Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
In the masterful follow-up to the New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls—“think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl” (TheSkimm)—a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.
Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?
The Perfect Stranger, by author Megan Miranda, is the follow up to All the Missing Girls. To be honest and fair, although I read All the Missing Girls earlier this year, I can't for the life of me remember Leah Stevens. So, here's what I do know thanks to the author putting a few things together for us readers. Leah is a former reporter whose name is tied to a series of events that she's ready to leave behind and start over. She has a restraining order against her from her former best friend Paige. She was under a threat of a lawsuit which led to her losing her job and moving from Boston to Pennsylvania where she is now a teacher on probation.
Leah's roommate is Emmy Grey who was her friend about 8 years ago. We know nothing about her except for Leah's flashbacks to the time when they were roommates. Let's start with a young woman named Bethany Jarvitz who is found close to where Leah's lives. Someone apparently hit her and left her near a lake. Police start by investigating an anonymous source who claims that one of Leah's co-workers might have been involved with Bethany, which leads to the arrival of Detective Kyle Donovan in Leah's life.
Leah discovers that the victim could be her doppelganger.
Then, Emmy disappears without a trace which opens a whole new box of worms and troubles for Leah since she is the only person who has seen Emmy around. Leah and Kyle attempt to put together what they know not only about Emmy, but her possible connection to the events that have landed Leah in the spotlight. One could say that Leah is a weak character who finds her strength and her courage to put one foot in front of the other. The more that Leah digs, the more that things just don't make sense.
Who is Emmy really? Where did she go? What's really puzzling for Leah is how quickly trouble seems to find her no matter if she was actually involved, or whether someone is attempting to pull a quick one over her, or if she is trying to help a friend discover something horrible about a loved one. What if Emmy had something to do with the attempted murder? What if Emmy has been stringing Leah along all this time? What if Emmy has found herself in more trouble than she could handle and fled to avoid being discovered?
Without going too far into detail about the book itself, which I have a tendency of doing, there is so much happening that you really must pay attention to even the smallest details. You know that there are going to be twists, and shocking revelations, and even more stunning circumstances that put our protagonist back on her feet struggling to understand all that is happening to, and around her. But, the one good thing that comes out of all of this is perhaps Kyle. I appreciated that the author wrapped up things pretty nicely and doesn't leave the reader standing one foot on, and off a ledge ready to jump off if she doesn't tell you what really happened and why.