‘Three strangers stand around a dead body.
They had to do it.
[ About the Book ]
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.
[ My Review ]
Strangers by CL Taylor was published with Avon April 2nd. C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of six gripping stand-alone psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING, THE ESCAPE, THE FEAR and SLEEP. Strangers is described as ‘a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.
Strangers is very much a novel about the characters. Yes there is a crime. Yes there is a shocking opening chapter with a dead body. But, it is very much the story of three people, how their paths intertwine and how they all became involved in the death of an individual.
Ursula, Alice and Gareth are all just trying to survive.
Ursula is grieving the tragic loss of the love of her life. Unable to cope with the darkness, Ursula resorts to stealing. Life has spiraled out of control for her in most areas of her life. Taking small items that are not hers, from her flatmates, from shops, from strangers, gives her back some small sense of control. Ursula has lost her job as a teacher and is now a courier. When she arrives home one day, she is faced with an ultimatum. Her bags and belongings have all been packed up and she is asked to leave her shared accommodation. Her flatmates have discovered her kleptomaniac tendencies and want her gone. Ursula, distraught and panicked, quickly searches for another place to stay. She soon finds a place and, although a very curious and sinister landlord, Ursula is desperate to have a roof over head and pays a deposit.
Alice is a single mother struggling to keep her head above water. She works in a boutique in a shopping mall day in day out but her life has stalled. Her days all blur into one. Alice lives with her daughter, a young woman struggling with her own relationship. Alice watches on from a distance, but there is little she can do. She does make the decision though to go on a date herself, with the hope that it might help her step out of the rut she is in.
Gareth is a security guard in a shopping mall. His life is not what he had hoped for. He is lonely and has lost his way in the world. Living with his mother, who has onset dementia, is causing him great concern. His father disappeared many years ago and Gareth has always felt cheated. He grew up without his father’s love and guidance, leaving Gareth embittered and dejected. He loves his mother but is struggling to keep the momentum going, to keep himself afloat. When his mother starts to receive postcards, Gareth is concerned. Who is sending them and why?
The lives of Ursula, Alice and Gareth become linked together in the most bizarre manner as unusual events take place over a very short period of time, leading to a very shocking finale.
I liked Ursula’s character best, although, some of her behaviour was a little too impetuous for me. Her story was well fleshed out as the story expanded and I did feel a lot of sympathy for her and how her circumstances transpired.
Strangers is very much a domestic thriller but was not quite what I had expected. I have mixed feelings about the plot-line if I’m honest. What CL Taylor does handle very well are the personal relationships and the societal themes. The three main characters in this story are all struggling through their lives for various reasons. They are all in limbo in their existence. Something needed to change but I expect they all got a little bit more than what they had bargained for. An interesting tale but unfortunately not as gripping as I had hoped for.
[ Bio ]
C.L. Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her psychological thrillers have sold over a million copies in the UK alone, been translated into over twenty languages, and optioned for television.
Her 2019 novel, Sleep, was a Richard and Judy pick.
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son.
Website ~ https://cltaylorauthor.com/
Twitter ~ @callytaylor