“Caroline Stark’s beach house was supposed to be her crowning achievement: a lavish, expensive space to showcase what she thought was her perfect family. But after a very public fight with her husband, she realizes things may not be as perfect as they seem: her husband is lying to her, the money is disappearing, and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house.
As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse around her, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline, her family, and her house becomes more and more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead…and what is Caroline hiding?” Amazon
I have read thrillers in the past, where the author would either write each chapter from a different character’s point of view, or with different time frames, often jumping back and forth. Until I actually realized this was happening, or noticed that there were names/dates at the beginning of each chapter, I would be a bit confused. I completely realize that it’s my fault for not being more observant.
But one great thing about this book is that I didn’t get confused when Michele Campbell used that technique. But it could be because it was a female and male, as opposed to usually two or more characters of the same sex. In some novels, even after I realize there are different voices in each chapter, the story still didn’t flow that smooth for me. But with, A Stranger on the Beach, that was not the case.
I actually started looking forward to the next chapter to see how that character viewed the circumstances that were happening to them. I was enjoying trying to figure out which one was the one that was telling the truth.
Although it was written well, I just can’t give it five stars, due to knowing what was going on very early in the book. With these types of thrillers, I like to still be wondering at least half way through the book. And if one keeps me guessing all the way until the end, then I am super happy.
I could have even over looked knowing what was going on before the halfway point in the novel, if some of the red herrings would have left me guessing or surprised with their outcomes.
But this doesn’t make this a bad book. I have just read lots of thrillers, mysteries, and horror novels, so it is really rare for me to not know what is going to happen when watching a movie or reading a book.
So if you are someone who doesn’t read this type of book all the time, or doesn’t often guess the outcome, this book is one I would recommend. But if you often have the ending figured out early, you may find that this novel just isn’t surprising enough to satisfy you.
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