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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
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- *Washington, D.C.

Australia (2)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:

0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:

6 / 25 books. 24% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:

33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Saturday, July 10, 2021

Goodman's Newest a Shivery Spine-Tingler

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

For three years, investigative reporter Joan Lurie has been working on an explosive story about the sexual misconduct of a powerful New York City publisher.  She knows there will be consequences for breaking the shocking news and she thinks she's prepared to deal with them.  What she couldn't have foreseen was a brutal attack on her person that leaves her traumatized, both physically and emotionally.  Utterly shaken, she retreats to the Refuge, an exclusive Manhattan apartment building that was once a Magdalen laundry.  The place boasts top-notch security that should have Joan feeling completely at ease.  So, why does she still feel unsafe?  Is she imagining that things in her apartment have been moved around on her?  Or is it just paranoia and frayed nerves, after effects of her attack?

Joan's not the only woman hiding inside the Refuge.  Lillian Day hasn't left the building in over seventy years, not since the day she witnessed a shocking event that left her just as traumatized as Joan.  

Then there's Melissa Osgood, who's reeling from her husband's betrayal and from a devastating reversal of fortune.  She blames Joan Lurie and will stop at nothing to take revenge on the woman who ruined her life.

As the lives of Joan, Lillian, and Melissa intersect, they will learn some startling truths about themselves, each other, and the dark history of the building in which they all live.  With danger still on Joan's tail, she has to find true refuge before it's too late...   

I'm a long-time fan of Carol Goodman's twisty Gothic thrillers, so I always get excited when she publishes a new book.  With its modern New York City setting (as opposed to the usual upstate locales) and its #MeToo movement premise, The Stranger Behind You—Goodman's newest—is a bit of a departure from her previous novels, but it's still a shivery, engrossing page-turner.  While I saw some of the plot surprises coming, others caught me off-guard, keeping the story interesting throughout.  Although there are definitely some elements of the tale that are illogical and far-fetched, overall I found it both compelling and satisfying.  Not all of the book's characters are likable, but Joan is appealing enough that I cared about her plight.  As with many of Goodman's books, my favorite aspect of The Stranger Behind You is the Gothic-y setting.  The creepy building at its center as well as the story's constant, unsettling vibe make the book an entertaining spine-tingler.  While this isn't my favorite of Goodman's thrillers, I enjoyed it overall.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Lock Every Door by Riley Sager, Someone's Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a couple F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Stranger Behind You from the generous folks at HarperCollins via those at Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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