Rich Stoehr's Reviews > Stranger in the Room

Stranger in the Room by Amanda Kyle Williams
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's review
Aug 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: amazon-vine
Read from August 08 to 14, 2012

Stranger in the Room has it all - almost. A funny and flawed heroine, a story that moves briskly but deliberately, and a mystery that's actually mysterious. The only part that doesn't quite hit it out of the park is when it's compared against the first Keye Street novel, The Stranger You Seek, it doesn't quite measure up.

But first, the good stuff, and there's plenty of it. Private investigator Keye Street may have a troubled past, but she has a talent for sarcasm and a quick wit that makes her a delight to read. When her cousin becomes involved in a murder investigation in a very personal way, her other talents kick into high gear, assisting the police in an investigation that leads into the past and into some very dangerous territory for Keye and everyone she cares about.

As in the first book, dialogue is sharp and witty, and each of the characters, from Keye's boyfriend Aaron Rauser, a Lieutenant with the Atlanta police force, to her partner and her cousin Miki, to Keye herself. The thrills come in a balanced mix of visceral and psychological, and they come at a steady and ever-increasing pace. The conclusion, while lacking the surprise of the first book, was nevertheless exciting and satisfying.

Comparison to the first book is the only place I was mildly disappointed. In The Stranger You Seek, Williams thoroughly hoodwinked me with an ending that made sense caught me by surprise anyway. Stranger in the Room didn't have that awesome twist ending. Maybe it's not fair to compare the two, but for me this book was missing something.

Still, Stranger in the Room is a compelling, well-constructed, exciting book, and never a chore to read. It may not have the element of surprise of Amanda Kyle WIlliams' first effort but it's still grabs you and keeps you reading all the way to the last page.
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08/09/2012 page 41
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