I love discovering new authors. Itís like finding a new best friend that you plan to visit with over and over again. The best ones are both invigorating and frustrating, because no matter how hard you try, you just canít stay away. Amanda Kyle Williams has quite a bit of potential, and Iím rather curious to see how her next novel turns out. As for her debut, THE STRANGER YOU SEEK was a well-written, intriguing, and quick-paced read. The characters had baggage, were tormented, and ended up being rather believable. Keye Street probably has the most demons living inside of her, and she dances perilously close to the edge on multiple occasions. To the authorís credit, her damaged persona made her even more appealing. She was relatable, enjoyable, and downright frustrating at times.
The novel oozes southern charm out of its Atlanta locale, and the reader is taken on a whirlwind ride from the first page to the last. To set the novel anywhere else would have taken away from the overall reading experience with Atlantaís sprawling metropolis, focused around motorized vehicles, and sweet tea, bless her heart. The pages ripped like whiskey bottles on a shelf being herded toward the masses with dark pages and dark characters lurking around every corner.
The novel was set up well, structured soundly, and paced accurately for maximum pleasure and entertainment despite its shadowy edges. From the first page to the last, the author held nothing back, and the story was better because of it. The story had what might be called a double twist ending, and it went down about as smoothly as a shot of Grey Goose vodka. If you like quick-paced, well-written novels with dark characters, youíd be hard pressed to find a better read. I, for one, will earmark STRANGER IN THE ROOM, the next novel in the Keye Street series, placing it in the must-read category.
I received this book for free at Bouchercon.