★★★★ 4345 real customer reviews average rating: 4.1 stars
2 Stars By CaspersMommy33 on 2015-07-20
Letdown by Mr. Coben with this book.
**** Spoilers ****
As a huge fan of Harlan Coben, I look forward to every new book published by him. This, however, was not to my liking. The various story lines in the book did not flow together well and many characters were not fully developed. From Suzanne to the lacrosse board to Chris and his team to Kuntz and his people, this book was just all over the place. I was left with more questions than anything. What did Kristin Hoy actually know all along? What became of Kimberly and the sugar daddies? Adam found Gabrielle through friends of friends of friends of friends on Facebook ... we're supposed to buy that? How did Chris and his team fund their endeavors if people didn't choose to pay the extortion fee? The "for hire" option of his venture went completely against its "core values" so that negated the entire purpose. The character of John Kuntz ... never fully developed. He was crucified in the media for a takedown gone wrong and then turned into a bad guy who kills for money to save his dying son? What? This book just had way too much going on and nothing worked well together. That's my take. Not recommended.
1 Stars By julie r on 2015-07-19
laborious plot that gets worse as it drags along
Fast opening that pulls you in. followed by a silly, laborious plot that gets worse as it drags along. A huge cast of dull, interchangeable characters who appear and disappear without making any impression or adding any substance to the story. The pointlessly convoluted and sloppy plot limps along piling new characters and trite twists on without any real impact, and filled with holes you could drive a truck through. Minimal suspense (that's a kind description) and a resolution that is so lame that it's laughable. Makes me wonder if Coben is one of those best-selling authors who is now using freelance ghostwriters to churn his books out because he is doesn't want to write any more, but is unwilling to give up the $$$. Because this sure doesn't read like a popular professional writer had anything to do with it. I forced myself to read the whole thing hoping it would get better, but no such luck. Erased this mess from my Kindle the minute I finished it.
2 Stars By Rickshore on 2017-02-06
Shoulda Read the Reviews First
Should have read the reviews first. I didn't because I love Harlan Coben's writing, and realized I hadn't read this one, so I bought it and dove right in. As usual, he writes with the magic of suspense and plot that draw you in and the pace that keeps it moving, so you just don't want to put the book down. In these respects, the Stranger is up to his usual standards. But I agree with several reviewers, the ending was a total let down. Bummer.
Other reviewers made several good points; the Stranger himself not being developed, and the hero, Adam, getting whacked with a baseball bat; still able to extricate himself from mortal danger. But, given Coben's track record of solid suspenseful writing, I can overlook some flaws. The main story arc was Adam on a quest to find his wife, Corinne, and the story drew a compelling closeness to Adam, his sons and his wife. As the plot races toward the conclusion, Adam realizes he's somewhat responsible for Corrine's original deception that led the Stranger to seek him out to disclose her secret. Bottom line, IMHO, the ending did not fit with the main story arc, leaving me unfulfilled and disappointed.
Very much like watching a really good football game, with the team you're really rooting for, losing: Bummer.
3 Stars By Daniel Kramer on 2015-04-12
Probably the weakest Coben book that I have read.
I have read every book that Mr. Coben has written and this is his weakest fare. What made it weak? First, authors these days seem to believe that you need to have 5 plot lines all going at the same time that come together. That is fine if you are reading the book in one sitting but if you are like me and read at night, the plot lines get confusing. Second, and this is a real pet peeve of mine, do you really expect me to remember a character that you brought into the book 45 pages ago without giving me a little reminder? I was lucky that I read this on my kindle so I had xray and "look for" to find out who the characters were.
As for the actual story, there is a very wonderful story in there about secrets on the Internet and people who might exploit them. This is not that story. And the ending....don't ask. Completely unnecessary. So all in all, I will wait for his next book. Myron Bolitar....Where The Heck Are You?
4 Stars By Melissa Sugar-Gold on 2015-06-16
Gripping but Not One of My Favorite Coben Books
Not my favorite Harlan Coben book and I've read all of them. The story is still good, but doesn't compare to some of his other books. If you have not read Coben don't start with this one. Read Missing You, Tell No One, The Innocent, No Second Chance. I mean this is good, it's just not great like all of his other books. The concept is amazing, but somewhere along the way too many plot lines intertwined and they didn't have enough thread to connect them which made the ending seem forced. I also didn't really like the ending. It's hard to write a review for a book that had some compelling characters, a fantastic concept, but didn't finish with the same tenacity and adrenaline surge I've come to expect with Coben's books. He is a fantastic storyteller and writes with ease. His unique voice is refreshing and I love how he incorporates social media and so many other trending issues into his story lines. He is an excellent author, one of my top five favorite all time authors. He is the absolute best at writing real and authentic dialogue that truly resonates with you. This book just wasn't one of his best - or better said, wasn't one of my favorites. Don't get me wrong. It is full of suspense and I read it in one or two sittings. I just didn't have that ... don't want it to end feeling that I normally have with this author. It begins super strong, hooked me in the first few pages and the intensity grew, but for me it fell flat in the end.
5 Stars By Alan L. Chase on 2017-08-15
Another great Cobeh thriller
This Harlan Coben novel, "The Stranger," is chilling. Several individuals are approached by a stranger who reveals to them a dark secret about an important person in their lives. In each case, the person who has been surprised by the stranger must decide how to act upon this new information. In a major plot thread, Adam must decide if he wife, Corinne, is who she appears to be, or if she is in fact hiding a secret. He confronts her, and she disappears? Adam is forced to conduct an extensive search, bringing his sons into the mystery of where Corinne may have gone - and why. The answer is not one that I had anticipated.
No matter how many of Coben's novels I read, he always manages to keep me guessing and engaged. After I finish a book, and I ready to dive into the next one.
1 Stars By William Arsenis on 2015-05-08
I have to wonder if the title of this book, THE STRANGER, had something to do with the imposter who wrote it, because it was nothing like the usual Harlan Coben novel.
Whoever wrote this book must have had a major grudge on the author. If the author really was Harlan Coben, then THE STRANGER constitutes an act of literary suicide.
The basic plot and much of the research was diluted and stolen from his previous book, MISSING YOU.
Gone was the funny, witty prose. And for the first half of the book, gone too was the fast pace found in all Coben books. The beginning wasn’t just slow—it was boring slow.
Worst of all, gone was the hopeful, brilliant plot with the last-minute twist. The ending was dull, depressing, and downright awful.
Out of principle, and years of loyalty to this once great thriller author, I will give Harlan Coben a final chance. But if the imposter who wrote THE STRANGER infects the prose, pace, or plot in so much as one paragraph in Mr. Coben’s next novel, I will delete the book from my Kindle, and I’ll never read or review another book by him again.
That’s a promise.
4 Stars By BruMan on 2017-09-01
A stranger reveals to a husband that his wife had faked her failed pregnancy. The wife, confronted by her husband, disappears and a search begins. Several more people are confronted with dark secrets and the threat of exposure, some with the promise of silence for a price. But not all is as it appears. Murder enters in. Who? Why? And a surprise ending, two of them, to be exact.
Grab a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the read; it's definitely worth your time.
4 Stars By TUCSON ROBERT on 2016-05-13
In Harlan Coben's, THE STRANGER, the Price family ...
In Harlan Coben's, THE STRANGER, the Price family is living the American dream, or so it seemed. Adam, the husband and father, is a successful and respected attorney in the small suburban town of Cedarfield, New Jersey. The wife, Corinne, is the mother of two teenage boys, Thomas and Ryan, top high school lacrosse athletes. She is also treasurer on the prestigious school lacrosse governing board. A stranger approaches Adam at the American Legion Hall following a lacrosse practice session. In a short two-minute conversation the stranger turns the lives of Adam and his family upside down. The seemingly nonthreatening stranger apparently knows family secrets that threaten the Price's marriage and possibly their very existence. How the stranger knew of the family secrets remain a mystery throughout most of the story. As the narrative progresses there are a number of new characters and venues introduced. In this age of internet and social media one innocent mistake can cause deadly consequences. Coben squeezes this possibility into the scenario. The story's slalom-style paths keep the reader eagerly turning pages. Coben is well known for his suspenseful writing. In The Stranger he pours it on and turns the novel into a can't-put-it-down read. I give this page turner a 4 ½-star rating.
2 Stars By DGD on 2015-04-17
Even the cliches he uses to describe the action are overused. I used to love Harlen but he seems to be dialing it in as of late.