Williams seems to effortlessly be able to write engaging multi-threaded hardboiled mysteries and balance a deeply examined psychological plot with a light hearted banter and complex, very human characters. She has shaken up the perfect cocktail of police procedural, hardboiled detective story, noir-ish villains, and thoroughly modern and oh so original stories.
The tension buzzes like cicadas on a hot Georgia night and the pace is relentless. It all makes for thrilling explosive action to rival a 4th of July fireworks display.
Where the first novel had the added attraction of a sexual tension as Rauser and Street came together romantically, Stranger replaces that with Keye’s struggles against her addictions and the psychological scars that delving so deeply into the gruesome results of greed and obsession; of deranged killers, and the marks these leave on her psyche. This ability to shift the tension to another level shows a maturity in not just the authors writing ability but the ability to grow the depth of her character. Keye Street is no one trick pony and certainly no one hit wonder.
Williams was recognized as joining the front of the pack with Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell in the ranks of female detective thriller writers. With Stranger in the Room she is ready to drop the gender qualification and run with the big boys to the the top of the best seller lists. Her sense of place will make you salivate for some downhome cooking and her dialog is some of the best in the craft.
A perfect balance of a hard exterior and a miles deep introspective personality mark Keye Street as one of the most well developed protagonists in the genre since Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. There is simply not a single weakness in William's writing. Not a one.