Lately, I have been feeling the need to expand my reading repertoire and read something a little bit different than my usual. So, when I received Strangers, a German noir novel by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel, I was thrilled. Not only did this book fit into my Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge (a book by two authors) and have an amazing cover but also the synopsis had me completely hooked.
A woman wakes up without any memory of the strange man who is in her home, claiming to be her fiancé. The ultimate he said/she said narrative style on steroids; Strangers had me feeling actual anxiety throughout my reading. I was so stressed out trying to figure out what was happening!!
Like many other domestic thrillers, this one uses the back and forth narrative style between our male and female protagonist. This style had me incredibly conflicted throughout my reading. I would hear from Joanna, fearing her safety as a strange man enters her home, and feel for her. Then, a chapter later, Erik would enter talking about how upset he was that Joanna didn’t remember him, and I would feel for his plight just as much! I was completely divided trying to figure out whom I could trust. You want a novel with an unreliable narrator? How about two!
Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t stay continuous throughout the text. About halfway through the novel, I started feeling as if the story was becoming a little redundant. I get it. They couldn’t trust each other. Then, the novel switched gears and gave more of a conspiracy vibe. I did like this bit of narration but I think I would have been completely content with the novel to be about 100 pages shorter and focusing solely on their back and forth narration.
Overall, I didn’t love the end and I didn’t love the final twist, but I did appreciate the bit of originality.
Regardless of my feelings for the end, I did feel as if this book was worth the read and feel that fans of domestic thrillers will enjoy this one. Especially if you enjoyed SJ Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep; they had a very similar vibe!
Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review