Strangers by C.L. Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phew, what an incredible journey. A winner through and through and I really, really wanna see this as a movie.

“But anyone who takes the trouble to follow its route, whether by boat or on foot, cannot help being aware that, furlong by furlong, singleness of direction is not its most obvious feature. En route the river does not seem particularly intent on reaching its destination. Instead it winds its way.”

Words from Diane Setterfield’s Once Upon A River that reverberated in my mind as I was reading The Strangers. Like a river that takes its own trajectory, 3 stranger’s lives follows the myriad complexities of life but brilliantly collide in an unexpected fashion. There is also the interesting fact that amongst all the psychological thrillers out there that has a known antagonist, this riveting and compelling thriller focuses on an unseen stalker.

Alice, Ursula and Gareth are unaware of the impending collision that is gonna change the course of their life. Each of them has problems to be faced and the general mish mash of life that needs to sorted. C L Taylor succeeds magnificently in making each of these characters interesting and giving each part of the story an element of mystery that makes the reader sit up and grip the book, in my case the kindle, with white-knuckled hands.

But it was just not the intrigue that kept me glued to the Strangers, it was also the variety of topics that the author manages to convey; love, loss of a loved one, what grief can do to you, Kleptomania, domestic abuse, the repercussion of senseless jokes at another’s expense, and specifically loneliness.

Along with these 3 main protagonists, the shopping centre Meads becomes another central point in the story and if you are not already goggle eyed by the convergence of the tributaries, then there’s a small thrilling sub plot about the Harborside Murderer which is revealed thru twitter chats that left me with WHAT, WHAT??? Where did that come from??

Can’t recommend it enough! Definite favorite of this year!

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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. novel will keep you guessing until the end.

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