Updated: Mar 29, 2020
If the movie "Fatal Attraction" and the psychological thriller genre had a baby, it would be A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell. Holy cow, did I love this wild ride. I am a huge fan of thrillers and I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader's copy from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All I can say is if you read this one, buckle up. You'll be in for a wild ride.
A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell is the story of Caroline Stark, a beautiful, wealthy woman who seems to have it all. The looks, the clothes, the cars, the breathtaking beach house, and the perfect husband and daughter. Suddenly, her world comes crashing down on her when she is humiliated by her husband, in front of all the affluent guests at her beach house party. Maybe Caroline's life isn't as perfect as she had always thought. She goes to a local dive bar to drown her sorrows and meets an attractive bartender, Aiden, who she has a one night stand with. The one night stand turns into an obsession that becomes more destructive each day.
The relationship between Caroline and Aiden is steamy, sexy, and dangerous. I was completely infatuated with them. I pictured Aiden as a cross between a surfer guy/Matthew McConaughey and sexy Brad Pitt. Caroline I pictured as a sultry Sharon Stone. It is always fun to read a book where the author's descriptions of the characters allows you to fully imagine them.
This story is told from alternating perspectives between Caroline and Aiden. I loved this aspect about the book, because it kept me guessing and questioning reality. Caroline and Aiden both saw the relationship from a different lens, but I was not sure whose lens was the accurate one until the very end. I read a lot of thrillers and can generally get a sense of how a book will end, but this one kept me guessing and actually surprised me. The twist was unsuspected and satisfying. Michele Campbell is a wonderful dialogue writer, which is difficult to write. This book had a lot of dialogue, but the dialogue made it a quick read and the writing flowed well.
There are several thriller like twists throughout the book, but the reader is left guessing up until the last few chapters. I also did not find it predictable. I rated this one ★★★★/5 stars. It is a great psychological thriller and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys that genre. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advanced reader's copy. I am honored to be able to read and review this wonderful book.
This book will be out on July 23, pre-order your copy today!