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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 26 star ratings
3 reviews

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4.1 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    What a thriller

    What a thriller! I picked up Lisa Unger’s book and was hoping for something that would pull me in, keep me up at night having to read, and leave me wanting more. The Stranger Inside is all that and more. The characters are so wonderful. They have gone through a hell that no one should have to and are now living with what happened to them. Rain has tried to find a normal life, a life that fulfills her, with her wonderful husband and her beautiful daughter but is unable to entirely put her childhood behind her. Hank is also struggling. They both have careers that fulfill them but something is missing. The closure of what happened to them is not there. I had a clue as to who the vigilante was but I never saw the rest of the story coming. I was so in awe of what else was going on. The clues were there, the story was being told perfectly, and I was so into the story that I never saw how it would all come together. Lisa Unger wrote an amazing story that pulled me in, kept me turning pages, and left me wanting so much more.
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    Who is the vigilante

    The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger is psychological fiction at its best, taking the reader on a roller-coaster of emotions and tension. When Rain Winters was twelve, her two close friends Tess and Hank were abducted while the trio was walking in the woods. Rain escaped but Hank and Tess were taken by a vicious killer. Hank was able to escape eventually but Tess never returned. Years later, Rain, a journalist on leave, is a stay-at-home wife and mother, when a murderer who escaped justice is killed. This reminds Rain of the fate of the man who ruined her childhood: he was murdered when he was released from prison. Suspecting a vigilante may have committed these two murders, she begins to investigate and, in doing so, stirs up memories that would have been better left undisturbed. What she uncovers is shocking. If you love psychological thrillers, The Stranger Inside will be very satisfying. Highly recommended. Thank you to Harlequin Park Row and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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    Good overall, made you think

    The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger is a psychological thriller. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Harlequin, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.   My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) Rain Winters is a stay-at-home Mom to 1 year old Lily.  Her husband is the producer at a local television station.  Rain gave up her career as a news writer/journalist, but when the body of Steve Markham surfaces, something in Rain clicks.  She had followed Markham's arrest and acquittal for the murder of his wife, and that story was never finished.  She still thinks there is more.  This is the not the first person who escaped justice only to be murdered later, nor the second. But is the story she wants to follow really Markham's or is it her own?  Does she now want to tell the story of her own childhood trauma?  Rain survived an attack on herself and two friends when she was just 12 years old.  Her friend Tess was not so lucky, and Hank has never gotten over it.  If the truth were told, Rain has never really gotten over it either.  Eugene Kreskey, their 22-year old attacker had himself been abused, starved, and locked in the basement as a child, and spent years in a psychiatric hospital after his parents died.  Shortly after his release, he attacked Rain and abducted her companions.  Then, 10 years later, he is again released from a psychiatric hospital...and someone brutally kills him. Whatever her reasons, Rain desperately wants to tell the story of these far there have been at least three.  Is someone getting justice when the courts could not?   Is it someone close to home?   My Opinions:   The story is told in both Rain's perspective, and that of Hank.  In this way we learn more of the trauma they suffered as children and how that trauma made them into what/who they are today. I admit to struggling a little at the beginning, and found the book somewhat slow-moving....and a little long. However, it did give you a lot to think about.  The premise was about justice and vengeance, right and wrong, good and evil, but it also showed how the lines between the two can be a little murky.   It showed how childhood events can shape the person we are today.   I found myself admiring and empathising with most of the characters.  Sometimes doing the wrong thing for the right reason seems justified. It also showed the dilemma every mother faces when they have to decide whether or not to give up their career to be a stay-at-home mom.  Personally, I think her husband was a saint for putting up with Rain's "omissions"/lies.  I didn't like the way he was treated, and wondered about Rain's mother's instinct.  I didn't particularly like this part of the book. Overall, it was a good (if rather long), book.  Although I had a good idea about the twist at the 60% mark, it was still enjoyable.  The foreshadowing was well-done. The book also made you wonder....that little voice I sometimes hear...does everyone have "a stranger inside"?

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