Blog tour: 12 to 16 January 2020
It meant nothing to her and everything to him …
Caroline had everything – the gorgeous beach house built for holidays and parties, a seemingly happy marriage …
But when she discover her husband has been lying to her, she turns to a handsome stranger for comfort and revenge, a brief, reckless affair that was meant to be fun but soon becomes something much more sinister.
As Caroline’s marriage and wealthy lifestyle begin to crumble, so her lover’s obsession grows. He’s in her life, in her house and among her family, and his infatuation is growing more destructive.
And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, Caroline finds herself accused of murder. But what is she hiding …?
In A Stranger on the Beach, 42-year-old Caroline Stark, an interior designer, has a lovely life with her husband of 20 years, handsome investment banker, Jason, and daughter, Hannah, who has just headed off to college. They’ve got an apartment in New York and have recently bought a new beach house, which they’ve done up, and Caroline invites all their friends and work colleagues round to celebrate. Jason phones to say he won’t be able to make the party as he’s stuck in a meeting out of town and, suspicious when his lies don’t match, Caroline checks on her iPad to see where he is and discovers he’s hundreds of miles away in a Manhattan hotel.
On the night of the party, Jason arrives really late and is followed in by a woman called Galina, who he claims is just a work colleague, and says they’re in the middle of a crisis situation that needs sorting. Rather hard to believe! Caroline is embarrassed as all her guests look on, enjoying the scene.
Caroline first meets Aidan Callahan when she spots him on the beach outside her home then, by coincidence, he’s serving drinks at her housewarming party and working as a bartender at the Red Anchor. At first, he seems lovely – handsome, attentive, complimentary – just what she needs to cheer her up after learning about Jason’s affair. Then there are hints that he’s not who he seems and multiple red flags over his behaviour and actions.
In alternating chapters, Caroline and Aidan share their version of events but, intriguingly, their accounts don’t seem to match and the reader is left wondering which of them (both, perhaps?) is the unreliable narrator! They both sound as unpleasant and obsessive as each other and I wasn’t sure that either protagonist could be trusted to tell the truth.
In the final third of the book, ‘After the storm’, things take a different turn and an investigation takes place and I was left speedily turning the pages to see how it was all resolved!
With twist and turns galore, I really wasn’t sure how this intriguing, tense story was going to pan out and what the truth actually was! It was a complex, well-layered, fast-paced tale and I enjoyed how the story unravelled. This is a terrifying story about how quickly your life can fall apart when things go wrong and you make some bad choices!
Overall, I really enjoyed this cleverly written, suspense-filled story and will be checking out Michele Campbell’s other two books, It’s Always the Husband and She Was the Quiet One.
Buy the book
A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks.
About the author
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.
A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in It’s Always the Husband. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels. She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.
Thanks to Jessica Lee at HQ Stories for my copy of A Stranger on the Beach and for my place on the blog tour.
See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.