cover image A Stranger in the House

A Stranger in the House

Shari Lapena. Viking/Dorman, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2112-3

At the start of this well-plotted if workmanlike thriller from bestseller Lapena (The Couple Next Door), the cops can’t figure out what upstate New York housewife and bookkeeper Karen Krupp was doing in the sketchiest part of town before running a red light and smashing her Honda Civic headfirst into a utility pole—and neither can Karen, who comes to in the hospital with no memory of that night beyond an underlying feeling of dread. But with the discovery of a murdered man just blocks from the scene, bells start to sound for detectives Rasbach and Jennings, setting in motion an investigation that quickly threatens to expose some unsavory secrets beneath the cozy suburban life Karen and her husband of two years, Tom, have constructed for themselves—not to mention the downright creepy activities of the couple’s intrusive neighbor, Brigid, who’s Karen’s putative best friend. Though the characters pack all the emotional heft of the glossy shelter magazines Karen collects, plentiful plot twists—through the final page—make this a diverting page-turner. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (Aug.)