The Stranger; Harlan Coben
Brilliance Audio - 2015
(George Newborn - narrator)
We listened to this audio book on a recent road trip and, although we've enjoyed this author in the past, this thriller left us really disappointed after the first few hours.
Adam Price is a family man from New Jersey with an attractive wife and two teenaged sons. Adam's life has been happy. One day a "stranger" approaches him and whispers a few words in his ear indicating that his wife Corrine might have faked her pregnancy. Who is this "stranger" and what is his motive for dropping this bombshell? Could what he's been told be true?
Adam does a little digging and finds some troubling concealed business expenses of Corrines that need explaining. When he confronts his wife, his happy life soon begins to spiral out of control.
The story then veers off with other people getting similar visits from the "stranger". They are also told defamatory things about a loved one. This departure from the original story caused our interest to wane. In addition, the narrative droned on and on with insignificant fillers about the Prices teenaged sons -- info about their sports gear, practices, homework, the fact they took too many showers, what types of pizza and junk food they liked and on and on.
It almost felt like Coben didn't write this novel himself, his thrillers are generally very good. Perhaps if the story was focused just on the Price family and the motives behind the "stranger" it might have been more enjoyable. The ending was disappointing as well. The narrator, George Newborn was good but not great so I'm sorry to say we just can't recommend this one.