The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams
Pros: a few things that make this book different from the rest
Cons: the ending was not the best
I read a whole lot of thrillers. And I frequently complain about how they all start to sound alike after a while. How I long for something “different” within the genre. Well, I have to say that The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams does bring some new items to the table. That’s not to say that I loved the book. In the end, it was just “ok”. But, still, I have to give credit where it’s due, for having the guts to take some different turns.
It’s your basic “serial killer has town in fear” story. In this case, men and women are turning up dead, in some cases, horribly beaten. And in all cases, left in humiliating poses. The police haven’t a clue. Literally.
They ask Keye Street to help. She’s an ex-officer – lost her job due to alcoholism a few years back. But she’s still the best profiler around, so they call on her when they need her. Despite the fact that this case triggers her emotionally, she sticks with it, even when the hunter becomes the hunted.
So – I said this book was “different”. Let me give some reasons why. First of all we have a very flawed main character with a complicated past that still haunts her to this day, affecting every aspect of her life.
There’s another character in the story who sustained a traumatic brain injury, completely altering his personality… I found this character to be fascinating.
Our killer enjoys blogging, on a knife-fantasy site. This type of site is definitely a new one, for me. And while the writings are graphic (as is the level of violence in this book) I still found it a fascinating glimpse into something that was certainly different, for me.
Keye’s other job – when she’s not helping the police – leads her to a variety of “interesting” folks, some of which added some nice humor to the story.
So, yes, The Stranger You Seek has some nice qualities to it, some things that make it just a bit different from the norm. But a story still needs to be exciting, and the ending needs to be satisfying. And this is where the book fails. The ending was horrid. I’m all for twists and surprises, but not ones that make absolutely no sense. And, worse, leave a whole bunch of unanswered questions.
So, in the end, The Stranger You Seek is just an “ok” thriller. Some good points, some bad points. Read it, but don’t look for that awesome ending.