‘Stranger or Friend’ is a mystery suspense thriller which moves at just the right pace. We follow events as they unfold through the eyes of Zoe Sinclair, an LA lawyer, who has returned to her home town at a time when the town is reeling from a murder.
It is the murder of her best friend and popular local, Lori. Putting several people in the ‘frame’, Villalobos drops breadcrumbs at opportune moments, enabling people of all reading abilities to have a chance of deciding ‘whodunnit’. The chapters are just the right length, allowing your mind to digest the jigsaw pieces, should you choose to. Likewise, if you wish to continue unabated, this is easy because Villalobos has penned a page-turner.
I was keen to return to this book and often had difficulty in putting it down. This was near impossible in the last few chapters, when Villalobos builds up to a nail-biting final scene. Her characterisation is effective and she gently nudges the reader to where their loyalties should lay. A talented writer, Villalobos set the tone and atmosphere in few words, when appropriate.
After finishing this book (or before…) you may be interested in learning where the author’s inspiration came from. You can find out by following Villalobos’ blog all through April where she will be showing us her inspiration in daily posts as part of the blogging AtoZ Challenge.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me for the purpose of this review and feature but all opinions are honest and my own.
This post contains affiliate links.
Top picture credit: Cover art of ‘Stranger or Friend’ by Michelle Crocker
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