Title: The Perfect Stranger
Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Corvus, Atlantic Books in February 2018
Summary: From Publisher
Everyone in this rural town has something to hide. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?
Having reached a dead end in Boston, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs a change. When she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who is moving to rural Pennsylvania, Leah decides to join her. But their fresh start is quickly 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 helps Detective Kyle Donovan to investigate her friend’s life for clues. But with no friends, family or digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Forced to question her version of reality and to save herself, Leah must uncover the truth – no matter how dark or terrible it may be…
We sit in a room together and are told to trust each other. We are taught that good is the default and evil is rare. And then we learn that good was the mask. That we trusted too easily. Now people keep telling us to think for ourselves, look out for ourselves, keep an eye out for one another, and report what we see. But who should we report to? If we’re not sure who to trust? How do we know who wears the mask?
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
I love twisty psychological thrillers so The Perfect Stranger appeared to be right up my street and after reading it I can confirm that it was! This story sucked me in pretty quickly with all of its possibilities and questions about who is telling the truth. This author has a great skill for knowing exactly how much information to give out and how much to hold back until the very end. I read The Perfect Stranger pretty much in one sitting because I simply had to know how it would end.
I found the characters in this book really intriguing mostly because I didn’t know who was real and who was lying, this is a major part of this plot – whether Emmy, the main character’s roommate and friend, is real or a product of her imagination. Emmy’s character has a mystical, almost sinister feeling to it which makes the reader question her veracity. There are no quick answers to this question as the story moves to its conclusion which kept me gripped and fascinated by the story that was unfolding. The main character, Leah, was also a bit of an enigma. We are slowly told about her secrets and her backstory throughout the book and I, at times, really questioned her choices. I did not always like her, and I also questioned her reliability as a narrator several times which really added to my enjoyment of the novel because I like when everything is little murky and unclear at first. However, despite the fact that I didn’t always agree with or like Leah, I was rooting for her to find out the truth of this mystery. This was mostly because I appreciated her commitment to getting the whole story which stems from her past as a journalist. I also liked the other characters that inhabited the small town Leah and Emmy move to at the start of the book. I always think that small towns in rural America are a really great setting for a mystery because there always seems to be a mysterious and sinister atmosphere to them. This small town was no different, the people are interesting and very much add to the eerie feeling of this novel. I’m sure that in reality there are thousands of perfectly lovely small towns in America but in novels they do almost always contain a multitude of secrets.
Overall, I really enjoyed this twisty story about who we really are and what makes up the fabric of our lives. I found the ending very satisfying and felt it was extremely appropriate to the story. I will definitely be looking out for new work from Megan Miranda and reading this has certainly made me want to read her previous thriller ‘All The Missing Girls’. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a classic and complex psychological thriller with a spooky and atmospheric feeling to it.
I received this book from Readers First in exchange for a fair and honest review.