The Stranger by Steve Stred Book Review

Camping brings horrible memories to my mind of sleeping on the ground and listening to our friends hollar at each other all night long but those woes are nothing compared to what happens to this family on their annual camping trip . . .

The Stranger by Steve Stred

Released June 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Received for Review Consideration
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?

Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.

Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?

But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.

While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.

The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.

The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.

Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.



Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.

But what if it’s not…

What if there is something out there?

The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”

With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.

Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (, The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.

Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…



The Stranger. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

Malcolm and his family are taking their annual camping trip a bit late this season and instead of being met by the usual management, a tall, skinny man is there instead and he utters ominous warnings about avoiding road closures and animals and “other” things hungry for food. As if that weren’t enough, their neighbor is a stranger who refuses proper introductions and rubs Malcolm the wrong way because he’s rude and because the man is Native American. Then there’s the giant black wolf that parks himself on the deck and sneers at Malcolm . . .

Umm Malcolm, I have a newsflash for you. These are SIGNS and signs should not be ignored! Turn around and drag your innocent family back home.

Malcolm is arrogant and stupid and he does NOT listen to me or anyone else and by the middle of the story (or probably sooner) I had absolutely zero sympathy for him. He is a thoroughly nasty man filled with hate and awful thoughts. His family members are all nice people and he absolutely did not deserve them and I do not understand how they put up with him. I’d rather live with a werewolf than a man like that. At least I could throw some meat at the wolf to shut him up when he annoyed me.

When the gruesome and terrible things began to occur I went from actively disliking Malcolm to thoroughly despising Malcolm for his careless stupidity towards his family. Ugh, this guy. Anyhow, he is one guy you can enjoy watching suffer without getting a case of the guilts so if you’re in the mood for that you will love this story! Take it camping with you. I dare you, haha! I only say that because I will never go camping of my own free will ever again.

There are many disturbing things about this book besides Malcolm and it’s a good choice for a quick read if you’re into an eerie, secluded in the woods tale where terror lurks around every corner. 

4 out of 5


  1. You know, it's a wonder anyone survives camping. After all I've read and heard as an adult now, my parents couldn't drag me into the woods if I was a kid. We did go camping when I was young but never now. After reading your first paragraph of your review I just KNEW I would hate Malcolm. Glad you confirmed my suspicions. I might give this one a go though because I think I want horrible things to happen to him!

    1. Whoever thought camping was a "vacation"? That person needs a talking to :)

      It was great fun reading the end of this one!

  2. What is it about camping trips and horror that just seem to go so well together? ;D

  3. That sounds very creepy. I will only go camping is we rent a cabin with working indoor plumbing. lol

  4. yep, let's go camping. LOL my idea of camping is a hotel with room service. i do love the dark side of things and watching someone worthless human being suffer, so this could be a good one for me. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. I love camping stories. You know bad things are going to happen. LOL I have this to read and just finished his book, Invisible. That was wicked!

    1. Ooh, I haven't read that one. I'll have to check it out.

  6. I haven't tried this author yet but I do plan to at some point. When will people learn not to go camping...*giggles*

  7. Adding this to my TBR immediately!! That COVER is so spooky!


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