Three strangers….. their lives are about to collide in a big way!
What is Strangers about?
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.
Alice decides to get herself ‘out there’, back into the world of dating after her painful divorce a few years earlier. She doesn’t realise that this date will ultimately set her down a catastrophic path….one that potentially results in a deadly encounter with a stalker.
Gareth is a security guard at a mall….coincidentally the same mall where Alice works. He lives with his mother, who has dementia. One day, strange postcards start arriving and Gareth wants to get to the bottom of who is sending them and why.
Lastly we have Ursula….she lost her fiance in tragic circumstances and blames herself. She’s also a bit of a kleptomaniac, that gets her into a lot of trouble…..even homelessness.
Strangers starts pretty much the same that Sleep did, where a frantic close-to-the-end-of-the-book scene is the opening chapter. I always enjoy that sort of start, because it gives you a clue as to where the story is ultimately headed. Who doesn’t love a little sneak peek?
The narrative jumps around between the 3 lead characters and also chapters dedicated to conversations on Twitter. The author introduces a bit of social media into the book, by means of these twitter threads. These threads are discussing random missing men and alluding to a possible serial killer. I’ll be honest, as you’re reading, you really have NO idea what this conversation has to do with the book and the story being told.
Slow Burn Alert
I would definitely characterise Strangers as a bit of a slow burn. During the first 3 quarters of the the book, I felt little to no suspense or tension, except w.r.t Ursula and her situation. Ursula to me actually was the most interesting of all the characters. I couldn’t understand Alice’s attachment to the character in her story…..it seemed too sudden and irrational. However, the last quarter of the book really kicked into high gear and I found myself turning the pages at an alarming rate.
Strangers is a slow burning psychological thriller, where 3 seperate stories collide to give you a nail biting ending. There’s also a delicious little surprise at the end that I did not see coming! Strangers has a 4.04 out of 5 star rating on Goodreads and I am inclined to agree with that and I rate it at 3.8 stars out of 5.
I enjoy CL Taylor’s captivating writing style and the atmosphere she creates in her books. I still remember the stench of the body in Sleep….that’s how good she is. This one was a better read than Sleep I felt, and despite wondering what the diggins was happening, the ending was all worth it. Also, I love that she always includes Book Club questions at the end of her books.