Book Review: The Stranger by Melanie Raabe is a well wrought suspenseful thriller

She doesn’t know him. He knows everything about her.

Philip Peterson, a wealthy businessman disappears without trace on a trip to South America. Seven years later he’s back. Or is he?

The Stranger starts with a memory, and these flashbacks creep in throughout the novel. Not too far into proceedings ‘The Stranger’ is found, appearing amid a throng of journalists at the airport. His re-appearance turns the life of Sarah, the wife, and Leo, the son, upside down. ‘The Stranger’ scares Leo, and Sarah immediately believe this isn’t her husband, but a stranger.

Without giving too much away, The Stranger is full of suspense, even right up to the final paragraphs. It shows what a person would do when left alone for too long – on both sides of the relationship. In my opinion The Stranger would make a brilliant movie, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the film rights for Raabe’s debut novel, The Trap, have been acquired by TriStar Pictures.

After the initial suspense, the novel turns into an edgy thriller. I was curious, naturally, throughout the novel, just who this ‘stranger’ was, and what he could possibly want from Sarah. He appears sang-froid, but underneath he’s about to erupt; threatening Sarah if she exposes him and warning her that she will lose everything, her house, her job, her son and her beautiful life. But, the wife too is a strong character, and certainly tougher than ‘the stranger’ thought.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Right up to the end I was in the dark, left wondering at who ‘the stranger’ might be, and his motives. The ending was sweet, innocent, and left a tear in my eye.


The Stranger is available now through Text Publishing


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