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Stranger in the Lake

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

A clever and consuming story of Crosby Lake and the many

secrets it holds.



When Charlotte, who grew up in a trailer park, married older and wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small North Carolina lakeside town.

Despite the whispers their life is good, and with some recent news, maybe even great. Everything starts to unravel when Charlotte discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife, an avid swimmer, drowned. Coincidence?

The stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte had seen Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. Why did he lie, and then he disappears, What is Paul hiding? Charlotte doesn’t know what or who to trust. She knows Paul is a good man, but she becomes suspicious that there’s a story he’s desperate to hide.


STRANGER IN THE LAKE is a clever and consuming tension-filled mystery. The story is smartly structured, weaving together the events from twenty years ago and the present day mystery. The writing deftly peels away layer after layer through the wrenching backstory.

The depth and contents of Crosby Lake gives a huge feeling of curiosity and creepiness to the story. How would you like to live on Skeleton Cove, where bodies seem to pop up regularly?

The North Carolina lake/mountain setting was my favorite thing about the book. Having been to the Highland/Cashiers area several times I appreciated the descriptions and references. I particularly loved the Whiteside Mountain and the famous bear shadow shoutout.

Interestingly, while Paul is a primary part of the story, he is rarely physically present in the present day story. It’s Charlotte who carries the weight of telling us about Paul. Charlotte’s, aka Charlie character is wholesome and good, who wants the fairytale but not at the risk of selling her soul. I liked her strength and her willingness to call on her brother, Chet, when she needs help.

Kimberley Belle is the author of 2019 best seller Dear Wife. Stranger in the Lake is her sixth novel. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, and divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Park Row

Published June 9, 2020

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