I read Cally (CL) Taylor’s Sleep last year and enjoyed the Agatha Christie-esque whodunnit.
In that book Taylor offered us several narrators and she does the same in her newest release, Strangers.
I loved the way Taylor introduces each of the three lead characters as we slowly and steadily build a relationship with each. She offers up a circular plot structure; so we start at (or near) the end before going back in time as the story unfolds from the viewpoints of the three leads in the previous week.
by C.L. Taylor
Published by Avon, avon books uk
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 9780008222468, 9780008221072
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.
Our leads are all likeable. They’ve got flaws and baggage, so they felt very real. Their paths cross early in the book, but only superficially, so we’re left to wonder how they eventually intersect. Quite frankly all three are having a very bad week when we meet them so there’s potentially a bit of a Bermuda triangle type scenario looming.
I also liked the support cast and our leads’ relationships with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
I particularly enjoyed the fact Taylor keeps us in the dark about so much as the novel progresses. We’re unsure if there’s something malevolent at play, let alone who or why. There’s talk (well, Tweets) in the background about a series of deaths, but we don’t know how that relates to any of our characters or if it’s even relevant to the plot.
And she definitely keeps us guessing until the end. There are a lot of unanswered questions as we head into the final scenes. There’s a sense of menace which is unsettling and we’re not sure who to trust, though the bits and pieces fall into place in the lead up to the climax.
I should mention I also appreciated that Taylor offers closure here, but no happily ever after.
I talked about uneven pacing in Sleep, but here the action keeps coming. It’s not a long book and I easily read it in one intrigued sitting.
Strangers by CL Taylor was published in Australia by Harper Collins and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.