A STRANGER ON THE BEACH by Michelle Campbell

SYNOPSIS

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort… and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

MY REVIEW

After reading the synopsis on this book I was intrigued. Caroline and Jason Stark have been married for 20 years, they have a beautiful new beach house which is for entertaining friends, and for holidays. A teenage daughter Hannah. But on the night of a party her husband turned up with a Russian woman Galina. Caroline believes her husband is having an affair, from there everything in her life starts to deteriorate. All their bank accounts are empty, the money has gone. She see’s a man standing on the beach looking into the house, what is he doing there?

Aidan is a 27 year old bad boy, he works at a local bar, his brother Tommy is the local chief of police. He meets Caroline in the bar, he knows who she is, he knows she is the woman from the beach house.

Caroline is trying to decide whether she should sleep with Aidan as revenge for her husbands affair, and betrayal. Before they know it they are back at her house and having sex. She enjoyed it but sees it as a one night stand, but Aidan feels completely different he says he loves her. But that’s not what she wants. She feels guilty the following day, and has a horrendous hangover.

The story is told from two different perspectives Caroline and Aidan, Caroline’s version of events is told in first person, Aidans is in third person. But who is telling the truth? Because what happens after that first night the two tell different versions. Caroline tells her sister that Aidan is stalking her. That she is afraid of him.

But Aidan is obsessed with Caroline he loves her, he has a chequered past, what is his connection with the land where Caroline’s house is built. Where is Jason? Is he dead? Has she killed him? Has Aidan done something? Which one of them is lying? Did they conspire together to kill Jason? Caroline says Aidan killed Jason?

Caroline is devastated that her husband has left her, for another man, Aidan promises to get her money back and says he will take care of her husband, what did he mean?

Caroline claims she doesn’t realise that Aidan is from the wrong side of the law. The story towards the end starts to read like a police procedural. There are the usual twists and turns, but some of it became repetitive. I had hoped the ending would be a big surprise but it wasn’t, the clues earlier in the story lead you to guess the ending, unless it’s just where I have read so many of these books now.

Unfortunately I just couldn’t really warm to any of the characters, it’s hard to know who is being truthful, throughout. A man of 27 obsessed with a 42 year old woman, but she doesn’t feel the same she is just using him for revenge.

I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ there was just something missing for me, I really wanted to like the characters but it just didn’t happen.

I would like to thank #netgalley and #HQ for an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair, honest and unbiased review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Campbell is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law school. She worked at a prestigious Manhattan law firm before spending eight years fighting crime in NYC as a federal prosecutor. Her debut novel It’s Always The Husband was a Sunday Times bestseller.


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