The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street Series #1)

The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street Series #1)

by Amanda Kyle Williams

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Overview

“[Amanda Kyle Williams] keeps the suspense taut and the humor snarky, with an ending that will have you slapping your foreheard over clues you missed.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In the sweltering heat of an Atlanta summer, a killer is pushing the city to its breaking point, preying on the unsuspecting, writing taunting letters to the media, promising more death. Desperate to stop the Wishbone Killer, A.P.D. lieutenant Aaron Rauser turns to the one person he knows can penetrate a deranged mind: Keye Street, an ex–FBI profiler and former addict who now picks up jobs where she can get them. But 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.

Praise for The Stranger You Seek

“The best fictional female P.I. since Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. And with its shocking triple-twist climax, this is the best private eye debut since Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War.”The Plain Dealer
 
“A creepy, suspenseful, breathtaking ride . . . [Keye] Street is a unique and worthy addition to the rich tradition of damaged and tough private detectives.”—Associated Press
 
“An explosive, unpredictable, and psychologically complex thriller.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553593808
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Series: Keye Street Series , #1
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 533,676
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Amanda Kyle Williams was the author of the Keye Street thriller series, including The Stranger You Seek, which was nominated for both a Townsend Award for Fiction and a Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, The Stranger in the Room, and Don’t Talk to Strangers. She died in 2018.

Read an Excerpt

1

My name is Keye Street. First name from my Asian grandfather; my adoptive parents awarded me the second. By trade I am a detective, private, that is, a process server and bail recovery agent. In life, I am a dry alcoholic, a passionate believer in Krystal cheeseburgers and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and a former behavioral analyst for the FBI. How I ended up here in the South, where I have the distinction of looking like what they still call a damn foreigner in most parts of Georgia and sounding like a hick everywhere else in the world, is a mystery Emily and Howard Street have never fully unraveled for me. I know they had wanted a child so badly they adopted a scrawny Chinese American with questionable genes from an orphanage. My grandparents and guardians had been murdered and my biological parents consisted of two drug addicts and one exotic dancer. I have no memory of them. They took flight shortly after my birth. I can only manage a word or two in Chinese, but my mother, Emily Street, who is as proficient in innuendo as anyone I've ever known, taught me a lot about the subtle and passive-aggressive language of southern women. They had tried for a cute little white kid, but something in my father's past, something they have for my entire life flat-out refused to share with me, got them rejected. It didn't take me long to understand that southerners are deeply secretive.

I embraced the South as a child, loved it passionately and love it still. You learn to forgive it for its narrow mind and growing pains because it has a huge heart. You forgive the stifling summers because spring is lush and pastel sprinkled, because November is astonishing in flame and crimson and gold, because winter is merciful and brief, because corn bread and sweet tea and fried chicken are every bit as vital to a Sunday as getting dressed up for church, and because any southerner worth their salt says please and thank you. It's soft air and summer vines, pine woods and fat homegrown tomatoes. It's pulling the fruit right off a peach tree and letting the juice run down your chin. It's a closeted and profound appreciation for our neighbors in Alabama who bear the brunt of the Bubba jokes. The South gets in your blood and nose and skin bone-deep. I am less a part of the South than it is a part of me. It's a romantic notion, being overcome by geography. But we are all a little starry-eyed down here. We're Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara and Rosa Parks all at once.

My African American brother, Jimmy, whom my parents adopted two years after I moved in, had a different experience entirely. Not being white, we were both subjected to ignorance and stereotyping, but even that seemed to work in my favor and against Jimmy. People were often surprised that I spoke English and charmed that I spoke it with a southern accent. They also assumed my Asian heritage made me above average. I was expected and encouraged to excel. The same people would have crossed the street at night to avoid sharing a sidewalk with my brother, assuming that being both black and male he was also dangerous. He'd picked up our mother's coastal Carolina accent, the type usually reserved for southern whites in a primarily white neighborhood at a time when diversity was not necessarily something to be celebrated. He couldn't seem to find a comfortable slot for himself in any community, and he spent high school applying to West Coast universities and carefully plotting his escape. Jimmy's a planner. And careful with everything. Never screwed up his credit, never got fired, never had addiction issues, and never rode down Fifth Avenue in New York City after a few too many with his head sticking through the sunroof of a limo yelling "Hey, y'all" like I did. Jimmy's the well- behaved child. He now lives in Seattle with his lover, Paul, and not even the promise of Mother's blackberry cobbler is an attractive enough offer to bring him home to Georgia.

How I came to be here this night, edging my way along an old frame porch, double-clutching my 10mm Glock, body pressed flat against the house, peeling paint sticking to the back of my black T-shirt and drifting onto cracked wood, is another story entirely.

I had once been called Special Agent Street. It has a nice ring, doesn't it? I was superbly trained for this kind of work, had done my time in the field before transferring to the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) at Quantico as a criminal investigative analyst, a profiler. A few years later, the FBI took away my security pass and my gun, and handed me a separation notice.

"You have the brains and the talent, Dr. Street. You merely lack focus."

I remember thinking at that moment that the only thing I really lacked was a drink, which was, of course, part of the problem.

I was escorted that day to the FBI garage, where my old convertible, a '69 Impala, white-on-white and about half a mile long, was parked at an angle over the line between two spaces. Fire one Special Agent, get back two parking spots. Sweet deal.

Now, four years later, I passed under the curtained front window and congratulated myself on accomplishing this soundlessly. Then the rotting porch creaked. The strobe from a television danced across the windows, volume so low I could barely make it out. I waited, still, listening for any movement inside, then stuck my head round and tried to peek between the curtains. I could see the outline of a man. Whoa! A big outline.

Jobs like this can be tricky. Bail jumpers move fast. You've got to go in when you can and take your chances. No time to learn the neighborhood, the routines, the visitors. I was here without the benefit of surveillance, without backup, going in cold with my heart thundering against my chest and adrenaline surging like water through a fire hose. I could taste it. Almonds and saccharin. I was scared shitless and I liked it.

2

The streetlamps were out, the night draped in billowy white clouds that cast a faint light across the overgrown yard and locked in the heat like a blanket. Atlanta in summer-suffocating and damp. Nerves and humidity sent sweat trickling from my hairline and over my darkened cheekbones. I was grease-painted and dressed for night work, crouching near the front door, searching my black canvas backpack for Tom. Anyway I called it Tom, as in Peeping Tom, a thirty-six-inch fiber optic tube with a miniature screen attached to one end, an electronic eye to the other. Tom takes a lot of the guesswork out of jobs like this. As I twisted and turned the tiny tube under the door, I got a pretty good look at the front room.

The subject, Antonio Johnson, was a repeat violent offender. He'd been out of prison for two months when he robbed a convenience store. I had traced him to Canada three weeks ago and lost him. But his ex-wife was in Atlanta and Johnson had a history of stalking her. She'd been getting hang-ups again. A trace of the calls, with the help of a friend at APD, led to a pay phone in a sleazy motel in Atlanta's crack- infested West End. I found people there who knew Johnson. One of them ratted him out for thirty dollars. He was staying at a place off Jonesboro Road near Boulevard and the federal penitentiary. There even locals check their car doors at stoplights and commuters take the long way around after dark.

I could see him on the three-inch viewer, sitting on a ragged couch, feet on the edge of a wooden utility spool coffee table. He appeared to be alone, a beer in his right hand, his left hand in his lap and partially hidden from view. You hiding something under there, big guy?

Hovering in the damp air around the front porch, just above the sweet, sick scent of trash and empty beer cans, was the aroma of something synthetic like Super Glue and Styrofoam.

I released the safety on the Glock, then tapped on the front door. I was going to use my best woman-in-distress voice, say I needed a phone, say I had a flat, say something, anything, to get the door open. I wasn't sure. I'd learned to improvise since I'd been on my own.

Johnson didn't hesitate. I got a glimpse on my tiny viewer of something coming out of his lap seconds before he blew a hole in the door near my ear the size of a softball. The blast was cannon-loud, splintered the door, and left me light-headed and tumbling off the porch to safer ground.

Another blast. The front windows exploded. Glass flew like shrapnel. I balled up against the side of the porch and felt the sting on my neck and arms and knew I was cut, then rose up enough to get a shot off in the general direction of the front window. I didn't want to shoot him. I merely wanted him to back off a little.

. . . Then silence.

I took the porch steps in a half crouch, made it to the door. Still quiet. I tried reaching through the hole in the door to unlatch it. That's when I heard it, a shotgun, a goddamn pump-action, and if you've ever heard the sound, you'll never forget it-the foregrip sliding back, one shell ejecting, another pushing into the carrier, the bolt closing. It happens in a split second with a good operator, and Johnson had had plenty of practice.

I pressed my back against the house, took a breath, took a moment. A quick reality check is always a good idea in these situations. Did I really want to get killed bringing in this guy? Hell no, I did not, but the adrenal flood of mania this kind of event produces propelled me forward rather than back, which perhaps illustrates most effectively the differences between those of us in this business and the sane population.

Boom! Johnson let the shotgun loose once more. I felt it under my feet, like a fireworks show when the ground shakes. He was probably making his own loads. God only knew what he was firing at me. Another chunk of front door blew out. Then the pop, pop, pop, pop of an automatic weapon.

On three, I told myself.

. . . One . . . Two . . . Two and a half . . . Two and three quarters. Fuck! Three!

I put everything I had behind one of the black combat boots I wear for this kind of work and went for the space just above the front doorknob. It had no fight left, splintered and swung open. I flattened back against the house and waited.

. . . Silence.

Glock steadied with both hands, heart slamming so hard I felt a vein in my throat tick, tick, ticking against my shirt collar. I stepped around the corner and surveyed the front room, a living-room/dining- room combo pack. I could see the kitchen beyond that, a hallway. I was figuring the place for two bedrooms and a bath. I'd poked around outside for quite a while before making my move, counting doors and windows. So where was he? A bedroom, the hallway?

. . . Then pop, pop, pop. I hit the floor and rolled into the tiny dining room, got off a few rounds in case he had any ideas about coming to find me.

"Bail recovery, Mr. Johnson! Drop your weapon and come out with your hands behind your head. Do it now!"

"A chick?" Johnson yelled back, and laughed. "No fucking way!"

Then I heard the back door opening, the screen slamming. I rushed into the kitchen and saw the door swinging half off its hinges, and beyond that the white letters on Johnson's T-shirt bobbed across the dark backyard toward the fence.

I took the back steps into the yard and watched with some satisfaction as Johnson neared the fence and the gate. I'd left something back there in case it came to this, which had been a pretty good bet.

It didn't take long. It was a postage-stamp small yard with a chain- link fence and a horseshoe lever on the gate. Johnson grabbed the fence, and just as he tried to hoist himself over, a blue-white explosion knocked him backward. Just a little black powder, some petroleum jelly, a battery and a couple of wires, a few fireworks to slow him down. My ears rang from five feet away and for a couple of seconds I had to fight my way through a million tiny flashbulbs.

Johnson lay there like a slug, motionless. I approached him cautiously, Glock steady, and checked him for signs of life. Breathing fine. Out cold. I pulled his big arms up behind him. His palms were scorched.

"It wasn't supposed to be quite that dramatic," I told his limp body as I snapped cuffs on his wrists and threaded a belt around his waist and through the cuffs. "But then I really don't know shit about explosives."

I rolled him onto his back. With one size-thirteen shoe in each hand, I attempted to drag him by the ankles. Damn. The guy was at least two- sixty and dead weight. I'm five-five on tiptoes and one-ten if I drink enough water. I moved him about three inches before I gave up. I could have used my mobile phone to call the cops for a pickup, but the girl jokes would have run for weeks at APD.

I plopped down on the ground and poked him in the ribs with my Glock. "Come on, you big fat baby, wake up."

His eyelids rose a full minute before his eyes were able to focus.

"Hi," I said cheerfully, shining my flashlight into his bloodshot brown eyes. I was holding it cop-style over my shoulder and near my face. "Remember me?"

He squirmed angrily, then made grunting animal sounds when he realized his hands were locked behind him.

"Now, would you like to walk your fat ass to my car, or you want me to call the cops?"

"Who you if you ain't no cop?"

I thought about that. It wasn't a bad question. "Soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know," I promised him, nudging him again to get him on his feet. But he was having trouble getting up without his hands. I got behind him and pushed.

"Ever think about a diet?"

"You like it, bitch," Johnson slurred. He seemed a little loopy. "You want some Antonio. You know you do."

Oh yeah, bring it on. Nothing like a big ole fat man with a prison record.

"Okay, Lard Boy. Lets you and me take a drive."

Customer Reviews

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The Stranger You Seek 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
The Stranger You Seek is Amanda Kyle William's debut and also the first book in her Keye Street series. The writing style and main character have much in common with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. The characters are vivid. The plot moves at a good pace, with just enough twists to keep readers guessing. Throughout the story, Williams sprinkles little nuggets of information about Atlanta, the city in which Keye Street lives. The familiarity made me feel as if I was there in the city with her. This book has the perfect combination of humor, mystery, suspense, a touch of romance and a faulty but tough heroine. I'm looking forward to the next one.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This exciting thriller from a new suspense author will introduce to readers a completely never-to-be-forgotton heroine. Keye Street was an orphan and adopted by an American couple in Atlanta when she was very young. As an adult, Keye worked as an FBI Profiler but she had drinking problems and was let go by the FBI. After rehab, she decided to open her own Private Investigation business and business has been good. At the start of this novel readers are introduced to a very clever serial killer who has been harassing Atlanta for a while and writing letters to the police saying: "You have either concluded that I am a braggart as well as a sadist or that I have a deep and driving need to be caught and punished. And you must be wondering if I am, in fact, the stranger you seek. Shall I convince you?" The Atlanta Police Department, mainly Lt. Aaron Rauser, knowing Keye's background as a profiler, asks her if she will help him out on this case. Keye agrees because she feels she can fit the case in while still catching bail jumpers, running down corporate crooks, serving restraining orders and delivering subpoenas. The first murder victim/case that Keye works on with Aaron is the terrifying murder of an Asian woman in her thirties. Keye is quickly involved in not one murder case, but in many as they learn that this murder is the most current in a string of serial murders, all very similar, all carried out in the state of Florida. As Keye and Aaron witness more killings it becomes clear that the hunter has become the hunted. And, the stranger who they seek is much closer to them than they realize. This story is a real page-turner with a protaganist that is both clever and horrible. All played out during a very hot and sultry summer in Atlanta, a city that has been in the middle of chaos many times over. Quill Says: The Stranger You Seek is a fascinating debut thriller with fast paced action and good plotting with an introduction to a new heroine that we hope will be around for a long time to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One word can describe this book. WOW. I can usually pick out the bad guy right away, but not this time. Great thriller! I instantly purchased the other two books! Keep em coming. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm an old soul Tolkien fan...but this pulled me in and made me check my door lock! AKW is a strong writer...we will be hearing more about her works!
dblueyzDH More than 1 year ago
What a great book i finished it in a few weeks. Fast paced reading and keep you guessing .. Love it I had the privilege  of  meeting the author and she is wonderful thank you Amanda looking forward to the next  The Stranger in the Room 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was completely surprised, and that never happens to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read,couldn't Put it Down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good twisting plot keeps you turning the pages. Suspenseful with believable characters and plenty of action. Can't wait for the next book in this series.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
A great thriller. I loved the flawed heroine dealing with the remnants of her life as she is plunged into the middle of a series of horrific crimes. This novel was engaging from the first page and I will add this author to my "must read" list. Thank you to The Top Shelf for telling me about this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twists, turns, romance,humor. Keep turning them out Please!!!
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Keye Street, a former FBI agent turned PI, due to her problems with alcohol is asked by a former colleague to help find a serial killer nicknamed the Wishbone Killer. Although, the main character could be interesting, the plot is typical and not that unique from other crime stories. Belongs more to episodic television as I found it to be mundane and the twist didn't seem real.
Trishinomaha More than 1 year ago
This book was mentioned in a blog I read and I was intriqued enough to go to B&N to download a sample (one of the great things about owning a Nook!). I was immediately sucked into this story. Tthe plot is great, great fleshed out characters and an ending that will knock your socks off. Can't wait to see more from this author and hoping the Keye Street character will be turned into a series. If you love suspense don't miss this one!
honoliipali More than 1 year ago
Another great debut novel that has me waiting for the sequel. The author has a fluid writing style. She introduces and grows her characters very well. I could feel their personalities. This thriller reminded me of the great movie, Body Heat, in that there were numerous plot twists that kept me wondering if I really knew what was going to happen. The truth is that when I thought I knew what was next, I was proven wrong. The ending dies have a nice twist. I fully recommend this book to anyone that likes mysteries or thriller.
kcassidys More than 1 year ago
A suspenseful novel, with unique southern flavor. It has all the feel of a classic "Southern Novel". The language and pacing drip with honeysuckle nectar. The rhythm and flow are unique to the south - the heat - ever present - underscores the tension of a serial killer loose in Atlanta. My first impression was the language, culture, humor so flavorful of the deeper South. My second impression was that Keye Street is someone I would like to hang with. A flawed hero, who nonetheless continues, through all her struggles, to get the job done. Smart, irreverent, funny, determined, and oddly compelling - you want to follow her through the story - you want her to succeed, whether in her workaday bond recovery experiences, or with the serial killer taunting the Atlanta Police. Williams has also written a serial killer that doesn't fall into the dark "Criminal Minds" cliches of other novelists, somehow. Just when I smugly thought I had guessed the end - a twist I never saw coming hit me upside the head. This is a DON'T MISS new novel! To quote the usual overused comments - "I couldn't put it down" - literally! I read it the day I got it - up 'til 4am, not able to sleep until it was done. Compelling - this is the word that truly describes these characters. At the end of it, I was excited to have read it - and depressed that I have to wait for the next installment. This is the beginning of a 3 book start for Amanda Williams - I can't wait! Really - you NEED to read this new writer - I expect to see great things from her... and I just can't wait to see them!
austcrimefiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Confession time (again!) I wasn't going to read this book. Nothing personal. I just looked at the blurb, saw serial killer and thought... over them. But, long story short, there was this homework assignment, I thought ... proof copy, grabbed the first one I saw, and no homework was done. Could not put THE STRANGER YOU SEEK down. The thing that really grabbed me was the central character - Keye Street. She's got one of those voices that can really appeal to this reader. A recovering alcoholic with a failed marriage, and a partially acknowledged attraction to her best friend, mentor and cop Aaron Rauser she's a fabulously complicated character. One of her own greatest critics, Street's got a very chequered background - going from rising star FBI profiler with two university degrees and an enviable criminal profiling track record, to working for herself, making ends meet serving subpoenas, chasing down bail skippers and looking for missing cows. Obviously there are going to be comparisons drawn with Grace Smith / Stephanie Plum and the like. Whilst there are elements that are just about identical - the job description alone is enough to get you thinking in that direction. Add a slightly madcap family; romantic tension; a hefty dose of personal lunacy and a rushing around investigation style and there is a point in the book where you do wonder about the similarities. For this reader, however, there are some marked differences. Some nuance about the humour, some of the self-awareness in the character, but probably the biggest difference is a real sense of desire to move on. The madcap family (sans Grandmother, but with a mother and father who fill in the personality requirements quite nicely), is built around the adoption, by her extremely Southern American sensibility parents, of Street (Asian American) and her brother (African American). Both the parents have starring roles in the humour department, which was subtle, and clever and frequently laugh out loud funny. Humour, in particular, is something that does not always travel well culturally, and for this Australian reader, much of the conflict between Street and her mother, and between her mother and father, worked really well - with a stand-out being the father's recitation of grace, which had me roaring with laughter.The point of these books isn't just the humour. There's a serious investigation going on, although built around a serial killer, that has some hints and tips along the way that could make a reader wonder if there is something slightly different going on here. Street also isn't just what you see is what you get. There's depth, roundedness, flaws and good points to her character that are very engaging. There's an acerbic, pointed and enlightening internal voice that works, not just to give you a chance to get to know the character, but also makes her quite real. Her supporting cast is relatively well fleshed out also, although, obviously as this is the first book, the concentration is pretty heftily on the main character. The serial killer thread is nicely done this time, with a final twist in the tail that I simply did not see coming.That's not to say that everything is perfect and there are some rather hamfisted attempts at humour which don't quite hit the mark... not the least is a tendency to see sexual desire in every lesbian character that Street encounters, but all in all, thanks to THE STRANGER YOU SEEK, once again, "over serial killers" needs an equivocation clause.....
gchristianson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're a fan of Patricia Cromwell and Kaye Scarpetta, you will enjoy this new girl on the block! Keye Street is a tortured heroine with lots of skeletons in and out of the closet. She is a southern Chinese girl with a gay African American brother. I was hooked from that point on. She is strong and she is weak, and you root for her all the way through the book. The plot is filled with twists and unexpected turns with a little romance on the side. It is a fast and thoroughly entertaining read. Great for a rainy weekend on the couch! This book is to be the first of a trilogy and I look forward to reading the other books. Keye is a great new addition to the crime/mystery genre. Thanks to GoodReads and Bantam Books for the opportunity to read and review this novel.
amydawsonrobertson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very excited about this new first in a series from Amanda Kyle Williams. First and foremost: I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. There are a lot of thrillers in the world but this one rises above the average lot. I wouldn't be surprised to see the author's name alongside the other great ladies of crime fiction in a few years -- McDermid, Slaughter, Cornwell, Hayder. The writing is of a higher calibre than many thrillers. Complex, thoughtful and occasionally lyrical, Williams is adept at all things a reader expects. She gives us a thoroughly engaging main character in Keye Street -- she's funny and tough and real. And her voice is engaging in a way that makes it difficult to stop turning pages. The pacing in the book is as tight as a drum and I was rushing to find out what happened next. Most surprising for me was the humor. I tend to like my thrillers more on the humorless side, but it felt natural here, wasn't overdone and actually really made me laugh. I'm just glad that this is a series and there is more Keye Street to come.
TheBoltChick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I read the premise of this book, I was somewhat hesitant to start reading it. I mean the "recovering alcoholic, down on her luck, lost her job only to start out on her own" thing has kind of been done before in a variety of ways. Well I was wrong to feel that way. Amanda Kyle Williams has taken what I thought was a tired idea and infused it with entirely new life.The main character, Keye Street, is infinitely more interesting than the book jacket would have led me to believe. She is Chinese-American, having been adopted into a white, southern family and she has an African-American gay brother. Keye is a former FBI profiler who lost her job due to her alcoholism and is now a private investigator. Most of her work involves skip tracing and the like. The writing transports the reader to the hot Atlanta summer. The atmosphere is almost palpable. Keye becomes involved, by request of the Atlanta PD, in a serial killer case. This case injects some new vigor into her; a change from the monotony of skip tracing. The case becomes all-encompassing, and soon the hunter becomes the prey.All in all it is a very fast-paced, hard-boiled thriller, but with some amazingly funny asides. Keye is a character that the reader can't help but love. Flawed to be sure, but with a heart of gold and unmistakably human. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers, but be warned there are some grisly scenes that are not for the faint of heart.
SweetReaderMA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best debut books I have ever read. It hooked me from the beginning and made me want to read even though my eyes were closing and I had to be up for work at the crack of dawn the next morning. It is one of those mysteries that managed to lead me astray in guessing whodunit and I am looking forward to the next in the Keye street series.
englitchik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I became more interested the further I read, and now I'm anxious for the next book by this author! The heroine really grows on you, and the author's sense of humor and love of animals really comes through in her writing. Very entertaining.
Kevinbw309 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When a women in Georgia is found dead in her home stabbed multiple times with bite marks on her thighs, Lieutenant Aaron Rauser of the Atlanta Police Department calls in his longtime friend, former FBI profiler Keye Street. With the drinking problem that destroyed her career behind her, she's promised to help out when she's not busy with her PI business, Corporate Intelligence & Investigations. When Rauser starts receiving letters from the killer, Keye realizes just what kind of person she's dealing. A knife-wielding sociopath.With multiple crimes in Florida and Georgia being linked to this most recent murder, an isolated incident becomes a serial killer loose in Atlanta. And with clean crimes scenes, APD has no leads. With more murders still to come, Keye and Rauser are about to find out the killer is closer than they think.I have read many mystery books over the years. I have been introduced to many characters, some more likable than others. But none have spoken to me the way Keye Street did. I don't know what it is, but something about Keye makes you want to like her. This book has plenty of suspense and mystery to satisfy even the most demanding reader. And just when you think you've figured it out, another twist presents itself. All the way to the end.This is an amazing debut novel by Amanda Kyle Williams. The Stranger You Seek has suspense, intrigue, comedy, and even a little romance. And although she is relatively unknown, after reading this book, she will become the stranger you seek.This book is not yet available. It will be available to the public August 30th, 2011.
sbenne3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was OK. There were some surprises and the writing style was quick and not overly detailed allowing for an easy read. I had a harder time staying with it in the beginning, but enjoyed the second half more and found myself wanting to finish. However, all in all it was too predictable, the characters were too stereotypical, and the writing was at times forced (it just didn't seem to be happening naturally). Also, I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. There was one key character that I won't name so I don't spoil that I couldn't even remember (kind of made for a disappointment since it was a critical part of the story). I continued to forget who Keye (and really, that name was a difficult one to have to read over and over) really was as a character. When there were references to her Asian heritage I had to stop and remember why that would be right. I also thought the relationship with Rauser was unrealistic (even though I am a sucker for romance and was routing for them). Overall I would say a good beach read, but I probably wouldn't recommend it or buy the next one in the series.
zmagic69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had doubts about this book, because I don't usually connect well eith murder mysteries written by female authors. I find they alway throw in some romance a lot of the time a great deal of the book is not relevant to the story. That being said this book was a welcome surprise. It is hard to believe this is the authors first book, because it lacked many of the flaws that make you not care if the will be a followup. The main character Keye Street, is extremely likable and funny, yet this author does not shy away from being extremely descriptive of the the murders the the twisted mind of the killer in this book. The end of the book was a little predictable, not as it relates to who the killer is, but what isgoing to happen next for Keye. Overall this was an excellent first outing, and I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Darcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Stranger You Seek is Amanda Kyle William's debut and also the first book in her Keye Street series. The writing style and main character have much in common with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. The characters are vivid. The plot moves at a good pace, with just enough twists to keep readers guessing. Throughout the story, Williams sprinkles little nuggets of information about Atlanta, the city in which Keye Street lives. The familiarity made me feel as if I was there in the city with her. This book has the perfect combination of humor, mystery, suspense, a touch of romance and a faulty but tough heroine. I'm looking forward to the next one.
lrkutch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While reading this novel, what came to mind was an intensified Stephanie Plum. The character of Keye Street was very similar to Plum but was more real and less melodramatic. I thought the plot was interesting and kept your attention throughout. There were many twists and turns that kept you guessing. Midway through the book I did not want to put it down and was anxious to see how Williams would wrap up the engaging plot.