Louise Stone: S is for Stranger

s-is-for-stranger-cover

There are two sides to every story.

But only one is true.

Sophie wished she’d paid more attention when her little daughter, Amy, caught sight of a stranger watching them. She only looked away for a second. But now Amy’s gone.

No one trusts an alcoholic. Even a sober one. The police are suspicious of Sophie’s tangled story and so is her ex-husband, Paul. Especially when new information emerges that changes everything.

But what if Sophie is telling the truth? What if her daughter really is missing? And what if that stranger at the fairground wasn’t really a stranger at all…

S is for Stranger is a psychological thriller that truly plays on your mind. Amy, Sophie’s child, has gone missing from right under her feet and Sophie is adamant that her ex-husband, Paul, was with her that day. However, as the police investigation begins to unravel, Sophie starts to believe that Paul is keeping something from her and cannot understand why he would lie about his whereabouts. As the narrative begins to progress, Sophie becomes less and less sure of the situation and starts to feel like she cannot trust anyone playing on the reader’s mind and causing you to question each and every character that Sophie interacts with. You think you have sussed out who the potential kidnapper is until new information is revealed and your train of thought has been completed debunked.

Louise Stone really does know how to write a gripping psychological thriller. She doesn’t give away too much information at any one time and, with this novel, you are never truly given closure on the events that have taken place. Though I did find the ending a little bit abrupt, Stone gives you the relevant information you need to understand the truth behind the investigation and the kidnapping but still leaves you questioning the events that have taken place.

Sophie, as a character, is a bit all over the place which helps add to the sense of mystery within this novel. It is clear that she has a lot of love and emotion towards her only daughter, and only wants what is best for her. However, her inability to trust other people and the clear instability surrounding her mental health and her addictions truly makes you question her as a person as well – especially when faced with questioning side-characters such as Paul and Oliver. As a reader, I found myself drawn to Sophie as the mother, a process that the investigators within the novel try to push forward in their press conferences to try and find Amy. In this regard, we see a lot more of Sophie as a character and can fully understand the turmoil she is going through.

I really enjoyed this novel and found it very hard to put the story aside whenever I needed to. It was fast-paced and gripping that left your insides squirming as you tried to suss out the truth. As I mentioned, I felt that the ending was definitely abrupt even though you are given some clarification, however, I felt that it could have been extended slightly to give more closure.

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