What happens when the darkest secrets of your life hit you sharp and from someone, you don’t even know; it turns your life upside down. Netflix’s latest presentation- The Stranger, is all about that. The newest addition on Netflix, a miniseries is a Danny Brocklehurst adaption of Harlan Coben’s bestselling novel from 2015 of the same name.
The eight-episodes thriller miniseries that began streaming on Netflix from 30th January, is full of suspense delves into betrayal, disappearance, blackmail, and murder. Though the book was set in New Jersey, the series is based in Manchester, England. The protagonist, Adam Price played by Richard Armitage, has a wholesome happy life, enviable to many, with his smart and gorgeous wife, Corinne played by Dervla Kirwan, two bright sons, a good job and a lavish lifestyle. He was happy and content until one day when he met someone, he didn’t expect or anticipate- ‘The Stranger.’
Adam attends a football match, ‘Dads & Lads,’ as Corinne is out of town for some work, when a mysterious young woman (Hannah John-Kamen), wearing a baseball cap, bumps into him at a bar, and reveals that Corinne’s miscarriage from two years ago was a fabricated story on her part. She suggests him to run a paternity test on his sons. Revealing the secret, the woman speeds off, telling him to call her ‘The Stranger.’
With Corinne gone and the growing suspicions from the words of the unknown woman, Adam does some checking only to find things that cemented stranger’s words and grew his suspicions. He discovered a credit card payment to a website where the equipment needed to fake a pregnancy – false-positive test kits, counterfeit ultrasound photos, Latex bellies – is sold. Seeing his world going topsy-turvy, Adam confronts Corinne upon her return. But to his dismay, she neither denies nor explains, asking time to explain as she affirms that there is more to what Adam knows, she too vanishes, leaving boys in the care of Adam.
In the meanwhile, a parallel plot develops which at first gives an undertone of supernatural element but it soon fades off to give something procedural. A boy from the school is found injured in the woods in naked state, and DS Johanna Griffin (Siobhan Finneran) and his sidekick, Wes (Kadiff Kirwan), are investigating the case along with the case of a dead alpaca.
For an eight-hours-long series, the story has sufficient drama and thrill to keep it going. There are several unanswered riddles with high suspense quotient to keep the drama going. The Stranger is a curious beast that will compel you to propel at a speed through the entire thing together. The cast does remarkable work in being mysterious that they are supposed to be and convincing enough to let people believe that they harbour dark secrets, which when unraveled will bring storm in someone’s life.
The Stranger is addictive till the very end even if it makes you question certain aspects.