Title: Stranger in the Lake
Author: Kimberly Belle
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 9, 2020
When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.
At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.
As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.
Charlotte is known in town for marrying the wealthy widower, Paul, who is ten years older than her. On the day that she tells Paul that she’s pregnant, she sees him talking to a stranger in town. The next morning, the stranger’s body shows up in the lake, under the dock at their house. Charlotte lies for her husband, but she ends up unraveling secrets and lies that are decades old.
I love stories set in small towns with a dark history. There were a few other mysterious deaths in this town that were brought up during the investigation of the stranger’s death. There was a death of a drug dealer twenty years ago, as well as the death of Paul’s ex-wife. These were all mysterious deaths that weren’t solved sufficiently for the public, so they were brought up again in this story.
There were some parts of the story that were difficult to read. Charlotte’s mother had a substance abuse problem. The scenes that involved children as well as the drugs were upsetting. However, it added some depth to the story and explained Charlotte’s decisions.
The ending of the story was kind of complicated. I figured out one of the guilty characters fairly early on in the story. I felt like the original mystery of the stranger in the lake was lost with all the other mysteries. There was a lot more going on in the story, so that mystery ended up being pushed to the side and wasn’t as important at the end of the story. I would have liked it more if it had focused on the main mystery, which was also the title of the book.
Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon
About the Author:
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of six novels, including the forthcoming Stranger in the Lake (June 2020). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
Have you read Stranger in the Lake? What did you think of it?