BLOG TOUR - STRANGER IN THE LAKE
STRANGER IN THE LAKE
Harlequin Park Row have very kindly given me access to the ARC of This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf and asked me to participate in their official BLOG TOUR! It's out TODAY (9th June) so I'll start by telling you all about the book and the author and then I'll dive in with my review.
When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.
At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.
As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
Charlotte knows her new husband Paul has a dark past, but when a woman is found dead in the lake outside their house she is left wondering who she can really trust…
Stranger in the Lake is a tension filled read with a lot of secrets to discover. I enjoyed our narrator of Charlotte; a woman who left her poor upbringing behind her to marry Paul; a wealthy older man with a dark past. The way that she has to deal with childhood friends who remember her troubled upbringing in her claustrophobic small town makes for a great setting. With no-one able to make a move without risk of being spotted and gossiped about, and everyone knowing everyone’s business the tension is kept high throughout. The premise of wanting to believe your husband is innocent even when a similar crime is committed on your doorstep is also a powerful one and a lot of cards are kept close to character’s chest before the final explosive showdown. I also liked the inclusion of a stranger coming to town to investigate an old murder for a podcast – as an avid true crime podcast listener it felt realistic and a nice modern touch.
However, there were some things I didn’t enjoy much – I had guessed who the main ‘bad’ character was from almost the moment we were introduced to them – the twist is spelt out a little too obviously in the beginning. I also felt that we started out so invested in the story of the previous woman who had drowned in the lake I didn’t really understand the actual crime we were supposed to be focussed on until it was a bit too late. I found the flashback chapters annoying as I didn’t really feel like they were spelling out the interesting side to the plot – I just wanted them to be over so we could work out what was happening now before I realised that was the actual plot! Although I enjoyed the easy writing style and found myself absorbed in the plot, the whole story just felt a bit too bland and predictable as a whole which was a shame as there were some great aspects to it.
Overall I enjoyed Stranger in the Lake, it’s a tension filled read but did fall a little flat with predictable plotline. Thank you to NetGalley & Harlequin – Park Row for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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