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The Stranger You Seek Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345530225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345530226
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,929,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Praise for THE STRANGER YOU SEEK (Keye Street 1)

"An explosive, unpredictable, and psychologically complex thriller." Publishers Weekly

"The best private eye debut since Dennis Lehane's A Drink Before the War."-The Plain Dealer


"The tension buzzes like cicadas on a hot Georgia night and the pace is relentless." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Williams keeps the suspense taut and the humor snarky." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


"An explosive read... Amanda Kyle Williams sets the classic private eye novel on fire." -Lee Child

"Readers will empathize with this flawed but gutsy detective." Publishers Weekly

"All the twists and turns readers of Williams have come to expect..." Kirkus Reviews


"Keye Street immediately puts herself in the top echelon of suspense heroes. She is brutally funny and powerfully human-one of the most realistic protagonists in crime fiction that I've had the thrill to read."-Tess Gerritsen

"Street is a unique and worthy addition to the rich tradition of damaged and tough private detectives."-Associated Press.

Amanda Kyle Williams returned to writing after some small press books and a break of more than a decade. "It takes time and practice to find your own voice as a writer and for that voice to reach pitch. It takes time to bring to life that special character. For me, Keye Street is that character. She's flawed. She jokes as a way to avoid intimacy. She wrestles her own demons, her past with alcohol, losing her job at the Bureau. And she's a total Krispy Kreme doughnut addict. She feels real to me. She's the voice in my head."

The Stranger You Seek is Amanda's first mainstream crime thriller and the first book in the Keye Street series. In order to lend authenticity to her Keye Street series, she took courses geared to law enforcement in practical homicide investigation and criminal profiling, worked with a PI firm in Atlanta on surveillance operations, became a court appointed process server and consulted with professionals in bond and law enforcement. Ms. Williams lives near Atlanta, is active in the humane community as a founding director for Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amanda is currently at work on the next Keye Street thriller. Please visit for more information on this explosive series and the fabulously flawed protagonist Keye Street.

Customer Reviews

I read it in one day, and wish the author had more books to read.
Amazon Customer
The writing was done well, the characters fully developed and interesting, intriguing and likable and of course the plot was wonderful.
Jade E
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.
J. Lesley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is one book you need to plan for in advance. Because once you read the first few pages, you'll be glued to the book until you finish.

Williams has previously written a number of lesbian detective novels. I should mention also that more sensitive readers may be offended by the book, given the language and certain scenes. However, Williams juggles character, plot and tension--not to mention supplying plenty of twists and turns--as well as any other suspense writer you've read.

Keye Street, the protagonist, is a flawed but likeable former profiler for the FBI. Although she's of Chinese ancestry, she was adopted as a baby by a Southern couple. Keye loves the South as only someone who grew up there can.

At one point, Keye was tossed out of the FBI because she was an alcoholic. And not only that, but her marriage came to an end. Four years later she's sober, if somewhat shakily, and works at chasing down bail jumpers.

Summer in Atlanta can be about two degrees cooler than hell itself. But what really disturbs the citizens is when a serial killer begins a frightening cat and mouse game with the media.

Keye has extensive experience at profiling, but she is no longer Special Agent Street, and so hardly expects to be drawn into the case. Yet as the bodies begin to pile up, she finds herself on the hunt for the killer, drawn in by her friend, Lt. Rauser, who heads the investigation.

And the problem with giving you any more information is then I will spoil some of the surprises. And I hate, hate, hate it when other reviewers do that. So just let me just sum the book up: yes, this is one serial killer thriller that does stand out and that is worth the price.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In the real world, when they aren't stating the obvious, criminal profilers are wrong about as often as they're right. In thriller world, profilers have a miraculous ability to understand the criminal mind. That is certainly true of Keye Street, the former FBI profiler turned private investigator who stars in The Stranger You Seek. Fortunately, profiling is a relatively small part of the story.

The Stranger You Seek is a novel of old and new. The old: Keye reacted to the ugliness she saw while investigating crime by turning to alcohol, eventually losing her job (hence her gig as a private investigator). Keye employs an anti-establishment, counterculture computer hacker who can break into highly secure computers (thriller world is full of them and they all seem to work for private investigators). Keye's best friend is a police lieutenant who needs her help to find a serial killer. Soon after Keye joins the hunt, the killer starts writing letters to her police lieutenant friend, taunting him with clues to the next victim. And, of course, the hunters eventually become the hunted.

The new: The serial killer writes a "fantasy" blog on a website for knife fetishists. Keye does realistic bread-and-butter work (serving subpoenas, performing background checks, finding people who jumped bail) when she's not chasing the killer. Keye's Chinese mother worked as a stripper. Keye puts yellow mustard on her jalapeño-infused hash browns.

Yes, I'm grasping at straws: the novel is more old than new. I liked it anyway. Amanda Kyle Williams gives her primary characters interesting personalities and crafts a well-written story that, if not entirely original, is more entertaining than most.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By P. N. Anderson on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being a multi-generational southerner, I could relate to the author's on target description of the South, even to the RC and Moon Pie, but you do not need to be a southerner to enjoy all the details of this book. It is a great mystery/thriller set in Atlanta and developed around the characters of Lieutenant Aaron Rauser, homicide detective of the Atlanta Police Department and the flawed heroine - ex-FBI profiler, Keye Street, who is now a private detective, a process server and bail recovery agent. Although she is working with Rauser and the APD on a serial murder case, we are treated with some of her amusing episodes as a private detective. The plot is so tight it will keep you flipping the pages and all I can say about the ending is WOW. It is reminiscent of my favorite mystery writer, Karin Slaughter. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Burian-Mohr TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Keye Street is a dry alcoholic,a passionate believer in Krystal cheeseburgers and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and a former behavioral analyst for the FBI. Adopted as "a scrawny Chinese American with questionable genes", she grew up in the south where she had "the distinction of looking like what they still call a damn foreigner in most parts of Georgia and sounding like a hick everywhere else in the world."

Those descriptions were enough to hook me into reading Amanda Kyle Willams' "The Stranger You Seek."

Keye works as a P.I. in Atlanta, mainly as a process server and bail recovery agent, despite her skills and experience, which the world has downgraded after her expulsion from the FBI. But there's a serial killer on the loose, specializing in knife play, and old/best friend Lt. Aaron Rauser of the Atlanta P.D. needs Keye's help.

Keye, of course, leaps into the case, while continuing to run her office with computer geek Neil and frequent visits from developmentally disabled Charlie, who was run over long ago by an armored bank truck, leaving him permanently damaged and coming off as a big goofy kid.

So as psycho bail jumpers and wife beaters and embezzlers vie for her time, Dr. Street (yep, she's a doctor) starts looking into the killings, where the serial lust killer leaves no trace - no DNA, no fingerprints, no fibers, no weapon... nothing. And no apparent connection between the victims.

Things heat up when the killer (by then dubbed the Wishbone Killer) starts sending emails to Rauser and Keye, and starts looking at Keye very personally, too.

That being said, here are the Top Ten Things That are Great About "The Stranger You Seek."

10. Keye's cases. One nut job after another.
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