Guest Reviewer: Tess Gerritsen on The Stranger You Seek Tess Gerritsen is a physician as well as the
New York Times best-selling author of medical thrillers and the Jane Rizzoli crime thrillers. Her latest book in the Rizzoli & Isles series,
The Silent Girl, is available now.
Southern crime novels are a breed apart because of the weather. The heat is always a little more sweltering, the humidity always making everyone sweat just a bit more than their northern counterparts. There are the great New Orleans novels by James Lee Burke, and there is the Florida gang. There are even a few who set their most terrifying thrillers in the backwoods and bayous. For genuine heat, though, nothing beats Atlanta, a jewel of a city and the setting for Amanda Kyle Williams’s blistering debut thriller, The Stranger You Seek
Keye Street immediately puts herself in the top echelon of suspense heroes. She’s a mess of fascinating contradictions—effortlessly brilliant on a case, totally inept in managing her own life. She is brutally funny and powerfully human. Williams has created one of the most realistic protagonists in crime fiction that I’ve had the thrill to read.
Of course, a southern crime novel needs a great villain, someone who amidst all this heat gets people running. The Stranger You Seek
has a heck of a monster on the loose, a killer who is terrorizing Atlanta, taunting the police, and who seems a little too close to Keye to be just the stranger she seeks.
Advance praise for The Stranger You Seek
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“She is the best fictional female P.I. since Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone. And with its shocking triple-twist climax, this is the best private eye debut since Dennis Lehane's "A Drink Before the War." Grade: A —Cleveland Plain-Dealer
“This is a character-driven, nonstop thriller with flashes of wit and romance that
builds to a harrowing climax; fans of the genre will want to get in at the start.” —Booklist
“Williams (Club Twelve, 1994, etc.) creates a frightening and occasionally witty novel, perfect for those who can sleep with one eye open. Think Mary Higgins Clark with an edge.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“An explosive, unpredictable, and psychologically complex thriller that turns crime fiction cliches inside out….Those looking for a strong female protagonist not a sexpot and as intelligent, tough, and flawed as any male thriller hero will be richly rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An exceptionally smart, harrowing, and funny character-driven debut by a welcome new thriller writer.”—New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter
“There’s a new voice in Atlanta, and her name is Amanda Kyle Williams. A dark, gritty thriller, The Stranger You Seek is a sensational debut. Readers will relish this story’s many captivating, powerful, and compelling layers.”—New York Times bestselling author Julia Spencer-Fleming
“The Stranger You Seek is a page-turning thrill ride from a writer with a sure hand, keen psychological insight, and a devious imagination. Keye Street is my kind of detective: complicated, savvy, flawed, and blessed with a sharply observant dark wit. This is a great read from a powerful new voice.”—New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson
“From its chilling first page, The Stranger You Seek hurtles heroine Keye Street into a race against time that crosses the finish line with a satisfying twist, leaving readers breathlessly waiting for the next installment.”—New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub
“The Stranger You Seek is filled with rich, evocative prose that transports you straight to the South and right into the psyche of new heroine Keye Street. She’s formidable, but poignantly human as she struggles to navigate her present while battling shadows of her past. You can almost feel the Georgia humidity when you read this book, but you’ll definitely feel the heat when the victims of a calculating, relentless serial killer start stacking up. This book burns rubber to the end, so carve out some downtime, because you won’t want to leave Keye hanging.”—PJ Tracy, author of the Monkeewrench series
“Keye Street is a kick-ass protagonist! Strap yourself in for a twisting, turning carnival ride of a plot through the New South—this is compulsive reading!”—Vicki Lane, author of The Day of Small Things
“The Stranger You Seek is a riveting debut with rapid-fire pacing, expert plotting, and an introduction to the memorable and winning Keye Street. Both Williams and Street should be around for the long haul, so discover them now from the start.”—Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone