After reading All the Missing Girls, it was only a question of time before I got my hands on Megan Miranda’s latest thriller. The Perfect Stranger is her second psychological suspense novel and had the unlucky fate to surpass its predecessor. While both stories are stand-alone novels, it is the originality and the masterful story-telling of All the Missing Girls that set the bar high for this new story. All the Missing Girls was a completely new and mind-baffling story that will probably always be used as a reference when authors will deliver their stories backwards, but Megan Miranda’s newest release is still a brilliantly-crafted, character-oriented mystery story that will keep you guessing till the end. This is the story of Leah Stevens as she leaves her reporter life in Boston due to a horrible incident in order to embrace a fresh new start in a small town alongside her trusted roommate, Emmy Grey. Things however don’t go as planned as Emmy disappears out of the blue and Leah starts to wonder how much she truly knew about her friend.
Megan Miranda is without a doubt a brilliant story-teller. Her writing alone warrants a round of applause as it manages to suck you right into the mind of Leah Stevens. Told in first person, the protagonist continuously pours out her thoughts and ideas as she confronts the people in her life. Whether it would be her mother and her incessant desire that her baby comes back home so that she could straighten Leah’s life or her friend who continuously wishes to hang out with her, Megan Miranda does a magnificent job in portraying a character who struggles to find and tell the truth when it really matters. An interestingly fluent way of integrating past events in the narrative is also present and gives readers an atmospheric and clear portrait of what Leah was once like and how things came to be. The story is also infused with bits emphasizing the journalistic traits that was once all she needed to take advantage of in order to make a living. The way the author manages to interweave the past with the present helped keep the intrigue at its highest throughout the story. It was always an uphill battle for answers as the author offers readers countless different possible scenarios to contemplate.
While the pacing felt slow at the beginning, the story will quickly find its upbeat tempo and will instate in you a deep craving for answers when you least expect it. The Perfect Stranger never felt linear and successfully delivers multiple subplots manipulated in the careful and ingenious hands of Megan Miranda. What was most stunning about this story was how every piece of the puzzle smoothly clicked together without ever feeling too big or too small. It’s how Leah Stevens interprets and understands these pieces that makes this book so much more fun to read and even more exciting to tag along with her. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed how Leah kept on struggling to learn from the past or to know if she should repeat mistakes she thought she’d never contemplate again. It’s impossible to not realize how complex and flawed her character turns out to be as you learn about her past and fully grasp her relationship with her roommate. Filled with zigzags that never manages to confuse you, The Perfect Stranger delivers a completely captivating and intriguing story of trust, truth and lies.
It would be a lie to say that my expectations were easy to lower. All the Missing Girls was a game changer and it was impossible to think that Megan Miranda wouldn’t try and outdo herself. The Perfect Stranger is however still a very solid and entertaining psychological suspense. There are plenty of twists and enough mystery to keep any reader wondering about the outcome. While the author offers readers numerous possibilities, some of which that Leah Stevens openly ponders herself, you are always brought to think about the alternatives that are not mentioned and make your own decisions on what to believe, or who to believe. As an ex-journalist, all the ‘maybes’ that were presented always seemed juicy and irresistible, and I believe it is what makes The Perfect Stranger such a compelling story. Trying to determine which facts are the truth and which ones were lies made this tale such a challenge. If you’re looking for a new author to follow in their writing adventures, Megan Miranda is definitely one to check out.
I WON THIS BOOK THROUGH A GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS HOSTED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER CANADA!
LET IT BE KNOWN THAT WINNING A GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE! 😀
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/