Review: The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman

Title: The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier and Shari Lapena, comes the newest mystery thriller from New York Times bestselling author Carol Goodmana twisty, chilling story set in a former Magdalen Laundry in Manhattan that explores today’s #MeToo complexities.

You’re never really alone

Journalist Joan Lurie has written a seething article exposing a notorious newspaper tycoon as a sexual predator. But the night it goes live, she is brutally attacked. Traumatized and suffering the effects of a concussion, she moves into a highly secure apartment in Manhattan called the Refuge, which was at one time a Magdalen Laundry. Joan should be safe here, so how can she explain the cryptic incidents that are happening?

Lillian Day is Joan’s new 96-year-old neighbor at the Refuge. In 1941, Lillian witnessed a mysterious murder that sent her into hiding at the Magdalen Laundry, and she hasn’t come out since. As she relates to Joan her harrowing story, Joan sees striking similarities to her own past.

Melissa Osgood, newly widowed and revengeful, has burning questions about her husband’s recent death. When she discovers a suspicious paper trail that he left behind, she realizes how little she knew about her marriage. But it seems Joan Lurie might be the one who has the answers.

As these three lives intersect, each woman must stay one step ahead of those who are desperate to make sure the truth is never uncovered.


The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman is a mesmerizing mystery that is quite engrossing.

Twenty-nine-year-old Joan Lurie is a style writer who is also secretly working an expose of newspaper owner, Caspar “Cass” Osgood.  When the explosive story hits the stands, Joan’s life takes an immediate turn. She is attacked in her home and  leaves her fearful of leaving her apartment. She is also experiencing lingering and sometimes debilitating aftereffects of the head injury she suffered in during the attack.

With the advance from an extremely lucrative book deal, Joan moves into the Refuge, a historic building which was at one time a Magdalen Laundry.  Feeling safe within the walls of her new apartment, she attempts to begin working on her book.  Still unable to leave her home, Joan begins exploring one of the unsubstantiated claims she learned during her investigation of Cass. Will Joan uncover the truth about this incident?

Unbeknownst to Joan, Melissa Osgood is determined to prove the allegations about her husband are not true. She is not exactly a kind woman and she is very derisive of Joan both as a person and a journalist. Melissa takes many unexpected steps in her quest for revenge but will she find the proof she is searching for?

Joan is not making much progress with her novel, so she is delighted when her elderly neighbor Lillian begins dropping by to visit. Joan is enthralled by Lillian’s stories of her life in the forties. Lillian’s life took a downward turn after her mother’s death and her brothers became involved with the local mobsters in the area. Joan strives to remain far away from the criminal enterprise but while helping her best friend, she inadvertently finds herself in an increasingly dangerous situation.

The Stranger Behind You is an absolutely captivating mystery with chapters that alternate between two distinct perspectives. The storyline is multi-layered and shines a much-needed light on high-powered men sexually preying on women in the workplace. After her assault, Joan’s fears affect her judgment and ability to make sound decisions. Lillian’s stories are positively spellbinding and very fascinating. Melissa is a snob and she is hypercritical of those she deems beneath her. The mystery surrounding who attacked Joan and why is intriguing and not easy to figure out. With unexpected twists and breathtaking turns, Carol Goodman brings this suspenseful mystery to an edge of the seat conclusion.

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Filed under Carol Goodman, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Stranger Behind You, William Morrow Paperbacks

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