Book Review: The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine

The Stranger in the Mirror
Liv Constantine

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Suspenseful psychological thriller about a woman with amnesia, who builds a new life for herself, only to be confronted by her past. Many twists, plus the absolutely required suspension of disbelief, take you on a wild ride of new developments, just when you’re getting comfortable with how things are.

The story begins when a strikingly beautiful and vulnerable young woman finds herself on a highway in New Jersey, injured and with no memory of how she got there. A trucker named Ed picks her up and fortunately, he’s the good kind. Wanting to do the right thing, Ed and his wife, Gigi take the young woman into their home in Philadelphia.

Ed and Gigi provide loving support while the young woman recovers and struggles with questions about her injuries and disturbing flashbacks. After the woman recovers from her physical injuries, the new “Addison Hope” begins a job at a photography store. While working, she meets Gabriel Oliver, a gallery owner from a wealthy family. It’s instant attraction. Gabriel and Addison fall in love and Gabriel proposes. Gabriel may be smitten, but his mother, Blythe is suspicious. She wants to love Addison, but Blythe’s protective instincts tell her that they must know more about this woman before she joins the family.

Meanwhile, Julian Hunter, a prominent doctor from Boston, has not given up hope that he will find his missing wife, Cassandra, mother to their seven-year-old daughter, Valentina. A chance discovery reveals, as the reader has already figured out, that Addison has another life in Boston. Readers see how the two families react to this news, especially Addison/Cassandra. The interesting part is how Gabriel, Blythe, Julian and Valentina adjust, as a lurking evil overshadows them all.

Constantine’s characters represent the good, the evil and the manipulated, and a few who do the right thing but for selfish reasons. And the story’s villain, while somewhat obvious, acts unpredictably with a twisted set of ideas. The author includes themes of marriage, family and parenthood, especially what it means to be a good mother. Problems of mental health and domestic violence show the repetitive nature of these family struggles.

The Stranger in the Mirror is a fast read, with an interesting premise. In the first half, the author lulls the reader into a false sense of security, only to pull out the rug and disrupt the characters’ lives. The second half of the book is filled with twists and reveals, many too outrageous to believe. But the story moves along to a satisfying conclusion.

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. They are also the author of The Last Mrs. Parrish, The Last Time I Saw You, and The Wife Stalker.

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30 thoughts on “Book Review: The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine

  1. An interesting book, Barb. I see what you mean about the huge suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the read. That’s tough for me despite the riveting plot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Hi Diana and thanks for visiting. I have to be in the right mood to suspend my disbelief, and sometimes I am. I do like stories about secrets and forgotten pasts. Also, as I’m typing this, you have just sent a message to me – haha!

    1. Haha – yes you are right. I mentioned in another comment that I have to be in the mood to read a book like this…and I was! They are entertaining, not too deep and it was a great escape from my real world, something I needed. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      1. I’m reading a domestic thriller right now, but I think it’s time for something more substantial next. I think it will be East of Eden, which I never got around to yet. 🙂
        Books are a great escape when life is hard. Hugs.

      2. Ah yes, I’ve been meaning to read East of Eden too – I’ve never gotten to it. I know what you mean about wanting to read something more susbstantial – I feel that way after reading thrillers. I just finished reading Furious Hours by Casey Cep – a nonfiction – it was excellent and smartly written, so I might slip in something easier before I tackle the next heavier book. Happy reading!

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