Book Review: The Stranger by Harlan Coben

By | December 29, 2015


While reading “The Stranger” I wasn’t exactly indulging in its beautiful words or delicious sentences, but I pulled straight into the plot from chapter one in a way that left me no other choice but to continue. A blissful family man attending a boring suburban life even when suddenly a stranger whispers something about the man’s wives in his ear, a single sentence, but it was enough to turn the poor unsuspecting man’s life upside down and send him down a long dangerous path.

Who would have known that words could be so menacing?

The book plays on a person’s most primal fear, the unknown. How well do you know the people in your life, how well indeed? How can you be certain that there are no secrets kept from you, year in and year out? Is it even possible not to keep secrets in a relationship, any relationship? And how devastating might they be? If you’ve known everything there is to know, every hidden secret, do you think life would be better, or are secrets kept for a reason?

The plot of the mystery unfurls quickly, its the speed of which that kept me hanging on the pages of the book, unwilling to let go. Though there were too many names and too many characters for my liking, I’ve come to resent books with more than a handful of characters now, and though the description of “fights” and “sports” were too detailed to the point of being bored, I do admit that I’ve skipped a few pages, I did like the very unlikely turn of events on the last few pages and when the truth was finally exposed I was satisfied. No cheesy conclusions, no sugar coated endings, its only the truth and the consequences one must live with when secrets are exposed.

I would recommend this book for a quick yet interesting read. It would be excellent for reading when, say, you are commuting on a train or running errands and you need a book to make you look forward to passing your time, waiting. Be warned, once you pick it up you will not want to put it down until you know what the stranger meant, really and truly.

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