Review: THE STRANGER YOU SEEK by Amanda Kyle Williamsy

I am simply amazed to realize that this is the suspense debut for Amanda Kyle Williams because it certainly did not read like a `first’ to me. In fact I found a polish and a way with plotting details that I don’t find with many authors who are old pros at the genre. Thank goodness the information on the back of my advance reader copy says there are at least two more books planned for the Keye Street series. I’m ready!

Keye messed up her career as an FBI profiler by her addiction to alcohol. Once she hit rock bottom the only way back up was through rehab, AA, and then forming her own business, Corporate Intelligence & Investigations. She has taken on all kinds of cases to make ends meet and now the business is going pretty well because of the corporate accounts she has established. Even so, she still has plenty of thrills just bringing in the bail jumpers.

Life in Keye’s world is never boring. Her friend Lieutenant Aaron Rauser of the Atlanta Police Department Homicide unit calls her in to get her opinion as a profiler of a murder he is investigating. From there Keye and everyone around her are pulled into a vortex of crime that threatened to consume them all.

I really liked Keye Street as a character even though I had some problems with her first name. Wonder how the author pronounces it? I kept saying Kay in my head and having to change it. This protagonist is definitely old enough to have learned many of the hard lessons in life so she doesn’t make the mistakes which so often ensure I will dislike a character. She is Asian American, was adopted by a white couple and grew up in the South. This book is set in Atlanta and will instantly take you back to the areas described without any problem whatsoever. If you’ve never visited Atlanta, you will quickly understand the climate and culture which impact every person there. The plotting for this novel was done so well that I had a hard time letting the story go long enough to perform routine daily tasks. I just wanted to find out what would happen next. The main investigation is on the serial killer and the descriptions of the crime scenes are very graphic, in fact they may be more graphic than some readers want to read about. We hear from the killer throughout the novel, but do not know the identity of the person. It was absolutely chilling to read the blog entries written by this killer in the guise of `fantasy’.

My one area that I wish had been done differently was the ending. I think more explanation should have been given for why the twist in the plot occurred. It left me with many questions which I think could have been answered rather easily with just a little more narrative. However, this will absolutely not keep me from reading the next novel in this series. With the way this one ended I can see many directions the author can take and I’m ready to go right along with her.

This advance reader copy was provided to me by the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

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