the only one who can stop the killing. And just when the glow of new love from an attractive admirer begins to chase away some of the darkness, more girls turn up dead, and Diane races to solve a mystery she fears will hit terrifyingly close to home.
I am a big fan of Jennifer Jaynes her previous books were excellent and examined some unique situations and conditions so I was excited to be reading this latest book.
I, personally, do not usually take a lot of notice of titles or covers I read the synopsis and if I like the sound of it I will read it. However, I have to question the logic behind giving a stand alone novel the Title ‘The Stranger Inside’ when her previous 3 books made up the ‘Stranger’ series it could just be me but even though I knew it was a stand alone book I was still looking for characters or a link to the Stranger series. It didn’t spoil the reading enjoyment though.
The story centres around a fractured family. Diane and her husband, unable to have more children after Alexa decide to adopt and Josh enters the family to a struggling marriage and then he is found to have medical problems. A few years later her husband hangs himself and his body is seen by both children before Diane can prevent it. Desperate for a new start Diane and Josh move to Fog Harbour and Alexa, a very mixed up young woman, moves to a flat near college. They are all trying to move forward with their damaged lives when young women are targeted by a killer.
Diane is a mother trying to do her best for her children and feels she is failing. She is a very realistic character that develops well during the course of the book and any mother can relate to her worries. Her daughter, Alexa is struggling with life and in the grips of depression she manages to alienate everyone around her until she finds herself so tied up in anger she is struggling to find a way out. Josh is a character that seems to be everyone’s friend, the perfect son and brother.
The story moves along steadily as it is told from the viewpoint of all the family members and the
Killer. The suspense builds as the reader tries to identify who is killing the young women. We analyse all the possible suspects and every time a decision is made we find out we are wrong until the end when we are dealt a total shocker of an ending,
There is a small part of me that didn’t quite buy in to the ending but this is fiction so ….
An excellent book that deals compassionately with mental health and other issues realistically and compassionately. I found it a little slow going in places but had enough suspense to keep me turning the pages. A well earned rating of 4.8 stars rounded to 5 stars.
Thank you to Netgalley and the author who provided me with a free copy of this book.
#netgalley #thankspublishers #jenniferjaynes #booksnall @books_n_all
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m a novelist, wife and mommy to the most wonderful twin four-year-olds on the planet.
While earning my Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences at Old Dominion University and a certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I did a little bit of everything to pay the bills. I’ve been a gas station attendant, waitress, a dancing waitress, beer girl, shot girl, bartender, closing coordinator, executive assistant, medical assistant, EMT, content manager, webmaster, news publisher, editor, copywriter, weight loss coach and publishing consultant.
However, through it all, what I really wanted to be was a novelist.
It’s been a very long, and sometimes difficult road, but in 2011, I finally began living my dream with the release of my debut thriller, Never Smile at Strangers. To date, Never Smile at Strangers has earned a place on the USA Today Bestseller’s list, the #1 spot (across all categories) in the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Store, has graced the Top 5 in the mystery/suspense category in the Kindle Store multiple times, and has appeared in the Top 25 in the Kindle Store (across all categories).
In 2014, Thomas & Mercer acquired the rights to Never Smile at Strangers and re-released it January 2015. They also bought the rights to my second novel, Ugly Young Thing, and will release it March 2015.