I guess summer is the perfect time for me to read book by Megan Miranda, because last summer’s read of All The Missing Girls set me up to have high expectations for this one — and it definitely held up its end of the bargain!
The Perfect Stranger: A Novel tells the story of Leah Stevens, a young woman who is leaving Boston behind for a new life. She worked as a journalist and things went terribly wrong while protecting a source. As her life in Massachusetts is unraveling, she bumps into an old roommate from a difficult time just after college. Emmy is everything that Leah wishes she was: bold, free, and independent.
As she and Emmy catch up, Leah learns that Emmy is also desperate to get out of Boston, so they hatch a plan to move to a random town in Pennsylvania and start fresh. Leah starts studying for her teaching certificate, while Emmy works on the fringes of society in a “no tell motel,” which is her usual type of employment.
Quickly, things start going wrong. A young woman is found near Leah’s home who is barely clinging to life. Leah is unsettled when she discovers that this young woman looks just like her. And then Leah realizes that she hasn’t seen Emmy for four days. Or was it five? It’s hard to keep track of her because their schedules are so different.
Megan Miranda adeptly weaves this narrative – Leah now, Leah as things went south in Boston, Leah searching for clues in Emmy’s disappearance. I thought I saw what the twist was going to be, but I was wrong. This was one of the most suspenseful books that I’ve read in a quite a while. Miranda is very skilled in weaving complicated narratives in unusual ways. All the Missing Girls also had an unusual structure, but it served the story so well. Same here – the suspense was thick and it made for such an enjoyable read.
I’m finding that these suspense books are just what I need during the summer! What are your favorite books to dip into when the weather gets hot?