The Stranger Inside

The Stranger Inside

by Laura Benedict


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316444927
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 107,999
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of eight novels of mystery and suspense, including The Stranger Inside, and the Bliss House gothic trilogy. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies like At Home in the Dark (May 2019), A Thousand Doors, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family.

What People are Saying About This

USA Today Bestselling Author of If I Die Tonight - Alison Gaylin

"Absorbing, addictive and downright chilling, The Stranger Inside made me lose sleep in the best possible way. I was shocked by the reveals, too—and that doesn't happen often! This one's a must-read.”

New York Times bestselling author of Paradox - Catherine Coulter

"The Stranger Inside is an intense fascinating character study that will have you rooting for Kimber while she turns her life around and tries to stay alive."

New York Times bestselling author of The Three Beths - Jeff Abbott

"The Stranger Inside is a twisty, compelling thriller. Laura Benedict takes hold of your throat and doesn't let go until the final page.”

Customer Reviews

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The Stranger Inside 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Momma_Becky 6 days ago
The Stranger Inside has an interesting premise and starts out well enough with Kimber returning home to find the locks changed and a stranger living in her house. From there, it goes downhill at a rapid pace. Now, going into this one, I expected it to require at least some degree of suspension of disbelief, but this goes way beyond that. As far as plot twists, this one has them in spades, and there's no shortage of suspects either. The problem is that there is so much crammed into the conclusion that it just becomes convoluted. I think I would've liked the ending better had it just stuck with the person in the house and his reason for being there rather than going over the top the way it did. All that aside, my biggest problem with this story was Kimber. She has to be one of the most unlikable protagonists that I've ever come across. I'm all for flawed characters and unreliable narrators, but this woman has absolutely no redeemable qualities. There wasn't a single thing about her to inspire even an ounce of empathy. In fact, I spent a good portion of this one feeling like karma was finally going to get its ounce of flesh from this character. Instead, it goes an entirely different direction. In the end, I can't say that I liked anything about this one after the first couple of chapters. I'm sure many will enjoy this story, but I definitely am not one of them.
JennaBookish 1 days ago
Maybe I'm overly picky when it comes to thrillers, but The Stranger Inside unfortunately had a few things that are deal-breakers for me when it comes to this genre, principal among them being a supremely unlikable protagonist. Unlikable protagonists aren't an issue for me in all fiction, but in a thriller, I need to be rooting for the main character for the story to have any emotional thrust. I could not root for Kimber. If Kimber was on fire and I had a glass of water, I'd drink it. (Okay, maybe that's a bit much, but I was unable to find any empathy for this woman while reading.) Kimber is habitually dishonest and selfish. A lot of this seems to come from her traumatic past, but I can only give a character so much leeway for that, and Kimber pushes the limit. She's emotionally distant in relationships, but don't worry, she has a foolproof plan for dealing with that: she just sleeps with married men! No strings! This was bad enough, but I can look past it in a fictional character to an extent. Kimber takes it to another level, though, when she decides to befriend the wife of one of her former flings, purely because she think it'll be funny to unnerve him. The wife's feelings don't seem to cross her mind for a minute.  The second deal-breaker for me was the ridiculously convoluted plot. Some thriller writers seem to think that they can create an engaging story by the sheer quantity of twists. Quality, not quantity, please. Yes, if you throw in enough twists, at some point every reader is going to say, "Well, I didn't see that coming." The Stranger Inside is almost guaranteed to surprise you at least once, but this is in part because the twists are ridiculous. Obviously, I can't go into detail here without veering into spoilers, and maybe your experience will be different, but I wasn't buying some of these plot points.  Clearly, this novel didn't work for me, but the creep factor behind the basic concept is super intriguing, there are loads of characters to suspect, and I do think there's an audience for this book. This might be a good choice for fans of The Night Olivia Fell, When the Lights Go Out, and The Wife Between Us. Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Angbaum 6 days ago
Firstly, thank you to NetGalley and Mulholland Books for allowing me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. This book is a very easy read, hard to put down, and has some great plot twists. With that being said, I absolutely hated the main character, Kimber Hannon. I found her to be highly annoying, selfish, and quite dumb. I don't think I have ever had such strong feelings about a character in a novel before, but this must be a testament to the author's writing-she made Kimber seem very real, with very real emotions. Kimber Hannon arrives home from camping to find a stranger living in her home. The police are no help, and it is up to Kimber and her friends to find out who this man is and what he wants, while also keeping Kimber's numerous secrets hidden. There are a lot of doozies in this book that will keep you saying "WTF?" Very enjoyable, quick read.
Anonymous 11 days ago
This was a fast paced enjoyable read with some unexpected twists and turns. I have to admit at the start of this book I felt sorry for Kimber but as the book played out I wasn't so sure. Although some parts of the book were easily predictable and not surprising other parts I didn't predict so it was a fun read overall and I would def recommend it to all lovers of suspense. This is a new author for me but I'd def read more of her stuff.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 12 days ago
I loved the story-telling mechanisms that Ms. Benedict uses in this book to keep the pace moving and the story fresh. The book begins the day Kimber arrives home to find a stranger living her house. The plot moves steadily, and little tidbits of information come to light, and you get the distinct impression Kimber is hiding something. This book is truly a slow-burning, domestic noir. I read this one over only a couple of days, Benedict has a way of dropping hints that the reader completely overlooks. As each twist is revealed, the hints add up and make you realize you probably should have been able to tell what was going on the whole time. That is how you begin to empathize with the characters, even Kimber, who I loathed. Laura Benedict is truly wonderful at crafting a carefully constructed plot that showcases how easy it is to be tricked into your worst nightmare.
MeganLeprich 12 days ago
Thank you so much to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book was super creepy to me and I can't even imagine having to go through this. When Kimber returns home from a short vacation she's startled to discover that her keys no longer fit in the door. Thinking there's something faulty with her keys she goes to use her extra one hidden and realizes there's a bike on her porch that isn't hers and she sees a shadow in her window.  Quickly calling the police thinking they will take care of removing the intruder Kimber learns there's nothing they can do to help her.  This new tenant has a lease signed by her and is adamant that he is renting the house from her for the next six months.  Kimber calls her lawyer ex-boyfriend to help her but realizes no one can help her unless she reveals a secret that this stranger knows from her past.  Kimber's past is threatening to be revealed and she wonders why all of this is happening at once while dealing with a stranger in her house with her personal items and sleeping in her bed *insert creepy chills here*. I loved how this book from the very beginning started with creepy suspense and instantly hooked me.  I wanted to know who the heck was in this ladies house and how they came to have a lease with her signature on it.  Sadly this does happen in the real world all too often and I felt horrible for Kimber at first because this was happening to her but then the story went on and I started to detest Kimber because of the things she did in her past.  I'm not saying anyone deserves to have this happen to them but they do say karmas a bitch.
Amanda_Dickens 13 days ago
I can't quite put my finger on what was missing for me. I was hooked in the beginning and by the middle I lost interest and just wanted it all to wrap up. The characters didn't really grow very much during this time. I read another book today where it felt like there were too many side stories going on for me to appreciate the book as a whole and I think that is part of the problem with this book. However, I did enjoy it and found it to be interesting at time. I did go and look on Goodreads to see if others felt the same why and there are a few that share my same opinions, (glad I am not alone on that). Overall I would recommend it but it is not a winner of a thriller to me.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Michelle Hannon, age 16, has begun finding notes slipped into her school locker. One note says they know what her Dad is doing tonight. Other notes are more vulgar. Michelle does not understand it. Her Dad is a jovial man and her mother is a pretty lady. Not long after, Michelle does from a fall onto some rocks. Kimber Hannon was 14 at the time her sister, Michelle, died. Afterward, her Dad left them and Kimber was a very confused young girl. Today, Kimber, age 38, is just returning to her house after being gone for four days of rest and relaxation. But her key won’t open the door. Seeing a man inside, she calls the police. As she explains the situation to the officer, her elderly neighbor claims she saw Kimber give keys to her house to a man named Lance Wilson and said she’s renting the house to him for 6 months. Kimber denies this and calls Gabriel Silva, an attorney. At one time, they had been an item, but no more. When Lance shows the officer a lease with Kimber’s signature on it, she knows it has been forged. Furious, she jumps on the man who whispers to her: “I was there. I saw what you did.” She doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That’s when the officer arrests her for jumping on him. When she’s released from jail, she goes to stay with her friend, Diana, while this gets straightened out. Frustrated at this whole bizarre situation, Kimber starts her own investigation into what is going on. Long buried secrets; love affairs; jealousy; murder; revenge; hatred; and pure evil. These are just a few of what you will find in this action-filed book. I read it and cringed as more things were uncovered This story is beautifully woven with surprises around each corner. I think thriller fans are going to keep the pages turning quickly with this book. Enjoy! Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.