Publisher: Avon Books UK
Plot: Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.
Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.
None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.
The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.
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I received Strangers from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
C.L Taylor is a name I’ve seen come up a lot but I’d never read her books myself. When I saw her latest, Strangers, turn up on Netgalley, it seemed a good place to start.
Strangers is a thriller, drawing together three independent characters in ways you can’t predict. Each have their own story to tell and for the majority of the book, each plot-arc is an isolated event. You get the sense the entire way through that the characters are going to collide, but there are no clear connections helping you guess how.
Alice has never been lucky in love. When she meets a new man and clicks with him, she thinks she stands a chance. But there’s a stalker thrown into the mix, although it’s uncertain who the target is and what this person wants. Alice must learn whether she can let go of a budding romance when there is no trust or whether her need to get to the bottom of it will place her in more jeopardy.
She doesn’t like the fact that someone is pulling the strings of her life. She’s going to find out who they are and take back control.
Ursula hasn’t had an easy time since her fiancée was murdered. Stealing is the only thing that eases the pain but fractures her remaining relationships, forcing her to take a room with a stranger to have somewhere to live. Her good heart encourages her to help those in need, but at the risk of making everything far worse.
Gareth is struggling: his mother has advancing Alzheimer’s and his missing father keeps appearing, despite everyone believing he is dead. Gareth is struggling to hold it together and keep his job and when his mother disappears, it pushes him over the edge. Helped by his neighbour, Gareth races against time to find his mother.
Three independent story-arcs. Three very different types of characters. All are likeable; all have their flaws. Alice struggles with being independent, needing someone to rely on rather than making her own decisions. Ursula has a more obvious issue of being unable to stop herself from stealing. Gareth is floundering, not knowing the best thing to do.
All the stories are interesting, but there’s no spark. When events start to pull them together, however, the entire atmosphere of the book changes. Mysteries are unravelled that I never saw coming and the characters crash into each other in an explosive way.
While the pacing and tension is low-mid level for most of the book, it’s through the roof for the final third. It’s been a while since I’ve literally not been able to put a book down and this one did it: I was gripped, desperate to find out how the situation would be revealed and if all the characters would survive. A thoroughly engaging and intense novel and I loved it.
Just when you think everything has calmed down, there’s one final plot twist at the end that finished the entire thing of in a satisfying and brilliant way.
I may never have read C.L Taylor before, but you can be sure I will now! Definitely a recommendation!
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