The Stranger by Harlan CobenThe Stranger by Harlan Coben

The Stranger

byHarlan Coben

Hardcover | March 24, 2015


A secret destroys a man’s perfect life and sends him on a collision course with a deadly conspiracy in this shocking thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben.

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world...

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne's deception, and realizes that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.
With more than seventy million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels, including the Myron Bolitar series and a series aimed at young adults featuring Myron's newphew, Mickey Bolitar. His books are published in forty-three languages around the globe and have been number one b...
Title:The StrangerFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.31 × 1.41 inPublished:March 24, 2015Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525953507

ISBN - 13:9780525953500


Rated 4 out of 5 by from WOW! What a twist! This was super suspenseful! Do not start this book right before bed because you will NOT be able to put it down
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good thriller This suspenseful thriller will have readers of the edge of their seats until the very last page, I found myself reading this novel in an entire sitting, I just needed to know who the stranger is and what exactly is the conspiracy surrounding the main character was.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the story an awesome suspence, thriller novel, couldn't put it down
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down This was such a good book and was hard to put down. I loved the different stores involved. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read Been reading Coben since I was twelve. Still got it!
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Reminded me why I adore Coben's work Suspenseful and unexpected, it had me guessing right until the very end.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Stranger This was a really great book. Very clever and hard to put down. Great, quick read.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay This was my first Harlan Coben book and was excited to read it because of his reputation but overall the SLOW start made it a chore to read. It did redeem itself 2/3 of the way through but a little too late. I am going to try one of his other books, hoping this slow start was a one off.
Date published: 2016-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from classic harlan great read. very entertaining
Date published: 2016-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Harlan scores again This book reminds me why I love Harlan Coben's books so much. I wanted to read it all at once, such a good book. Adam Price seems to have it all. He's a lawyer with a beautiful wife and two wonderful sons. They live in a nice house in a nice town and he has it made. Until he meets the stranger. The stranger, who tells him something unbelievable about his wife and from that spirals a fantastic story about a twisted company of blackmailers with some other things going on. When Corinne disappears after Adam confronts her with what he's found out, he thinks she just needed some time away to think about all that's happened, she sends a text indicating she's fine and just needs a few days and don't contact her. Then, another secret comes out, did Corinne steal the money from the lacrosse association? All this doesn't seem like the Corinne he married. This book had the wonderful quality I have come to expect from Harlan Coben. And I have to say, even with the gripping thriller aspect of his novels, I totally love the smart mouth sarcastic characters. It didn't end as I expected it too and I really had no idea of what connected any of those people and crimes together. I liked that I couldn't predict the events, nice to have a surprise that doesn't make me feel like I am just reading a generic mystery. Never the case with this authors books. I did find the sudden appearances of Johanna a little coincidental but I'm ok with that and I am also ok with Adam's actions at the climax and how that was handled. Thanks Harlan for another gem
Date published: 2015-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from enjoyed Good summer read. The author certainly held my interest until the end and I did not guess until quite near the end what was probably happening. Well worth purchasing.
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Stranger by Harlan Coben A real page turner. There are some very evil characters in this story. Great suspense right to the end. I read it in two sessions.
Date published: 2015-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Stranger Great book.Easy read and kept me up reading late at night,which is how I rate a good book. I have read this authors books before and never disappoints.
Date published: 2015-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stranger Awesome read, keep you in suspense till the end. This book is much better than his last book. Love it.
Date published: 2015-04-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Think he phoned it in! Think it must have been written over a long weekend. Lacks believability. Nearing the end it's as if he couldn't wait to finish. Lots of loose ends. It was just bad!
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Will the real Harlan Coben stand up? Disappointed in this new book. Have been a huge reader of Coben's books in the past. Couldn't wait to read this release and from the first chapter I was ready to close it but kept thinking it would get better.
Date published: 2015-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Stranger It keeps you interested from the first paragraph to the last - and never ends how you would expect. Another Harlan Coben great!
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Secrets This book is all about secrets and how they are not as secret as you might think. I liked the story and the characters, but it all moved a bit too quickly to a conclusion at the end. There were few twists, nothing that I hadn't kind of guessed though. The think I like about this author's books is the normalcy of the characters. An ordinary person suddenly finds themselves in an anything but ordinary situation. All in all, an entertaining read.
Date published: 2015-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book This book is all about secrets and how they are not as secret as you might think. I liked the story and the characters, but it all moved a bit too quickly to a conclusion at the end. There were few twists, nothing that I hadn't kind of guessed though. The thing I like about this author's books is the normalcy of the characters. An ordinary person suddenly finds themselves in an anything but ordinary situation. All in all, an entertaining read.
Date published: 2015-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Terrific new thriller, you'll root for our hero I love that I get to review Harlan Coben books, he's one of my very favorite authors because his books never fail to grip me on the very first page. "The Stranger" was no different. We start out meeting our main character, Adam Price. Adam is a family man. He has two boys and a loving wife. They live in an idyllic town with an idyllic life. As his friend says, "We're living the dream". On an average day, a stranger approaches Adam and tells him a secret. That secret shatters Adam's life. That's what the stranger does. He whispers in your ear a piece of information. You're unsure where it or he came from or who this stranger is. He disappears, leaving you to pick up the shattered pieces of your life. That's where our mystery starts for Adam Price. Is the secret true and if so, what are the ramifications for his family? Adam decides to get to the bottom of who the stranger is and why he decided to drop this bomb into Adam's life. Just the act of searching for answers gets Adam into a whole world of trouble where accusations of theft, conspiracy and murder lurk. To get out unscathed may be impossible. I always love how Harlan Coben throws you into the deep end right away. His mysteries suck you into the story quickly so your interest is piqued and you want to continue to read. I found myself trying to right away, suss out who this stranger could be and what his game plan was. Of course this kept me furiously reading. It was interesting how, without confusing the reader, Coben kept pulling in new details from new sources but it all still kept you guessing, how, why...who? I was so rooting for our hero, Adam Price. I wanted his life to come back together again and not be ruined. I love it when an author gets me to care so much about the characters. Although in the end, the mystery was a tiny bit convoluted, with so many pieces to fit together. But I really enjoyed the read and would certainly highly recommend this book as a four out of five. It would certainly make a great Spring read. Harlan Coben never fails to please and this mystery is no exception. I didn't see the ending coming and I was kept furiously reading well into the night just to get to the last page.
Date published: 2015-03-25

Read from the Book

Chapter 1The stranger didn’t shatter Adam’s world all at once. That was what Adam Price would tell himself later, but that was a lie. Adam somehow knew right away, right from the very first sentence, that the life he had known as a content suburban married father of two was forever gone. It was a simple sentence  on  the  face  of  it,  but there was  something   in  the  tone, something  knowing  and  even  caring,  that  let Adam  know  that nothing  would ever be the same. “You didn’t have to stay with her,” the stranger said. They were in the American Legion Hall in Cedarfield, New Jersey. Cedarfield was a town loaded up with wealthy hedge fund managers and bankers and other financial masters-of-the-universe types. They liked to drink  beer in the American  Legion Hall  be- cause  it was  comfortable slumming,  a way  to  pretend  that  they were  salt-of-the-earth good  ol’ boys,  like something  in a Dodge Ram commercial, when they were anything  but. Adam stood by the sticky bar. There was a dartboard behind him. Neon signs advertised Miller Lite, but Adam had a bottle of Budweiser in his right hand.  He turned to the man, who had just sidled up to him, and even though Adam already knew the answer, he asked the man, “Are you talking to me?” The guy was younger than most of the fathers, thinner, almost gaunt, with big, piercing blue eyes. His arms were white and reedy with a hint of a tattoo showing beneath one of the short sleeves. He was wearing a baseball cap. He wasn’t quite a hipster, but there was something of a wonk attitude coming off him, like some guy who ran a tech department and never saw the sun. The  piercing  blue  eyes held Adam’s  with  an  earnestness  that made  him  want  to  turn  away. “She told you she was pregnant, right?” Adam felt his grip on the bottle tighten. “That’s why you stayed. Corinne told you she was pregnant.” It was right then that Adam felt some kind of switch go off in his chest, as if someone had tripped the red digital timer on some movie bomb and now it had started to tick down. Tick, tick, tick, tick. “Do I know you?” Adam asked. “She told you she was pregnant,” the stranger continued. “Corinne, I mean. She told you she was pregnant and then she lost the baby.” The American Legion Hall was loaded up with town dads sporting those white baseball T-shirts with the three-quarter sleeves and either baggy cargo shorts or perfectly no-assed Dad jeans. Lots of them wore baseball caps. Tonight was the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth- grade boys’ lacrosse draft and A-team selections. If you ever wanted to witness type As behaving as such in their natural habitat, Adam thought, watch when parents get involved in their own offsprings’ team selections. The Discovery Channel should film this. “You felt obligated to stay, am I right?” the man asked. “I don’t know who the hell—” “She lied, Adam.” The younger man spoke with such conviction, not just as though he knew for certain but that, at the end of the day, he had Adam’s best interest at heart. “Corinne made it all up. She was never pregnant.” The words kept landing like punches, dazing Adam, sapping his resistance, leaving him shaken and confused and ready to take a standing  eight count. He wanted to fight back, grab the guy by the shirt, toss him across the room for insulting his wife like this. But he didn’t for two reasons. One, there was the whole  dazed-like-taking-punches, sapped- resistance thing. Two, something about the way the man spoke, something about the guy’s confident tone, the damn conviction in his voice, made Adam start thinking it might be smartest to listen. “Who are you?” Adam asked. “Does it matter?” “Yeah, it does.” “I’m the stranger,” he said. “The stranger with important knowledge. She lied to you, Adam. Corinne.  She was never pregnant. It was all a ruse to get you back.” Adam shook his head. He swam through, tried to stay rational and calm. “I saw the pregnancy test.” “Fake.” “I saw the sonogram.” “Again fake.” He held up a hand before Adam could say more. “And yes, so was the stomach.  Or should I say stomachs.  Once Corinne started to show, you never saw her naked, right? What did she do, claim some kind of late-night sickness so you wouldn’t have sex? That’s what happens most times.  So when the miscarriage occurs, you can kinda look back on the whole thing and realize the pregnancy was difficult right from the start.” A booming voice from the other side of the hall called out, “Okay, guys, grab a fresh beer and let’s get this show on the road.” The voice belonged to Tripp Evans, the president of the lacrosse league, a former Madison Avenue ad exec and a pretty good guy. The other dads started to grab aluminum chairs, the kind you use for your kid’s school concert, from a rack and placed them in a circle around the room. Tripp Evans looked over at Adam, spotted the undoubtedly pale expression on his face, and frowned his concern. Adam shook him off and turned back to the stranger. “Who the hell are you?” “Think of me as your savior. Or like the friend who just released you from prison.” “You’re full of crap.” All conversation had pretty much ended.  The voices were hushed now, the sounds of scraping chairs echoing in the still hall. The fathers were getting their game faces on for the draft. Adam hated this. He wasn’t even supposed to be here—Corinne was. She was the treasurer of the lacrosse board, but her school had changed the scheduling of her teachers’ conference in Atlantic City, and even though this was the biggest day of the year for Cedarfield lacrosse— indeed the main reason Corinne had become so active—Adam had been forced to step in for her. “You should be thanking me,” the man said. “What are you talking about?” For the first time, the man smiled. It was, Adam couldn’t help but notice, a kind smile, the smile of a healer, of a man who just wants to do the right thing. “You’re free,” the stranger said. “You’re a liar.” “You know better, don’t you, Adam?” From across the room, Tripp Evans called, “Adam?” He turned toward them. Everyone was seated now except Adam and the stranger. “I have to go now,” the stranger whispered. “But if you really need proof, check your Visa card.  Look for a charge to Novelty Funsy.” “Wait—” “One more thing.” The man leaned in close. “If I were you, I’d probably run DNA tests on your two boys.” Tick, tick, tick . . . ka-boom. “What?” “I have no evidence on that, but when a woman is willing to lie about something like this, well, it’s a pretty good bet it isn’t her first time.” And then, with Adam dazed anew by this final accusation, the stranger hurried out the door.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Stranger“Coben describes Adam’s search for the truth behind these allegations—and the identity of the person who made them—with masterly skill, springing surprises, raising stakes, seamlessly integrating other victims of the ‘stranger’ into Adam’s tale. He’s also a smooth, funny writer.”—New York Times Book Review“This page-turner is one stranger that readers will want to meet.”—Associated Press“Seamless storytelling at a breathtaking pace.”—Houston Chronicle “Coben’s latest stand-alone is a great story for people who like to examine the ephemeral nature of those strings that bind our dreams to our reality.”—Library Journal“The Stranger isn’t just a great thriller, it’s a stunningly effective, probative novel about one man’s search, essentially, for his own identity...Flat-out great and not to be missed.”—Providence Journal“Another suspenseful thriller whose gripping and intricate plot is completely plausible, and chilling.”—Huffington Post“Thoroughly entertaining.”—Publishers Weekly“Coben can always be relied on to generate thrills from the simplest premises, but his finest tales maintain a core of logic throughout the twists. This 100-proof nightmare ranks among his most potent.”—Kirkus Reviews“The startling climax reinforces the novel’s theme that the trappings of the American dream—affluence, fine home, family—don’t necessarily protect one from violence...[The Stranger] carries his trademark asset: a plot that pretty much defies readers to guess the outcome.”—The Columbus Dispatch