Book Review: A Stranger Like You

Although marketed as a thriller, this compelling, unvarnished portrayal of Hollywood is actually a deep, thoughtful study as it delves deep into the psychology of the main characters. After would-be screenwriter Hugh Waters latest work is rejected by Hollywood producer Hedda Chase, he leaves his New Jersey home with the goal of changing her mind by forcing Hedda to experience first-hand, his violent story. Hugh tracked down Hedda’s residence then set about drugging and kidnapping the producer, leaving her stuffed into the trunk of her BMW abandoned in an LAX parking lot. As Hedda desperately clings to life, Hugh abandons his job, wife and old life and blithely begins forging a new identity in L.A.

As the story unfolds, this intense tale is less about Hedda’s harrowing ordeal and more about the Iraq war and the toll it takes on conflicting cultures as unlikely heroes emerge just when they are needed most. Brundage’s character development is superb as readers are drawn deep into each ones psyches revealing the reasons behind why they react the way they do.

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