Thursday, January 4, 2018


Strangers by Ursula Archer, Arno Strobel
St. Martin's Press: 1/9/18
eBook review copy: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9781250113061

Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel is a highly recommended thriller.

Joanna Berrigan is home alone when she finds a stranger in her house. He has let himself in with a key and claims he is her fiancé. The problem is that Joanna has never seen this man before. He claims he lives with her, but there is no trace of anyone else living in her house. Joanna ends up spending the night locked in the pantry while the stranger spends the night outside the pantry door. Joanna also is having these strange flashes of hitting herself and then taking a knife and attacking him.

Erik Thieben comes home after a hard day at work to find that the woman he loves, his fiancée Jo, claims to not recognize him at all. She also appears to have removed all of his things from the house they share. Jo thinks he is crazy and there to harm or hurt her. Erik wants to protect her, find out what happened, what caused this mysterious amnesia. He gets Joanna to agree to see a neurologist, but she still doesn't trust him and tries to escape.

When a mutual friend confirms what he is telling Joanna is true, she is still reticent to trust him. He remains a total stranger to her. When the two seem to be having way more than their fair share of accidents, it might be time for them to try and, if not trust each other, at least work together while trying to figure out what is really happening.

The chapters in this fast-paced thriller alternate between the point-of-view of Joanna and Erik. It is truly a he said/she said situation that presents the reader with a dilemma on who to trust. Are they both telling the truth, and if that is the case, what happened to Joanna's memory? Or is one of them running some kind of con? And what would be the end game? 

I personally liked  having the chapters tell the story from each character's point-of-view, and I thought it worked in this novel. This marks Archer and Strobel's debut novel writing as a team and I thought they did an excellent job presenting the same situation through the individual character. My mind could conjure up so many possible reasons for the amnesia and the situation in which the two find themselves. The pace is quick in this novel and the chapters flew by quite quickly. They had me right in the palm of their hands until the end, at which point Strangers  lost credibility for me with what felt like a rather recycled climax. It was at a strong 5 stars until the ending.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of St. Martin's Press via Netgalley.

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