The Stranger by Chris Martin: Book Review

22 12 2012

Dear Readers,

Charles Henry Editing is reviewing The Stranger, a novella written by Chris Martin. After reading his other novella, The Other Side of Night, I could hardly wait to pick up The Stranger. On the whole, I was not disappointed.

Eight years ago in the small coastal town of Seal Bay, six high school girls were brutally murdered and dumped into the bay by Lance Puckett. His crime shattered the community of Seal Bay. When a stranger with a striking resemblance to Lance Puckett comes to town Dillon Bledsoe goes to the local diner to see if the mysterious stranger really is Lance or a harmless drifter. The stranger reveals himself as Lance Puck but he has come back to find out who killed those girls and framed him for their murders. After taking Dillon hostage it quickly becomes apparent that everyone in the town is hiding something about what happened the night those girls were killed.

The writing in The Stranger is not as strong as in some of his other works. The beginning feels self-conscious as though Chris Martin is constructing an elaborate artifice which might crumble if he forgets something but once the  chase to find the killer began it was hard to put down. I read the entire thing in one sitting. I enjoyed this novella for the plot but I wish some of the periphery characters had been more fully developed. While Lance Puckett and Dillon Bledsoe were clearly drawn and fascinating people some of the other characters who were suspects for the murders were brought up and cast away a little too quickly. I wanted to be led down a few wrong paths a little farther before the real killer was revealed. The revelation of the killer was exciting, hair-raising, and deliciously horrific; the book is worth reading for the ending alone.

The Stranger is a fast paced, compelling read. Through out the book the reader is taken on a journey to find the true killer and every time you think you have the plot figured out, you don’t. The emotional stakes never relent which made me have to keep reading. Chris Martin knows how to make you want to catch a killer, even if it is only a fictional one.

I highly recommend The Stranger by Chris Martin and checking out his other works which are available on

You can buy The Stranger here:

Chris Martin also writes a really interesting blog:

Visit his Facebook author page at




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