A Stranger on the Beach – Review

So many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the wonderful box, ARCs, and finished copy!img_1255

Whew…this book was something else! I have mixed feelings about The Stranger on the Beach, which completely goes against the grain of many of the reviews I’ve seen thus far. This book starts out not at all like a Suspense novel, instead, feeling like a domestic, Real Housewives drama. Then, all of a sudden, I was completely and utterly confused, “What is going on with these narrators?”


There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

As the story edged on, I had an idea of where things were going. One of the narrators had to be cuckoo. It could only end in one of two ways, with the narration being what it was. Based on my experience reading Thrillers, it makes sense to choose the least likely or craziest outcome in predicting the conclusion. Though I was sure I had the ending figured out, I have to give major kudos to Michele Campbell’s writing style. Through this book, she shows us just how easily manipulated readers can be while in the hands of an author. At the beginning of the story, I was anxious and absolutely dreaded reading from the perspective of one of the characters. I was endlessly creeped out and was ready for a big fallout of some kind. As the story changed gears and I figured out the dual narration, I realized I had been completely fooled. I was impressed by Campbell’s ability to convey exactly what she hoped to achieve.

However, this was the type of book that leaves readers with mere pages to read and the dread it will not be wrapped up effectively. Honestly, I’m still uncertain of my feelings regarding the ending. My questions were answered but I somehow feel slightly unsatisfied. I think I needed more, more pages, more explanation, more … something. Despite my mixed feelings on this novel, it was compulsively readable, downright addictive, and anxiety-inducing.

Though I’m giving this a middle-of-the-road rating, I think it’s a must for your summer beach bag, with five-star reviews galore. Good news, The Stranger on the Beach released yesterday, so you can start reading today!

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase on Amazon.


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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shalini says:

    I liked the book more than you. Lovely review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you really enjoyed it! Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

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