The Stranger You Seek
By Amanda Kyle Williams
When I pick a book that turns out to be in a series, I immediately wonder whether I'm going to be satisfied reading just that book...and as soon as I started reading Stranger in the Room, I knew. It was the second in the Keye Street series and I just had to read the first one before I went on...
OMG, what a debut!
First, let's look a little at Keye Street... She does bail bondsman jobs and has the gritty personality we find with Janet Evanovich's main character...but, while I enjoy that series, this remarkable woman is an entirely different lady when the overall character is discovered. Keye was an FBI agent at one time, but lost that job from alcohol addiction. She is sober now and became a P.I., but is pulled into many different areas--some white collar while others may get messier. She also goes after those who skip on their bail to keep the income flowing. Then she met the head of homicide of Atlanta PD, became acquainted and soon was consulting, giving profiles using her FBI training. She's got a doctorate and is Chinese-American. I'll let you find out about her childhood in the books, but will share that it was surely those experiences that created the Keye Street who we easily begin to admire! Try It!
|Meet Keye Street!|
In addition to the fantastic characters Williams has given us, the story is strangely appealing. I say that because there is a serial killer and none of us want to praise such an individual. So let's say that Williams sure has been able to develop a character that you will love to hate...
I am thrilled when a writer is both knowledgeable enough and capable in characterization of individuals through the words, dialogue and thoughts. Therefore, I was able to pick up the possible ending, although I didn't catch the final twist...Some of the reviews I read said it was an improbable ending--I say that the clues were there, adequately presented by the author, for the reader who reads carefully, even the final twist....
Now the key thing about the novels is that there are multiple actions going on by both the police and by Kaye's groups of clients, so that there are shifts to various scenes such as when Keye is sent out to pick up a lazy guy who didn't feel like going for his court appearance, and then begs to take his gay boyfriend with him as Kaye handcuffs and takes him in. I might also say that Kaye has some smooth moves on getting close to the men she has to bring in, using her intelligence to put a plan together in advance--I enjoyed that added thought process, especially since the scene usually adds a touch of humor between the serial killing and makes it both more interesting and less heavy for the type of scenes you'll be learning about..
because you know that if there is a cat in the story, I'm going to be extra entertained. In White Trash's case, there is a constant argument between Keye and her mother because of the name... Her mother calls her Snowball or some other name similar to white...but just refuses to use "Trash" I love it when an author takes the time to add animal characters to round out the home life of the humans...
Even the serial killer feeds the pet before leaving the latest killed??!!! Silly little cool tidbit about a killer, right?
So, by the time Keye was sent off to find a kidnapped pet cow...I was quite willing to follow that tail--I mean, trail...
If you get the impression I thoroughly enjoyed this book, you're right! While the tension and suspense of the investigation is very high, the family life, interactions between the characters, and the flights into small fun investigations is such a contrast that you don't know whether to laugh or "cringe"...actually, you'll do both, but by the time the book is done, I think you'll be saying, as I did, what a great book! I loved it! And think you will too if any of what I said sounds interesting... Review of Stranger in the Room next... This became a must-read series for me after that one...
"There's a new voice in Atlanta, and her name is Amanda Kyle Williams. A dark, gritty thriller, THE STRANGER YOU SEEK is a sensational debut. Captivating, powerful and compelling, readers will relish this story's many layers." Julia Spencer-Fleming author of ONE WAS A SOLDIER
"An exceptionally smart, harrowing, and funny character-driven debut by a welcome new thriller writer."--Karin Slaughter, author of Fallen
"The Stranger You Seek is a page-turning thrill ride from a writer with a sure hand, keen psychological insight, and a devious imagination. Keye Street is my kind of detective--complicated, savvy, flawed, and blessed with a sharply observant dark wit. A great read from a powerful new voice."--Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselilng author of Backseat Saints
"The Stranger You Seek is a riveting debut with rapid-fire pacing, expert plotting, and an introduction to the memorable and winning Keye Street. Both Williams and Street should be around for the long haul, so discover them now from the start."--Alafair Burke, author of Long Gone
"The STRANGER YOU SEEK is filled with rich, evocative prose that transports you straight to the South and right into the psyche of new heroine Keye Street. She's formidable, but poignantly human as she struggles to navigate her present while battling shadows of her past.You can almost feel the Georgia humidity when you read this book, but you definitely feel the heat when the victims of a calculating, relentless serial killer start stacking up. This book burns rubber to the end, so carve out some down time, because you won't want to leave Keye hanging." PJ Tracy, international bestselling author of the MONKEEWRENCH series" - for the US market
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."
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 www.AmandaKyleWilliams.com for more information on this explosive new series and the fabulously flawed protagonist Keye Street.