Book Title: Strangers
Authors: Ursula Archer & Arno Strobel
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 01/09/18
Imagine you’re home alone. Suddenly a man stands before you. He claims to be your fiancé. But you have no idea who he is. And nothing in your home suggests that someone lives with you. He’s talking to you, but nothing makes sense. You’re afraid. And you feel the irresistible urge to attack. Take a knife. Are you crazy?
A woman. A man. The more they try to understand the situation, the more confusing it becomes. Soon they must realize that they are in deadly danger. And there’s only one chance for survival: they must trust each other.
Just when you think that you’ve read every type of thriller-mystery novel plot possible, Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel throw us a curveball with Strangers . Seriously, if you think the show 24 has too much non-stop chaos, you haven’t seen anything yet. The story starts off with Joanna Berrigan, daughter of one of the richest people in Australia, residing in her house in Germany. Joanna is in the midst of talking to her friend Ela about her friend’s deadbeat boyfriend Richard and getting ready for the night. However, later that night Joanna is caught off guard by a stranger, who claims to know Joanna. Not only does he claim to know Joanna, but claims to be her fiancé Erik. Joanna is completely terrified and stunned—who is this man? How does he have a key? Why does he know so much about her? While trying to focus on this confusing predicament, both Joanna and Erik realize that they are in a situation that is much deeper than a case of amnesia. With both their lives at stake, Joanna and Erik must learn to trust each other if they want to survive.
My review for Strangers must be vague in order for you to enjoy it and devour it as fast as I did. Less than 24 hours later and I am still thinking about the ending. This was my first read by Ms. Archer and Mr. Strobel, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they are international best seller authors in Germany. The pacing of this book is key to your enjoyment. It starts off like a car in a drag race— a fast, adrenaline rush thriller with no mercy. Joanna, Erik, and the secondary characters not only confuse your focus of the main plot, but also kind of freak you out just a little bit. I love when I can’t tell you who I actually am rooting for until the end, because then the plot doesn’t follow a predicable storyline. Strangers is anything, but predictable.
About 1/3 of the way into the story, I felt the pacing calmed down considerably from the introduction and it slightly frustrated me. I felt that maybe the balance between the two POVs prevented the evolution of the plot and kept it at a standstill. Once the POVs stopped repeating the previous chapter’s main takeaway points, the plot picked up yet again. Around 60% of the story, we are introduced to a major dark focal-point of the story that you really can’t guess if you tried—and I cannot tell you anymore than that! If you want to pick up a thriller that provides you an original concept, non-stop panic, and unreliable narrators, then I suggest picking up Strangers .