A Stranger In The House By Shari Lapena: Book's Review and Summary

A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena - Walmart.com - Walmart.com


A Stranger In The House, a novel from Shari Lapena, is all about suspense, drama, and mystery. Lapena is an award-winning writer from Quebec, Canada. She is best known for her bestselling books “The Couple Next Door” and “An Unwanted Guest”. Her writing style is gripping and fast-paced, with unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. In A Stranger In The House, Lapena again demonstrates her talent for crafting a thrilling story.

Main Themes and Ideas

The book revolves around Karen Krupp, a housewife, who leaves her home one evening and is involved in a car crash. The strange thing is that Karen has no memory of why she was in that part of town, and her husband, Tom, is unable to explain the reason for her sudden departure. The mystery deepens when Karen finds a stranger’s phone tucked away in her purse.

The main themes in the book are deception and trust. The author wants us to question everyone’s intentions, even those closest to us. This theme is embodied by Tom, who is Karen’s husband but cannot give a satisfactory explanation for her sudden disappearance. In fact, the more we learn about Tom, the more we question his motives, and we begin to suspect that he may not have Karen’s best interests at heart.

The book also touches on themes like betrayal, guilt, and redemption. As Karen tries to piece together what happened to her that night, she discovers secrets about her own life and those closest to her. Her quest for the truth forces her to confront uncomfortable truths and painful memories from her past.

The Writing Style and Effectiveness

Lapena’s writing style is effective in keeping the reader engaged and turning the page. Her technique of using short, snappy sentences and chapters makes reading the book feel like watching a cinematic thriller unfold. The author uses multiple points of view to create suspense and build up the tension, which makes the book’s ending more unpredictable and exciting.

However, there are some weaknesses in the writing style. For example, the dialogues between characters can feel stilted and unnatural at times, which can distract the reader from the flow of the story. Additionally, the author’s use of cliches and predictable tropes can make the book feel like a typical “whodunit” mystery. That being said, the book’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses when it comes to the overall reading experience, and the fast-paced style keeps readers hooked till the end.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The book’s main strength is its plot, which is full of suspense and unexpected twists. The author uses red herrings and misdirection to throw the reader off track, which makes the plot unpredictable until the very end. The way in which the story unfolds is captivating, and it keeps you glued to the book.

However, there are still some weaknesses present in A Stranger In The House, such as the lack of emotional depth and the underdeveloped supporting characters. Karen’s character, for instance, is not very relatable, and we do not empathize with her as much as we should. Moreover, the secondary characters in the book are written with a heavy hand and lack depth and nuance.

Comparison to Other Works in the Genre

A Stranger In The House is a thriller novel that falls under the same category as other popular books such as “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train”. The book shares some similarities, such as the unreliable narrator and the plot twists. However, there are some differences as well. A Stranger In The House is more straightforward and focuses more on the plot, whereas books like “Gone Girl” also delve into the psychology of the characters.

Overall Impression and Recommendation

Overall, A Stranger In The House is an enjoyable read, and Shari Lapena is a skilled writer when it comes to creating suspense and mystery. The book may not be the most groundbreaking in its genre, but it’s still good enough to keep you engaged until the end. It’s a book that’s perfect for those who want a quick and thrilling read.


  • Is the book appropriate for all ages?
  • The book is not suitable for young readers due to its mature content and language.

  • Is the book too scary?
  • The book is suspenseful and contains some challenging themes, but it’s not too graphic or violent.

  • Can the book be classified as a psychological thriller?
  • Yes, the book has some elements of psychological thriller genre but is more focused on suspense and mystery.

  • Is A Stranger In The House better than Shari Lapena’s other novels?
  • It’s subjective, and everyone has different tastes. However, it’s safe to say that A Stranger In The House is on par with Lapena’s other books and is an excellent addition to her bibliography.

  • Does the book have a lot of profanity?
  • There are some instances of profanity in the book, but it’s not excessive.

In conclusion, A Stranger In The House is a captivating novel that delivers on its promises. It’s perfect for those looking for a quick and thrilling read. Shari Lapena proves once again that she is a master of suspense, and her writing style keeps readers hooked until the very last page.

Leave a Comment