The Stranger Inside by Laura Benedict

The Stranger Inside  - Laura Benedict

The Stranger Inside has a weird and highly unlikely premise but I am not an attorney or a police officer so who am I to say, maybe this shit really happens? Here’s the scene: Kimber comes home from a retreat and discovers she cannot get into her own damn home. Someone has changed the locks and the squatter claims he has a lease that Kimber signed and basically makes her appear like she’s lost all of her marbles, then he whispers something sinister in her ear. The police won’t help her and her elderly neighbor friend claims that she saw her let the guy in so she is pretty much screwed. She leaves and goes to stay with her only other friend and calls up her ex (an attorney she dumped) to help her out of this oddly unrealistic bind. Gabriel AKA the Ex Who Still Loves Her For Some Bizarre Reason eagerly agrees even though their break-up was rough on him. A murder may or may not happen.


Kimber plots and does her own investigating and attempts to get back into her home all the while learning more about the man inside her house. The man who is probably wearing her underwear at this point (ahhh). Her digging leads to the eventual discovery of many secrets but it takes a while to get there. First there are reveals about Kimber’s guilty past, told in flashbacks in a separate timeline, her shady relationships (shady on her end because she is an AWFUL and terrible person) and a bunch of other things that I’m not going to reveal.


I basically threw my brain out the window and went with the flow after that wild setup. I’d advise you to do the same here. The twists and turns defy all logic and the emotional entanglements are a tad over the top but it’s never, ever a boring read. I have to give it that.


Most of my notes about this story are about Kimber and are not something I’d like to expose the rest of you to. Kimber is one of the most unlikable main characters I have read in a good long while. You can’t get on her side because she is such an AWFUL person in both timelines. The more I learned about her, the less I liked about her. Her only redeeming quality to me was her kindness to a sad little dog, everything else about her was selfish and just full of ugh. But I can’t lie, I found her horribleness fascinating. What made her this way? I had to know and I had to keep reading!


In the end I was left feeling a wee bit disappointed with some of the revelations but the telling of the story was compelling and it grabbed me even if I wanted Kimber to sit on a porcupine for the rest of her life when I turned the last page.