A brilliantly conceived, deeply unsettling psychological thriller— already an international sensation—about a woman haunted by secrets, the consuming desire for revenge, and the terrible price we pay when we try to hide the truth.
Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.
Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day . . . even if the shocking truth might destroy her.
A mysterious book within a book, which contains potentially damning information about the protagonist, jump starts this remarkable debut by British scriptwriter Knight. On the bedroom nightstand in the new apartment documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft shares with her husband, Robert, Catherine finds a self-published novel, The Perfect Stranger, which describes an incident that Catherine never told Robert about. Over 20 years earlier in Spain, 19-year-old Jonathan Brigstocke drowned while saving the couple's five-year-old son, Nicholas. The book suggests that Catherine was to blame because she and Jonathan were having an affair, and it concludes with her death. Meanwhile, widower and retired teacher Stephen Brigstocke, who found the book's manuscript among his late wife's possessions and believes it to be true, begins to try to dismantle Catherine's seemingly perfect life by humiliating her professionally and personally. This unsettling psychological thriller about guilt and grief briskly moves to a shocking finale enhanced by its strong characters.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I could not put this book down. Finally a book that, from beginning to ending, did not disappoint.
Amazing, twists surprised me.
Couldn't put it down
This book is by far one of the best books I've ever read...and that's saying a lot because I'm an avid reader. I was riveted from the beginning and could not tear myself away from it. The ending was very satisfactory which is rare. Usually endings are too neat or too vague or have run out of steam but this was just right. The writing flows very easily. At no point did I find myself flipping back to reread sections nor did I struggle to understand the wording or meaning. I could not read fast enough. The book is rather short compared to many novels but it felt a perfect length when I got to the end. Sometimes you feel frustrated when you've finished a book as there are too many unanswered questions - that was not the case with this book. Sometimes you don't want a book to end because you want to stay in that "world" a little longer - I did not want to stay longer with this book because the author covered everything so thoroughly that there was nothing left to want to stay for. I wouldn't say it wrapped up too "neat" - more that it allowed for a natural closure which is a very satisfying thing when you are an avid reader. Sometimes a book will disturb you and cause you unease for days or weeks after you've left it. The characters, storyline or subject won't haunt me, but it will stay with me because it was so good that I know it might be a very long time again before I enjoy a book as much as I did this one. I highly recommend it.