A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

I cannot decide if I liked this book or not.

The blurb drew me in, and I was hoping for a really interesting, twisty thriller with some dark, parasitic insights, but what it actually was was rather annoying. It was a he-said-she-said format about bad, spontaneous life choices and how to escape predictable situations. There were some good bits, don’t get me wrong, and I did flit between Caroline and Aidan, switching my opinion of both of them throughout but more through frustration than enjoyment.

I did like that the dialogue was split between Caroline in 1st person and Aidan in 3rd, but normally you create more of a connection with the 1st person character because you can put yourself in their shoes, feel their reactions from an “I” perspective, but because Aidan was contradicting the series of events I just felt confused and kept rolling my eyes at the pages.

A lot of other reviews for this book were highly positive so maybe I just didn’t gel with the author’s style. I haven’t read anything else by this writer before, and I believe she had written 2 other books before this one and was listed as a Sunday Times bestseller, so maybe I am in the minority. I think the storyline was well thought-out and plotted, but I found the writing execution tiresome. If I met a stranger on the beach I can’t say I’d have the same reaction as Caroline, but it does ask the question – is anyone really a stranger? – GJ

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