A Stranger in the House
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3.65 / 5

"A Stranger in the House" Characters Analysis

By Shari Lapena

thriller | 305 pages | Published in NaN

In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A domestic thriller packed full of secrets, and a twisty story that never stops—from the bestselling author of The Couple Next DoorHe looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good. Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions.Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

ISBN_13:9780735221123

Estimated read time: 8 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

In the thrilling novel "A Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena, several intriguing characters come to life, each playing a crucial role in the development of the story. This character analysis will delve into the key characters, their roles, descriptions, traits, backgrounds, character arcs, and relationships, providing a comprehensive understanding of their significance within the narrative.

List of Characters

CharacterRole
Karen KruppProtagonist
Tom KruppKaren's husband
Brigid CruikshankDetective
Bob and SheilaNeighbors
Patrick and MiaKaren's friends

Role Identification

Karen Krupp

Karen Krupp serves as the protagonist of the story. She becomes entangled in a web of mystery and deception when she finds herself involved in a hit-and-run accident and suffers from amnesia.

Tom Krupp

Tom Krupp is Karen's husband, who becomes suspicious of her actions after the accident. He struggles to uncover the truth about his wife's amnesia and the events surrounding the accident.

Brigid Cruikshank

Brigid Cruikshank is a detective assigned to investigate the hit-and-run accident involving Karen. She plays a crucial role in unraveling the truth and determining Karen's involvement.

Bob and Sheila

Bob and Sheila are Karen's next-door neighbors. They become suspicious of Karen's behavior following the accident and play a minor but significant role in the overall plot.

Patrick and Mia

Patrick and Mia are Karen's close friends who offer support during her amnesia and subsequent investigation. They provide insight into Karen's background and contribute to the development of the story.

Character Descriptions

Karen Krupp

Karen Krupp is a middle-aged woman with a petite frame and a somewhat delicate appearance. She has short, blonde hair and typically dresses in a conservative manner. Before the accident, she appeared to be a content and happy housewife.

Tom Krupp

Tom Krupp is a tall and well-built man in his late thirties. He has a serious demeanor and often appears tense and worried. He takes pride in his work and is determined to protect his wife and uncover the truth.

Brigid Cruikshank

Brigid Cruikshank is a seasoned detective in her early forties. She has a no-nonsense attitude and a sharp intellect. Her experience in solving criminal cases is evident in her confident demeanor and meticulous investigative techniques.

Bob and Sheila

Bob and Sheila are an elderly couple living next door to Karen and Tom Krupp. Bob is a retired accountant with a friendly disposition, while Sheila is a retired schoolteacher known for her curiosity and attention to detail.

Patrick and Mia

Patrick and Mia are a couple in their early forties and close friends of Karen and Tom Krupp. Patrick is a successful businessman, while Mia works as a freelance writer. They are supportive and caring friends who provide stability and guidance to Karen during her ordeal.

Character Traits

Karen Krupp

Karen is initially portrayed as a loving and devoted wife. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that she has secrets and a complex past. She is determined and resourceful, using her wit and intelligence to navigate through her amnesia and the subsequent investigation.

Tom Krupp

Tom is a protective and loyal husband who becomes increasingly suspicious of Karen's behavior following the accident. He is persistent and relentless in his pursuit of the truth, willing to unravel the darkest secrets to protect his wife.

Brigid Cruikshank

Brigid is a tenacious and astute detective. She possesses a keen eye for detail and is unafraid to challenge assumptions or follow unconventional leads. Her dedication to uncovering the truth is unwavering, making her a formidable force in the investigation.

Bob and Sheila

Bob and Sheila are observant and inquisitive neighbors. They are known for their nosiness, but their genuine concern for Karen's well-being leads them to uncover vital clues that contribute to the resolution of the mystery.

Patrick and Mia

Patrick and Mia are supportive and understanding friends. They provide emotional stability and a safe space for Karen to confide in. Patrick's business acumen and Mia's intuition prove to be valuable assets in assisting Karen and Tom throughout the investigation.

Character Background

Karen Krupp

Karen Krupp grew up in a small town with a troubled childhood. She moved away to start a new life, leaving her past behind. She met Tom, fell in love, and married him, hoping to build a stable and happy life together.

Tom Krupp

Tom Krupp comes from a middle-class family and has always been driven by success. He met Karen during his college years and was immediately drawn to her warmth and kindness. Tom's determination to provide a secure future for Karen is evident in his dedication to his work.

Brigid Cruikshank

Brigid Cruikshank has a long history in law enforcement. She has solved several high-profile cases, earning her a reputation for being relentless and thorough. Her background in criminal investigations equips her with the skills necessary to navigate complex situations effectively.

Bob and Sheila

Bob and Sheila are retired professionals who have lived in the neighborhood for many years. They enjoy being involved in the community and have developed a reputation for being vigilant and helpful. Their years of experience have honed their ability to observe and analyze situations.

Patrick and Mia

Patrick and Mia are successful professionals who have known Karen and Tom for many years. Patrick's business endeavors have provided financial stability, while Mia's writing career offers flexibility. Their friendship with Karen and Tom is founded on trust and shared experiences.

Character Arcs

Karen Krupp

Karen's character arc revolves around her journey of self-discovery and the unearthing of her past. As she battles amnesia and faces the consequences of her actions, she evolves from a seemingly innocent and content housewife to a resilient woman determined to confront her past mistakes.

Tom Krupp

Tom's character arc is centered on his transformation from a trusting and devoted husband to a suspicious and determined investigator. He undergoes a significant shift as he questions his wife's actions and confronts uncomfortable truths, ultimately striving to protect their relationship and uncover the truth.

Brigid Cruikshank

Brigid's character arc focuses on her pursuit of justice and the gradual unraveling of the mystery surrounding Karen's amnesia. She faces obstacles and setbacks but remains steadfast in her dedication to solving the case, ultimately bringing closure to the investigation.

Bob and Sheila

Bob and Sheila's character arcs are relatively minor but significant in their role as the observant and curious neighbors. As they uncover information related to Karen's past, they experience personal growth and find themselves entangled in the web of mystery.

Patrick and Mia

Patrick and Mia's character arcs revolve around their unwavering support for Karen and Tom. They provide emotional stability and guidance throughout the investigation, offering a perspective that allows Karen to confront her past and make amends.

Relationships

Karen and Tom Krupp

Karen and Tom's relationship undergoes a significant strain as Karen's amnesia and suspicious behavior create doubt and suspicion. However, their love and commitment to each other are tested as they work together to uncover the truth and rebuild trust.

Karen and Brigid Cruikshank

Karen's relationship with Brigid initially revolves around suspicion and mistrust. However, as Brigid delves deeper into the investigation, she develops empathy for Karen's situation and becomes an ally in her search for the truth.

Karen and Bob/Sheila

Karen's relationship with Bob and Sheila begins as friendly neighbors but becomes complicated as they uncover Karen's past secrets. They become crucial allies in the investigation, assisting Karen and Tom in their search for answers.

Karen and Patrick/Mia

Karen's relationship with Patrick and Mia is built on a strong foundation of trust and shared experiences. They provide unwavering support and guidance throughout Karen's journey, offering a safe space for her to confront her past.

In "A Stranger in the House," Shari Lapena skillfully crafts a web of intriguing characters, each contributing to the intricate plot. Through their roles, descriptions, traits, backgrounds, character arcs, and relationships, Lapena creates a suspenseful and engaging narrative that keeps readers captivated until the very end.