top of page
Top of Blog





wine patio book .jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

A Familiar Stranger

ISBN: 978-1662500121

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Brilliance Audio

Narrators: Christina Traister, Chris Ciulla, Patrick Lawlor, Leon Nixon

Publication Date: 09/27/2022

Format: Other

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC)

Such a quiet and ordinary wife and mother. Who will even notice what she’s done?

Lillian Smith leads an unexceptional life, writing obituaries and killing time with her inattentive husband and disconnected son. Then she meets David, a handsome stranger, in a coffee shop. Lured into an affair, she invents a new persona, one without strings, deadlines, or brooding husbands.

Lillian has never felt so reckless, unpredictable, or wanted. But as her affair with David intensifies, she withdraws from everything that’s real, even her closest friend. When evidence of her life as a secret lover finds its way onto her son’s social media, she risks ruining much more than her marriage or reputation.

As lies beget lies, Lillian’s two worlds spiral dangerously out of control. And betrayals run deeper than she imagines. Because Lillian isn’t the only one leading a double life.

Buy the Book

My Review

A. R. Torre is back with a dark, uber-twisty, mind-blowing psychological thriller. The author fully displays her best storytelling and plot skills, keeping readers guessing in this clever thrills by the minute— A FAMILIAR STRANGER.

Meet Lillian Smith, married to Mike, her husband, who is controlling and cheating on her. She is also the mother of her son, Jacob, a high school student which is pretty much uncommunicative.

When she is fired from her job as an obituary writer for the LA Times, she decides to go a little wild and be reckless for a change and sets out on an adventure with an affair after meeting David in a coffee shop. Then she decides to take over the identity of a deceased person. She reinvents herself as “Taylor.

Her only friends are gay realtor Sam and Lenny, a former cop turned cemetery groundskeeper.

Lillian is "Stella getting her groove back." When she meets David, the stranger at the coffee house, she feels alive, sexy, and ready to have fun. She deserves it. Things spiral out of control when a video goes viral of Lillian appearing on TikTok, showing her clothed in little and kissing David.

POVs: Lillian is the narrator for the book's first half. The second part is primarily from Mike's POV and some chapters from a former cop, Lenny's POV.

Who else is playing games? Nothing will prepare you for what is to come.

A mind-blowing, devilishly wicked game of cat and mouse, with a woman escaping her problems, but there is so much more. Lillian is dark, complex, reckless, and highly entertaining! I love the dark humor.

A countdown to death.

Where nothing is as it appears. Each chapter provides a clue, and when you think you have it figured out, BAM, the author throws another twist to keep you on your toes.

The author shakes things up with a FLIP. Did I say, SHAKE.? It is like a hurricane. This is not some domestic suspense about an affair and a woman bored. Just wait!

Who is going to die?

It is a WILD ride. Fans are going to love or dislike it. Expect the unexpected.

Torre brings her A Game. You do not know where the author is taking you, but you are along for the ride. She is in control.

Brings new meaning to the word "page-turner." A FAMILIAR STRANGER is highly entertaining, creative, and unique as you watch the lies, deceit, and secrets unravel.

There will be many discussions regarding this one and the 180 turns. I would say do not read too many reviews and go into it blind. A. R. Torre is a pro, and you are in capable hands.

I loved her Deanna Madden series, and my absolute favorite is THE GHOST WRITER, which I devoured! However, this one gets an A+ for the shock factor. For fans of Sarah Pinborough's BEHIND HER EYES and Netflix series.

I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Christina Traister, Chris Ciulla, Patrick Lawlor, Leon Nixon for an outstanding performance!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4.5 rounded to 5 Stars

Pub Date: Sept 27, 2022


A Familiar Stranger

“A whiplash suspenser that’s a model of its kind.” Kirkus Reviews

“The author skillfully reveals the characters’ many lies and secrets. Torre knows how to keep the reader guessing.” Publishers Weekly

About the Author

A. R. Torre is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling author Alessandra Torre. Torre is an award-winning author of more than twenty-six novels. She has been featured in such publications as ELLE and ELLE UK and has guest-blogged for Cosmopolitan and the Huffington Post. In addition, Torre is the creator of Alessandra Torre Ink, a website, community, and online school for aspiring authors. Learn more at



bottom of page