Such a quiet and ordinary wife and mother. Who will even notice what she’s done?
Lillian Smith leads an unexceptional life, writing obituaries and killing time with her inattentive husband and disconnected son. Then she meets David, a handsome stranger, in a coffee shop. Lured into an affair, she invents a new persona, one without strings, deadlines, or brooding husbands.
Lillian has never felt so reckless, unpredictable, or wanted. But as her affair with David intensifies, she withdraws from everything that’s real, even her closest friend. When evidence of her life as a secret lover finds its way onto her son’s social media, she risks ruining much more than her marriage or reputation.
As lies beget lies, Lillian’s two worlds spiral dangerously out of control. And betrayals run deeper than she imagines. Because Lillian isn’t the only one leading a double life.
Title : A Familiar Stranger
Author : AR Torre
Format : eARC
Page Count : 275
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer Books
Release Date : September 27, 2023
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 4 star review
A Familiar Stranger was a joy of an easy thriller. AR Torre serves up unlikeable characters as ever and as a reader, you suck it up like a delicious feast. This dysfunctional family at the centre, their cold connection but reluctance to make change made for early investment. As things got wilder, I couldn’t put it down.
There were a number of POVs but they weren’t overused, nor were they confusing. Mostly this was told from Lillian’s seemingly (but not) mundane perspective with the occasional Mike thrown in. Mike was a character who seemed without feeling, calculating and unfathomable in ways. Jacob was the sad victim of circumstances.
I didn’t like David but I did like the life Lillian found in the marina. I have no words for Sam. The mental illness exploitation was uncomfortable but not unrealistic in this plot; that element saddened me. I didn’t like how Lillian’s POVs turned out but I guess it kept a train of events in a way that would have otherwise been difficult.
Overall, I find AR Torre’s thrillers to be her sweet spot and they almost always work for me.
Thank you to Thomas & Mercer for the eARC.