I realize I’ve been recommending books that are classics, or literary fiction, but there’s a lot more diversity of genre on my shelves. This one I enjoyed a lot because it kept me guessing from beginning to end, without the frustration that can sometimes come when books keep you unsettled and uncertain. Today I recommend, particularly for those who love the mystery-suspense genre, ‘A Stranger on the Beach’ by Michele Campbell.

My review on Goodreads:
A Stranger on the BeachA Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very well done. It’s been a while since I read a book where for eighty percent of it, I didn’t know what to believe, or who was telling the truth. Written in alternating POVs in the first and third person, we hear from a woman who is being stalked by a former lover, and the lover himself. Both of them, for various reasons are problematic and unreliable as narrators. As we hear different versions of the same events relayed, the reader cannot help but swing back and forth between belief and disbelief, switching sides and changing your mind several times before thinking you have a handle on what is really happening. And then … you find out you were wrong.

As I delve more and more into the suspense genre (particularly domestic suspense) I’m discovering just how much fun it is to read about people living supposedly normal lives but harboring darkness. And most enjoyable are writers like this one, who are skilled enough to know when to pull back from the overly sensational, making sure you as a reader think, ‘this could totally happen!’ and giving a story that is incredible, but not unbelievable. I have a few of this authors books, including one I haven’t yet read. This one makes me excited to get to it. Recommended.

View all my reviews

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Woman-Centered Fiction Writer, commenting on books, culture and the human condition.

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