Audiobook Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

A Stranger in the House
by Shari Lapena, Tavia Gilbert (narrator)

Publication date: August 15th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio


He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet. 

Source: Goodreads


My third Shari Lapena read, “A Stranger in the House”, follows married couple Karen and Tom Krupp. Karen and Tom lead a picture perfect life, living in a enviable home in upstate New York. Then, in the opening pages of this book, Karen has an accident. She’s crashed her car into a pole in a less desirable part of the city. Tom can’t understand why his wife would have left their home without her phone and handbag, and he certainly doesn’t know what she was doing driving around the worst part of town. With a case of amnesia, Karen can’t remember anything either!

This is a contemporary thriller that kept me entertained on audiobook for a few days. It’s relatively fast moving, although a little long for my tastes. I was quite gripped at the beginning, as the characters in the story try to work out what’s happened at the same time as the reader, but later on I felt that things got a little repetitive, predictable and also a little less realistic at times with some plot points feeling a bit far-fetched. I also struggled a little bit with the narration but that’s definitely a personal preference.

What I liked the most was the short snappy chapters that kept you wanting to read more, especially in the first few pages. None of the characters were particularly likeable, which meant you suspected all of them at one point and that made the mystery a little more interesting as you tried to work out who or what was responsible. I also liked the fact that the author chose to bring back Detective Rasbach and his partner Jennings, the detectives that were also on the case in “The Couple Next Door“.

I’ve read three of this author’s books now and all of them have just been okay reads for me, but something keeps drawing me back! I think that sometimes, an okay read is exactly what you need. I enjoyed the book despite it’s niggles, I’m just not amazed by it. I’m sure fans of the author will love this one.

Overall rating: It’s another 3 stars from me for “A Stanger in the House” by Shari Lapena. This is a contemporary thriller that I enjoyed, but wasn’t amazed by. Recommended for fans of the author!

See my other reviews of books by Shari Lapena here:


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