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