Thrillers – crime, police procedural, psychological etc. seem to be the genre to read at the moment with a plethora of authors available. With so much to choose from, that can make trying to pick my next read quite difficult. This time, the choice was made for me as I was sent a copy of C.L. Taylor’s Strangers.
I first read The Missing by C. L. Taylor in 2018, and whilst it was a good story I wasn’t overwhelmed. This was followed by Sleep in 2019, which I found to absolutely brilliant. Now for 2020 is Strangers, and in my opinion, this is the best yet!
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.
Strangers is a psychological thriller featuring three main characters who have never met before, but they have to come together one night to save a life, and possibly their own in the process.
Strangers follows the lives of Ursula, Gareth and Alice who are complete strangers, their only connection is a shopping centre and their loneliness. So, the book is effectively three stories following their lives and the problems they are facing. These “stories” are interwoven with each other until they all combine towards the end where they have to work together to conclude the story.
- Ursula, a 32-year-old courier, believes she was responsible for the death of her partner. She is still in mourning and this causes her to descend into a destructive downward spiral, developing a taste for shoplifting.
- Gareth, a 48-year-old shopping centre security supervisor, is single and lives at home with his mother who has dementia. She starts to receive strange postcards.
- Alice, a 46-year-old shop manager and single mother. She is trying to be more assertive and is dipping her toe into internet dating but soon realises she is being stalked.
It is a very well-written thriller, and the characters are really interesting. They are all very different with their own issues but have been written so well that you feel for them and they feel very real. Their lives are slowly revealed and built-up throughout the book, creating a nice bond with them. The story progresses at nice pace, not too slow or fast.
I did have one small niggle with the book – there was a subplot regarding the “Harbourside Killer” which mas mentioned through a series of tweets. These didn’t seem to fit in with the story and didn’t really add anything to it (or take anything away). For me, it was unnecessary and could have been left out, but it didn’t ruin the enjoyment of the story as the tweets were a very tiny proportion of the story.
Overall, Strangers is an explosive story that pulls you in right from the start and absorbs all your free time. It is a gripping piece of work, bringing the stories of three strangers together and weaving them together in a superb way, concluding in a thrilling ending, all tied up very nicely. A dark thriller with the right amount of twists, turns and tension to keep you guessing and interested.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £7.99 (Paperback) / £0.99 (Kindle)