Monday, 19 September 2011

The Stranger You Seek - Amanda Kyle Williams

What have I been reading recently, I hear you ask? Sit back and I’ll tell you.

Sitting comfortably? Cast your peepers over this...

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams

 The blurb goes thus -
“In the sweltering heat of an Atlanta summer a killer is pushing the city to breaking point, preying on the unsuspecting and writing taunting letters to the media which promise more death.

Desperate to stop the Wishbone Killer before another victim is murdered, A.P.D. lieutenant Aaron Rauser turns to the one person he knows can penetrate a deranged mind, ex–FBI profiler Keye Street.

Keye was a rising young star at the Bureau until addiction derailed her career and her life. Now sober and fighting to stay so, Keye picks up jobs where she can get them: catching adulterers, serving subpoenas, chasing down bailjumpers and dodging the occasional bullet.

With multiple victims, little to go on and an entire police force looking for direction, the last thing Keye wants is to be pulled into the firestorm of Atlanta’s worst nightmare.

And then it suddenly becomes clear that the hunter has become the hunted - and the stranger she seeks is far closer than she ever dared imagine.”

My take on it?

This was the Fresh Blood read over at last month and deservedly so. Serial killers are (to borrow the cliché) ten-a-penny in crime fiction and it takes something a little bit special to grab and hold my attention. The Stranger You Seek has got “special” in bucketloads.

Keye Street is my new favourite character and it’s her voice that takes us through this cracking read.  She is spunky, sparky (he feverishly seeks another word beginning with “sp”) and (goes for) sassy. (I didn’t get the “p” in there. So sue me.)

Aspiring writers who are struggling with the concept of “voice” should read this book and they’ll receive the message loud and clear. The author uses this to great effect not only giving the reader everything they would be looking for in such a novel, but with added warmth and wit. And this (despite the tension and body count) makes The Stranger You Seek such a joy to read. 

I will admit to quick roll of the eyes when I realised Keye was a recovering alcholic, but this well-worn device never felt tired thanks to the zip Williams injects into her writing.

REALLY looking forward to see what Amanda Kyle Williams comes up with next. She’s a rising star people – get her book on your shelf now so you can brag to your mates that you were one of the first to spot her.


  1. Even tired storylines can work if they are well written with good characters.

  2. That's a great review, Michael - thanks for bringing Amanda to our attention!

  3. Totally, Ricky.

    Ros - you're welcome!

  4. As usual, I look forward to your recommendations. I love books set in Atlanta, wish I'd never moved from there. Since you especially liked the 'voice' I may try to pick it up on Audible. Witty prose and death should come across nicely.