Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family or digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must confront the truth about Emmy Grey–and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvania town has something to hide–including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are too busy hiding your own?
Megan Miranda’s debut novel All the Missing Girls was one of my favorite psychological suspense novels of last year, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating Perfect Stranger. While this wasn’t a perfect read for me, it was still an enjoyable and quick one.
After finishing this second book, it’s obvious that Megan Miranda’s writing style is beautiful. Every word, every detail, is just perfectly placed, which makes the narrative flow so smoothly. When you combine this with the story’s fast pace, and suspenseful plot, it makes for a real page-turner that makes it difficult to put down.
I have to be honest and say I had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters, including Leah. She made some extremely questionable decisions through the story, that me suspicious of her motives. I also thought the secondary characters could have been fleshed out a little more.
As I previously said, the plot is suspenseful and filled with interesting developments which ratcheted up the tension. But, after all the build up, I confess I was a little disappointed in the ending which I thought was okay, but somewhat anticlimactic.
I admit I went into Perfect Stranger with high expectations, perhaps exceedingly so. I always do my best to judge the books I read on their own merit no matter how I’ve felt about an author’s previous works. Sometimes that’s more difficult than others and that was the case for me with this novel. Overall, I thought this was a good, solid psychological suspense story, and there’s a part of me that’s wondering if I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t loved the first book so much. Whatever the case, I have absolutely no no qualms over recommending this to anyone who loves this genre, and I’m looking forward to Miranda’s next novel.