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Darden North reviews "The Stranger" by Harlan Coben

The StrangerThe Stranger by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had not read Harlan Coben in a while--in fact could not remember the title of that last novel. But now after completing this digital audio book in a few days, I'm hooked and will most likely soon read (or listen to) Coben's "The Missing."

In "The Stranger," when a stranger confronts protagonist Adam Price with a secret in a bar just before the coaches select the local high school lacrosse teams, Adam begins to question the love and integrity of his wife and everything he holds true--or thought was true. He learns that she has faked a pregnancy, but for no good reason.

In the audio version of "The Stranger," the performance may initially seem sing-song or "preachy," but this could be attributed somewhat to Adam's and the narrator's frequent use of simile and metaphor to describe other characters, settings, or the situation. Clandestine Internet websites, mystery-solving through Facebook research, and cellphone apps pay heavily into the plot.

While the tension or dread for the reader (or listener) does develop soon in the
novel, I found this unique story slow at first. However, once other characters are developed and the back story is out if the way, it's quickly obvious that Adam's wife is not the only one in the community with secrets.

-----Darden North
       www.dardennorth.com


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