Saturday, May 1, 2021

Book Review: The Stranger Inside, by Jennifer Jaynes

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

The doorbell rang at exactly seven p.m….just as Diane was walking downstairs.

Right on time.

When she opened the door, her stomach felt jittery. Rick stood in the doorway in a button-down shirt and tie, holding red roses. He looked even more handsome than the previous night, if that was even possible.

Unfortunately, both kids were in the living room. She’d been so stressed thinking about Josh’s pot smoking and getting herself ready in time for her date, she hadn’t thought about them actually being present when Rick arrived.

She quickly made awkward introductions. Josh was his usual laid-back self and gave Rick a cool nod and a “What’s up?” Alexa, on the other hand, stared at him, unblinking.

“You’re going on a date?” she’d asked.

“We’re going to dinner,” Diane said.

“Which is a date, right?” Alexa asked, her eyes never leaving Rick.

This book was definitely an interesting page-turner with lots of false suspicions, and one true villain, of course.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: The Stranger Inside, by Jennifer Jaynes
After mystery author Diane Christie loses her husband to suicide, she and her son move to the small coastal town of Fog Harbor, Massachusetts. Her daughter is attending college nearby, and Diane hopes that her family can now begin to heal. But rebuilding their lives after the tragedy isn’t so simple.

Diane’s depressed college-age daughter, Alexa, still avoids her, critical of everything Diane does, and even her generally amiable teenage son, Josh, has started acting out. Diane pushes forward, focusing on her writing and her volunteer work at a local crisis hotline. She knows that healing takes time.

But then a girl from Alexa's college is found strangled. Worse still, the murderer uses the crisis hotline to confess to Diane ... and claims she is the only one who can stop the killing. And just when the glow of new love from an attractive admirer begins to chase away some of the darkness, more girls turn up dead, and Diane races to solve a mystery she fears will hit terrifyingly close to home.

Diane feels her family’s life would be perfect if only her relationship with her daughter Alexa was better. At a college nearby, her daughter avoids her whenever possible, which may be better than when they are together and she’s angry and confrontational, or drunk. But in order to do her laundry and see the brother she loves, Alexa has to come home sometimes.

A visit from Diane’s best friend convinces Diane that she deserves her own happiness, and she even wants to put her foot down about letting Alexa be so disrespectful and mean to her. But dating may complicate things even more. Alexa isn’t sure if she hates her mother or not, but she knows she doesn’t trust the guys Diane invites to the home.

Overall this was a quick read with a quite unexpected ending. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for those who enjoy an exciting thriller.

{click HERE to purchase—currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited!}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who enjoys the sun on her face, food cooked by other people, and bourbon. See more of her book reviews at


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