Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: The Stranger You Know

The Stranger You Know
Forensic Instincts #3
By Andrea Kane
Harlequin MIRA September 2013
368 pages
From my shelves

The Stranger You Know (Forensic Instincts #3)

Casey Woods and her investigative team Forensic Instincts excel at solving crimes. When college aged girls with red hair begin turning up dead, it strikes close to home for Casey. As a college student, one of her friends was murdered and the killer was never found. The case becomes even more personal when the murderer starts targeting girls with connections to Casey and calling her to taunt her after the fact. Can Forensic Instincts crack the case or will Casey be the last victim? 

This was a good mystery. The villain has a vendetta against Casey and carries it out in a very brutal and personal way. While the end game is revealed early on, finding out how he will get there is enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The story flows well and as you read, you feel like you are hurtling towards a dangerous finale. 

My main disappointment with this story was in the characters. I'm not sure how much of this was due to picking up the third book in a series. But I had a hard time caring for the characters or in some cases, even telling them apart. Casey has three male colleagues at Forensic Instincts - Marc, Ryan, and Patrick. Marc is the former SEAL and Ryan is the tech guy. But Marc doesn't seem to be clueless about technology and Ryan can hold his own. As for Patrick, I never figured out exactly what set him apart from the other guys. Claire, Casey's only female colleague, is a sort of empath who spends most of the book completely overwhelmed by what she senses. Claire and Ryan are dating in a low-commitment sort of way. Whenever they speak about their relationship, they talk about how they can't stop fighting but I don't remember them bickering in the book.

I don't read a lot of mysteries because I'm one of those readers who needs both a gripping plot and characters I really care about. I never connected with the characters and felt that Ms. Kane told us about them without showing us their motivations or the ways they related to each other. Although a lot of readers seem to adore this series and this author, I don't think that I will be reading any more of these books. 


  1. That's too bad. But I know what you mean about needing to be able to care about the characters!

    1. It bothers me to different degrees. But I think it's a pretty bad sign when your protagonist is in serious danger and your response is "meh."

  2. It's a shame when a book disappoints, isn't it? But what is widely enjoyed by others might not be the case, that's the great thing about book - they're personable to you.
    I hope your next read proves to be better!
    Bits & Bobs

    1. I love that about books, although it sometimes makes me wonder what it says about me (or about other people!).