Literature

A Sharp Psychological Thriller With Few Unexpected Twists | “A Perfect Stranger” by Shalini Boland (2022) Book Review

A mother is expecting her second baby and suddenly her husband behaves strangely; a wife who is obsessed with having a baby and her husband who feels resentful about it — haven’t we all come across people like that in our lives?

If you want to know more, you will have to read “A Perfect Stranger” by Shalini Boland. This book is a study of the darker side of human nature, with an exploration of how well one knows another person and who they really are behind their façade. She also uses this premise as a tool to make us reflect on how often we tend to concentrate on the things that we don’t have and fail to appreciate the many good things we are blessed with; the author uses the lives of the characters Emily and Dani to accomplish this.

Both of these women, in spite of having a very good life, feel that their life is lacking in certain areas. And recently, they find a change in their husbands’ behavior and try their best to find the cause of it; their foray into their husbands’ lives sets these women onto a path of brutal truths and bitter betrayals. The author has woven this premise into a tale filled with sharp events and unexpected twists, which manages to hook the reader completely without ever letting go.

I, however, did have a small problem with the way the story travelled until about midway; the story felt mundane in the initial chapters and I had to compel myself to read it until then. While the story alternated between Emily and Dani’s points of view, it was difficult to get to know either of them or really like them. And initially, it felt as if the story was moving aimlessly with no focus whatsoever. However, after the midway point, the story started to get completely engaging and captivating; I found it difficult to stop reading after that point. I can’t say all the twists were surprising or even convincing. But the last twist was definitely unexpected and totally shocking; that is what made the book more interesting to me.

Overall, it’s a short and sharp psychological thriller with few unexpected twists which can be enjoyed as a light and quick read.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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