Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Stranger With My Face" by Lois Duncan

 Published:  1982
Setting:  Modern Day

It is a long time since I have seen her, but I know she is here.  In bed at night, above the sound of the surf on the rocks beneath my window, I hear very faintly the rustle of her passage down the hall.  She moves softly, but I can hear, for I am used to the sound of her.

She pauses outside my door.

In my dreams I hear her voice.  But, are they dreams?  Or in the months since I saw her last has her voice become so slight that this is the only way she can reach me?

I blame you, she whispers.  Only you.

Back Cover Synopsis:

Laurie Stratton finally has everything a sixteen-year-old could ever want. But just as her perfect summer comes to a close, things start to unravel when her boyfriend insists he saw her out with another guy-when Laurie was really home sick! More mysterious sightings convince Laurie someone very real is out there, watching her. . . .

Laurie Stratton has the perfect life.  Just having been accepted to the popular group of kids the previous summer, she's dating one of the coolest guys in school.  She's invited to all the good parties with the in kids.  She lives in a fairy-tale like house on cliffs perched at the edge of paradise.  The beautiful view of the roiling ocean lays right outside her bedroom. 

Yet, suddenly life is not so perfect anymore.  Her social standing in school is jarred when her boyfriend claims he seen her walking along the beach on a night Laurie swears she was home sick from a party.  Things turn even more strange when her kid sister, and her parents, claim they see Laurie in places where she is not.

Suddenly, Laurie realizes she is not alone.  There's another being sharing her space, seeping into her life.  And this person looks just like her!  At first, Laurie welcomes the presence but things take a sinister turn when those close to her end up getting hurt.  At first Laurie can't figure out what the spirit thing hopes to gain by harming those dearest to her and destroying her most valued relationships.  But in one grand finally, Laurie realizes that the thing wants nothing....nothing but her body!

This book is a good little chiller.  I thought the story line was original.  There's lots of creepy elements inside this book:  spirits, astral projection, terror and suspense, a bit of a mystery, family drama, and even a little bit of historical knowledge referring to Native Americans.

However, the last thirty or forty pages were taxing for me.  It seems the climax occurs when Laurie and her boyfriend are led over the edge of a cliff by the spirit.  Yet instead of ending and wrapping things up, the author lingers on and on.

Overall, it's an enjoyable read.  I had fun seeing this mystery out till the end, just wish the last pages included as much suspense as the first ones did.

My Rating:
4 Stars

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