Review: The Stranger You Seek – Amanda Kyle Williams

Posted 9 April, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 10 Comments

Review: The Stranger You Seek – Amanda Kyle WilliamsThe Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams
Series: Keye Street #1
Published by Bantam on 30 August 2011
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Purchase
5 Stars

The papers have called me a monster. You’ve either concluded that I am a braggart as well as a sadist or that I have a deep and driving need to be caught and punished.

In the sweltering heat of an Atlanta summer, a killer is pushing the city to its breaking point, preying on the unsuspecting, writing taunting letters to the media, promising more death. Desperate to stop the Wishbone Killer before another victim meets a shattering end, A.P.D. lieutenant Aaron Rauser turns to the one person he knows can penetrate a deranged mind: ex–FBI profiler Keye Street.

And you must certainly be wondering if I am, in fact, the stranger you seek.

Keye was a rising young star at the Bureau until addiction derailed her career and her life. Now sober and fighting to stay so, Keye picks up jobs where she can get them: catching adulterers, serving subpoenas, chasing down bail jumpers, and dodging the occasional bullet. With multiple victims, little to go on, and an entire police force looking for direction, the last thing Keye wants is to be pulled into the firestorm of Atlanta’s worst nightmare.

Shall I convince you?

And then it suddenly becomes clear that the hunter has become the hunted -- and the stranger she seeks is far closer than she ever dared imagine.

An electrifying thriller debut, The Stranger You Seek introduces a brash, flawed, and unforgettable heroine in a complex, twisting novel that takes readers deep into a sultry Southern summer, a city in the grips of chaos, and a harrowing cat-and-mouse game no reader will ever forget.

The Stranger You Seek is a very eerie, creepy, stalkerish kind of mystery, in which Keye Street gets through so many twists and turns it was impossible to figure out who the killer was.

My The Stranger You Seek review:

Keye Street is the kind of heroine I wish there were more of! She is pretty flawed, and she makes no qualms about it! She’s also very smart, has a sarcastic sense of humor and is fiercely loyal. Adopted when she was a little girl, she grew up being the only Asian looking child in her white Atlanta neighbourhood, and her brother was the only black kid there. Diversity is very well done in The Stranger You Seek, but it’s done without pretence, it’s just a part of the story, which made me enjoy it even more.

The Stranger You Seek is a finely woven murder mystery, and Keye certainly has her work cut out for her! She works as a PI, after she got fired from her job as an FBI profiler three years earlier for showing up drunk at work a little too often. After a while in rehab, a failed marriage and putting herself and her life back together, she couldn’t imagine not doing a job that had something to do with law enforcement. When a serial killer is on the loose, the APD brings Keye in as a consultant to help them profile the killer.

Through many twists and turns, and other small side-stories depicting Keye’s other jobs as well, The Stranger You Seek is the kind of mystery I love the most! Impossible to figure out the culprit, Keye just never gives up, though. She is tenacious, and she wants to make Atlanta safer once more. The story also includes some delicate family relations, some great friends, and the way Keye keeps having a hard time not having a drink!

The writing is so good, while the pace is quite slow, there are many details around Keye that she needs to pay attention to, and Williams truly showed me what this world was made of, how Keye observes the clues around her, and the way her brilliant mind works. Towards the very end, though, when Keye might be getting closer to the killer, the pace becomes a little faster, and at the same time, it seems like Keye’s mind is moving much faster as well, in all directions at once, and just looking at every possible avenue in order to find the devious killer.

Written in first person, sometimes in present tense others in past tense, I got a very good feel for Keye, and I love that she is so flawed! She is in no way weak, but she is very human, and trying very hard to do the right thing – especially when it comes to not having a drink. If you’re a fan of mystery suspense that is impossible to solve on your own, You should definitely check out The Stranger You Seek, and then move on the rest of this series as well.

Some of my favorite The Stranger You Seek quotes:

I embraced the South as a child, loved it passionately and love it still. You learn to forgive it for its narrow mind and growing pains because it has a huge heart.

My shrink, Dr. Shetty, says it’s a power thing, that I have a brutal case of penis envy. What can I say? I like strapping on a big Glock now and then.

Sometimes you only get one chance at something. Sometimes that’s a good thing too. When that door slams shut on the thing you couldn’t live without, what happens next is when the real education begins.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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10 responses to “Review: The Stranger You Seek – Amanda Kyle Williams

  1. I just finished a Psychological Thriller, it wasn’t a romance, but now everything I pick up it’s not doing it for me. I think I’m becoming a junkie of mystery and suspense…LOL And this might fit my mood right now. I don’t now much about straight mysteries of Psychological thrillers so I don’t know where to star looking.
    Well done Lexxie 🙂

    Lupdilup (Loupe Duffy) recently posted: Total Surrender Audiobook by Rebecca Zanetti (review)
    • This series might really fit your mood right now, then, Loupe! I had already read the third book in the series as I got an ARC last year, and I loved it, no problem to jump in and read out of order at all. And the mystery is so well done, so you should try this series for sure. I’ll see if I can cough up some other recs for you 😉

  2. I like the sound of Keye – a character who is flawed and accepting of those flaws, but who is good at her job and won’t give that up. I don’t read many murder mysteries, as you know. But this seems like one I’d enjoy. I thought, at one time, I’d like to be a profiler…thanks for Silence of the Lambs. 🙂 Wonderful review, Lexxie!

    I hope you’re enjoying your day! **BIG HUGS**

  3. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review. Writers just love it when someone gets it. It’s not your typical thriller series, nor is Keye the typical detective. Crime fiction and character development are not mutually exclusive. I wanted her to be human and real. Thanks for noticing!

    Amanda Kyle Williams recently posted: Hello world!
    • It’s not a typical thriller series, but it’s still thrilling, and mysterious. And thank goodness crime fiction and character development aren’t mutually exclusive, that would not make the story as good as it was! I can’t wait to read more of Keye’s adventures 🙂

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