Pocket, Nov 2003
In Connecticut, pregnant Anna Lange plays outside with her son Paul when her ailing daughter Tracy cries out from inside the house. Anna leaves Paul outside as she enters her house. When she goes back outside Paul is gone.
Eleven years later, Anna is the only one that still believes Paul lives. Her husband Tom and Tracy gave up hope years ago. The disappearance destroyed family relationships.
Police Detective Buddy Ferrano informs Anna that Paul has been found in West Virginia. Albert and Dorothy Rambo raised him, but the woman just died, but not before confiding in her minister about Paul. Anna is elated while Tom is stunned and Tracy is angry. Rambo is not happy either as he is on the lam living out of garbage cans. The quartet face similar questions as to how will each family member react to the change in relational dynamics, what happened eleven years ago, and where does the allegedly dangerous Rambo fit in all this?
Fans of taut suspense stories will appreciate STRANGER IN THE HOUSE. The tale is at its best when each member of the Langes including Paul struggle with his return in different ways; thus each member of the quartet has a unique personality. When the tale turns into a life threatening thriller with a twist, the exciting novel loses a bit of its momentum and the climax relies too heavily on coincidence. Still Patricia MacDonald delivers a strong novel that readers will welcome.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner