Fresh from her debut, The Stranger You Seek—which Publishers Weekly called “an explosive, unpredictable, and psychologically complex thriller that turns crime fiction clichés inside out”—Amanda Kyle Williams delivers a second thrilling Keye Street novel, perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell.
That bullet was meant for you.
Summer is smoldering through Atlanta on Fourth of July weekend, as fireworks crack through the air and steam rises from the pavement on Peachtree. Private investigator and ex–FBI profiler Keye Street wants nothing more than a couple of quiet days alone with her boyfriend, Aaron—but, as usual, murder gets in the way.
I will find her.
A.P.D. Lieutenant Aaron Rauser is called to the disturbing scene of the strangling death of a thirteen-year-old boy. Meanwhile, Keye must deal with not one but two of her own investigations: In the hills of Creeklaw County, there’s a curious case involving chicken feed and a crematorium, and in Atlanta, Keye’s emotionally fragile cousin Miki is convinced she is being stalked. Given Miki’s history of drug abuse and mental problems, Keye is reluctant to accept her cousin’s tale of a threatening man inside her house late one night. But as a recovering alcoholic herself, Keye can’t exactly begrudge a woman her addictions—especially since Miki drives Keye to near-relapses at every turn. And yet, Miki is family, and Keye must help her—even if it means tempting her own demons.
I always find her.
All hell breaks loose when another murder—the apparent hanging of an elderly man—hits disturbingly close to home for Keye. And though the two victims have almost nothing in common, there are bizarre similarities between this case and that of Aaron’s strangled teen. Is there a single faceless predator, a calculating murderer targeting his prey at random? Only a skilled profiler like Keye Street can help the A.P.D. find him. With the threat of more deaths to come, Keye works on pure instinct alone—and soon realizes that a killer is circling ever closer to the people she loves the most.
Listened for Fun!
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.25
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating)
First thought when finished: Keye is a leading character that has really grown on me. In this 2nd installment I have really grown to care what happens to her!
What I Thought of the Characters: Stranger in the Room continued the character development that I thought was so well done in The Stranger You Seek! Keye continues to grow, mess up, stumble, and struggle through while using her brilliant profiling skills. I said this when I reviewed The Stranger You Seek: “Character development was fantastically done and brilliantly executed.” and it holds true for Stranger in the Room. Keye is a flawed character that you want to root for. There was a good bit of her family (mostly her cousin who is involved in this case) and Aaron Rauser (her lover and detective leading the main case)too. Keye’s relationship with her adoptive parents is explored more too. What is brilliant is none of these elements take over the story. The case is still the main reason to be there!
What I Thought of the Case: Stranger in the Room was the type of thriller where you aren’t really trying to guess who is doing it but more “why?”. It really is a case of what goes with what and how do they all fall together. I really enjoyed how it played out and thought it was really well-paced. The last 1/4 of the book really kicked it up a notch and the ending was really good. Amanda Kyle Williams did a good job of not forgetting that Keye had a job that wasn’t helping Rauser track down his killer. The way she wove the two cases together worked really well!
What I Thought of the Audio: Narrated by Ann Marie Lee, Stranger in the Room runs 13 hrs and 2 mins. I grew to like the audio but I have to admit it took about half the book. I read the first one and I just didn’t have Keye sounding quite the way that Ann Marie played her. I was also not a huge fan of how Rauser sounded. That being said the pacing was really well done. I also loved the emotion that Ann Marie brought to the story. Overall, I will probably stick to print in the future for this one (maybe) but I will try other audios with Ann Marie as the narrator.
Final Thought: I have read both The Stranger in the Room and The Stranger You Seek (book 1). This is a series that I am really enjoying and can’t wait to see what Keye gets into next.
(Y’all her cat is named White Trash, there was a Mumu toe-sock wearing funeral home momma, AND poor Rauser’s garden is being raided by the neighbor’s cat. There is a nice little bit of humor in the book that will make you smile. It isn’t a light thriller by any means but those moments are what I think makes Keye very human.)