A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Reviews Published
This review was selected by the publisher to be featured on NetGalley.



First, I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Stranger on the Beach caused so many vivid emotions for me. Having experienced an abusive relationship in the past, I was sickened reading Caroline’s chapters. This book forces you to weigh the honesty of Caroline and Aidan’s accounts of what has happened, and I immediately sided with Caroline, perhaps out of some sort of pseudo survivor’s bond. However, the more I read, the more I questioned if I was siding with the right person.

The retellings given by Caroline and Aidan became so different factually that I started to side with Aidan (even if his supposed love for Caroline was nauseatingly codependent and frankly quite ridiculous and unbelievable). I began to feel as though I were an investigator, trying to work out from Caroline and Aidan’s sworn statements which of them was innocent.

I read this book in two short sittings because it was completely engulfing (once I got past the initial aversion to reading Caroline’s chapters detailing her abuse). I do not want to describe more than this for fear of giving away spoilers, but I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves suspense and thrillers. Honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone because it was thrilling to read.

I was sad to see that a lot of people who rated this book 1/5 had simply stopped reading after the first few chapters because they had given up on the book. If you only read the first few chapters, of course it is going to seem unbelievable! That’s the point! Your job is to seek out the contradictions and inconsistencies in the “statements” presented to you and figure out what is really going on. Why has Jason’s mistress followed him to his wife Caroline’s party to cause a scene? Why does Hannah, their daughter, side with Jason in all things? Why does Aidan, a supposedly gorgeous bartender, fall in love with Caroline after just one night together? What really happened all those years ago when Caroline and her sister Lynn screwed the rest of the family out of their inheritance?

This book causes you to look deeper and piece together the facts until you’re sweating and your heart is racing as you read into the wee hours of the night because you want so badly to just be able to tell the investigators what has really happened. I finished this book late at night and was thinking about it ALL DAY prior to sitting down to write this review. I wish I was part of a book club so I would have someone to gush over it with! A Stranger on the Beach was fantastic overall and I would love to read other books written by Michele Campbell.

#netgalley #astrangeronthebeach

Audience: adult
Recommended for fans of: thriller, suspense, mystery, domestic thriller, psychological thriller, unreliable narrator
Trigger warnings: murder, domestic abuse

Publisher's Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of It's Always the Husband comes a novel about a love triangle that begins on a fateful night... 

There is a stranger outside Caroline's house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she'd have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she's built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort...and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan's obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline's husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband's murder.

A Stranger on the Beach is Strangers on a Train meets Fatal Attraction in Michele Campbell's edge-of your-seat story of passion and intrigue.



©St. Martin's Press: July 23, 2019
Edition: Kindle ARC
352 pages

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