By Harlan Coben
#1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Harlan Coben delivers his most shocking thriller yet, proving that a well-placed lie can help build a wonderful life– and a secret has the same explosive power to destroy it.
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.
Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.
Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.
Adam stood by the sticky bar. There was a dartboard behind him. Neon signs advertised Miller Lite, but Adam had a bottle of Budweiser in his right hand. He turned to the man, who had just sidled up to him, and even though Adam already knew the answer, he asked the man, “Are you talking to me?” The guy was younger than most of the fathers, thinner, almost gaunt, with big, piercing blue eyes. His arms were white and reedy with a hint of a tattoo showing beneath one of the short sleeves. He was wearing a baseball cap. He wasn’t quite a hipster, but there was something of a wonk attitude coming off him, like some guy who ran a tech department and never saw the sun. The piercing blue eyes held Adam’s with an earnestness that made him want to turn away. “She told you she was pregnant, right?” Adam felt his grip on the bottle tighten. “That’s why you stayed. Corinne told you she was pregnant.” It was right then that Adam felt some kind of switch go off in his chest, as if someone had tripped the red digital timer on some movie bomb and now it had started to tick down. Tick, tick, tick, tick. “Do I know you?” Adam asked. “She told you she was pregnant,” the stranger continued. “Corinne, I mean. She told you she was pregnant and then she lost the baby.” The American Legion Hall was loaded up with town dads sporting those white baseball T-shirts with the three-quarter sleeves and either baggy cargo shorts or perfectly no-assed Dad jeans. Lots of them wore baseball caps. Tonight was the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth grade boys’ lacrosse draft and A-team selections. If you ever wanted to witness type As behaving as such in their natural habitat, Adam thought, watch when parents get involved in their own off springs’ team selections. The Discovery Channel should film this. “You felt obligated to stay, am I right?” the man asked. “I don’t know who the hell—” “She lied, Adam.” The younger man spoke with such conviction, not just as though he knew for certain but that, at the end of the day, he had Adam’s best interest at heart. “Corinne made it all up. She was never pregnant.”
By Harlan Coben
Review By Heidi Lynn
Thank you very much to Penguin Group Dutton, NetG
alley, and Harlan Coben for providing me a copy of this book so I may bring you this review. It was an honor and a privilege to read and write this review for my favorite mystery author.
This has to be the BEST book I have read in 2015!! Hands down by far Harlan Coben’s best novel EVER!! What an amazing adrenaline rush just from reading his book. Once I started it I knew that I had to finish it that night! The Stranger had everything from lies, secrets, betrayal, blackmail, suspense, faking pregnancies, missing persons, etc.
There were a few passages in the book that I particularly enjoyed:
1) He picked up the box and read the back: thirty percent of “father’s” who take this test will discover that the child they are raising is not theirs.
2) “Everyone looks happy,” he’d say to Corinne.
“Oh, not you too.”
“Everyone looks happy on Facebook,” Corinne said. It’s like a compilation of your life’s greatest hits.” Her voice had an edge to it now. “It’s not reality, Adam.” “I didn’t say it was. I said everyone looks happy. That was kinda my point. If you judge the world by Facebook, you wonder why so many people take Prozac.”
My heart went out to Adam and his kids for having their lives flipped upside down for the events that happened.
There was a character in the book by the name of Heidi. Many authors don’t choose that name as a character. I was pleasantly surprised.
I totally fell in love with The Stranger by Harlan Coben!
This book deserves more than just 5 stars!!
With over 60 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last seven consecutive novels, MISSING YOU, SIX YEARS, STAY CLOSE, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT, LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted at #1 on the New York Timesbestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released in paperback, and the second in the Mickey Bolitar series, SECONDS AWAY, was released on September 18th. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries.
Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE has been turned into the commercial and critical smash hit French film of the same name, starring Francois Cluzet and Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. To see the trailer, click here and for stills and to see Harlan appearing in the film, visit our gallery page. The movie is now available in DVD and Blu-Ray. An American/Hollywood remake is in the works.
In his first books, Coben immersed himself in the exploits of sports agent Myron Bolitar. Critics loved the series, saying, “You race to turn pages…both suspenseful and often surprisingly funny” (People). After seven books Coben wanted to try something different. “I came up with a great idea that simply would not work for Myron,” says Coben. The result was the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller TELL NO ONE, which became the most decorated thriller of 2001 – nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, a Macavity, a Nero, and a Barry; winner of the Audie Award for Best Audio Mystery/Suspense Book (read by Steven Weber); and a #1 hardcover book on the Book Sense 76 list. Coben followed the success of TELL NO ONE with the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers GONE FOR GOOD (2002), NO SECOND CHANCE (2003), and JUST ONE LOOK (2004) and THE INNOCENT (2005). Bookspan, recognizing Coben’s broad international appeal, named NO SECOND CHANCE its first ever International Book of the Month in 2003 – the Main Selection in 15 different countries.
Coben was the first writer in more than a decade to be invited to write fiction for the NEW YORK TIMES op-ed page. His Father’s Day short story, THE KEY TO MY FATHER, appeared June 15, 2003. His essays and columns have appeared in many top publications including the New York Times, Parade Magazine and Bloomberg Views.
Since his critically-acclaimed Myron Bolitar series debuted in 1995, Harlan Coben has won the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award and was nominated for the Edgar two other times. Harlan also won the Anthony Award at the World Mystery Conference, was nominated for another Anthony Award, won the Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America, was nominated for another Shamus, and was twice nominated for the Dilys Award by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.
In the United Kingdom, his novel ONE FALSE MOVE earned him the prestigious “Fresh Talent Award”, given annually by Great Britain’s largest bookstore chain, W. H. Smith, and GONE FOR GOOD won the W. H. SMITH “Thumping Good Read” Award. In France, TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONE) won Le Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle for fiction. His novels have been PEOPLE magazine Page-Turners of the Week and a Publishers Weekly Best of the Year pick.
Harlan was born in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Amherst College a political science major, Harlan worked in the travel industry. He now lives in New Jersey with his wife, Anne Armstrong-Coben MD, a pediatrician, and their four children.