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The Perfect Stranger (2017)

by Megan Miranda

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5504633,782 (3.58)5
"In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls--a "fiendishly plotted thriller" (Publishers Weekly)--a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all. Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend's life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah's credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey--and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name. Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide--including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?"--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
This is my third book by Megan Miranda, and the first one that I really enjoyed! I liked Such a Quiet Place, but The Last House Guest fell short for me. So the intrigue, atmosphere, and tension of this book really surprised me. The main character is a high school teacher who has ust reconnected with a friend from her early 20s, and together they're setting up in a small town. I enjoyed the friendship and connection between the 2 women, including how their paths diverged and converged again years later. Cute detective was a likable character, too! Recommend. Great for a spooky fall read!
  starlight-glimmer | Oct 16, 2021 |
Brief plot run-down: We meet former journalist Leah Stevens, who got too personally tangled up in a story and was forced out. After a chance encounter with a summer roommate of eight years past, who also happens to be in run mode, the two decide to relocate from Boston to Western Pennsylvania, where Leah gets a teaching job. She’s still trying to acclimate when a woman who looks just like her is attacked and left for dead by the lake. Then her roommate, Emmy, goes missing. When she reports it, of course, things get interesting/complicated because it turns out there’s no record of Emmy ever existing. Cue Leah getting, again, really tangled up in the pursuit of the truth and figuring out who Emmy is/was … and if their encounter was really so chance, then or now.

I didn’t dislike “The Perfect Stranger,” but it doesn’t live up to its predecessor, "All the Missing Girls," in writing or story quality. It was at times clunky and felt forced and unrealistic — Leah was *this distressed* and *that close* to someone she knew for mere months? (Though she’d have a quick response: “I can only explain it this way: that I knew her deeply, if not thoroughly; that a four-month relationship can supersede all the boyfriends, all the friendships, that came after and lasted longer, that our friendship was born from the one time I’d stepped off track, done something unexpected that did not follow the predicted steps of my life. And for that reason, it shone brighter, and so did she.”)

Though I understand building suspense by slowly revealing snippets of Leah’s backstory and what led her to Pennsylvania, I felt confused more than a couple times trying to piece things together. The sub-plots are interesting but lose some of their power as they’re dropped in ever so sporadically and piece-meal. It took me more than 200 pages to actually feel invested in the characters and the outcome of the story (which landed with a bit of a dull thud after such a long buildup.)

Still, it’s entertaining enough, and worth checking out if you enjoy Miranda’s books. I adore her so much that I almost feel guilty stamping less than 5 stars on “The Perfect Stranger.” Megan, you keep your spot on my favorite authors list, and I’ll be right here waiting for the next one! ( )
  angelahaupt | Jun 15, 2021 |
3* ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
Some good twists. Not as predictable as I'd expected. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
I I was so impressed with Megan Miranda's adult fiction debut, All the Missing Girls, that I nominated it for the Texas Library Association Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List. We were thrilled that Ms. Miranda was able to speak at our Author Luncheon in San Antonio in April,2017.

With her second adult fiction title, The Perfect Stranger, there is definitely no "sophomore slump." As a matter of fact, I may even like this one better than the first! As I was reading it, I felt like Gretel from the fairy tale following a trail of clues: except those clues led me into the dark forest of the unknown rather than into a safe harbor.

It is amazing how the author structures her story and drops bombshells in the narrative which take the reader into unexpected territory. You have a somewhat unreliable narrator, but one you are rooting for; a series of crimes that you can't quite figure out; and forays into the past that shock you as they reveal truly unexpected plot twists. The resolution is satisfying and consistent with the themes explored in story. The Perfect Stranger is....well, perfect - and one of my favorites from last Spring. As someone who reads a LOT of books, I am truly excited to be able to recommend this one. ( )
  KellyWellRead | Dec 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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"In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls--a "fiendishly plotted thriller" (Publishers Weekly)--a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all. Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend's life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah's credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey--and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name. Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide--including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?"--

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