Page Count 400
Publication date April 2020/ Publisher Avon
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.
Strangers is told in third person from three POVs. Alice- the shop manager, Ursula the klepto courier and Gareth the security guard. Each one dealing with their own mystery; Who is stalking Alice? Where is Gareth’s parent? What is Ursula’s house mate hiding? The entire novel is filled with many questions but these I felt were the three main events.
I found Alice unbelievably irritating, she talks a lot about not wanting to seem desperate but honestly I’ve never read a more clingy character. She was obsessive and weak, I cringed at her behaviour all the way through the novel.
I was most invested in Ursula. She was just so real! All she needs is a bit of help and kindness but her appearance leads others to ignore her. Everything about her screams out for pity yet she only receives derision from those around her. Even with her theft addiction I thought she was the most pure, decent soul of them all!
Her story line was definitely my favourite and the most intriguing.
Gareth is a loveable character. A salt of the earth, simple pleasures kind of guy that deserves a little love and attention but is held back by the responsibility of his ill mother.
Maybe it’s because I’m local to Cally that I find her work to be so realistic. The way she ties every day life into thrilling mysteries makes it all so much more feasible. I whip through her novels at speed, they are easy to read and unfold in my imagination like a BBC drama- I’m right there watching from the sidelines.
There is one subplot in Strangers that was neatly tied up at the end which I felt could easily have been left out. It pops up throughout the story line but doesn’t really add anything to the novel. The explanation in the epilogue fell a bit flat and for me there was enough action in other areas to negate it completely. Aside from this I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Strangers is a heartfelt story of loneliness and consequences in the lives of the Bristol working class with twists and turns to keep the reader hooked.