Michelle Campbell is a new to me author, though I have had my eye on her debut novel, It’s Always the Husband, for over a year now. When this book came up for review, I was excited to try something by this author, even if it wasn’t the book that I had had my eye on for so long.
I enjoy domestic thrillers and this one sounded like it was going to be one of those books that I would devour in one or two sittings. And based on a number of other reviews that I had read, most people would agree that this book could easily be read in a sitting or two since it was fast paced—like many domestic thrillers.
That’s why I needed up picking this book up rather late, I had it up for review on a Wednesday and started reading it on a Sunday afternoon with the hope that it would be a fast read that I would enjoy either at home or on the beach with my family.
From the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a novel about a love triangle that begins on a fateful night… There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house. Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.
As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder. A Stranger on the Beach is Strangers on a Train meets Fatal Attraction in Michele Campbell’s edge-of your-seat story of passion and intrigue (summary from Goodreads).
So yes this book was a fast read. I didn’t have any trouble finishing it in a couple of days. It was well paced and I could easily burn a few chapters in a couple of hours. There were a couple of unreliable narrators and I love books with unreliable narrators as it always keeps me on my toes and guessing at the plot.
While I enjoyed the unreliable narrators, I don’t know that I loved the characters all that much. I had a hard time connecting with Caroline and feeling any sympathy for her. Most of the other characters were also lacking in sympathy for me, but I will admit that I was hooked on all the drama—believable or not. I just love reading domestic dramas and this one definitely fell into that category for me. Sometimes I felt like the clues were too obvious and apparent for readers, I would have liked having them be a little more subtle, but on the whole I was entertained—which is the point of reading am I right?
I don’t know that I loved this one in the way that I had hoped but I did pass a couple of afternoons quickly reading chapter after chapter and getting lost in all the family drama. I was entertained and enjoyed Campbell’s writing enough to still want to read her other books and I would say if you like domestic thrillers then this is one that you won’t want to miss either!