Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on The Other People, the latest mystery thriller from CJ Tudor. I really love her books and have been looking forward to reading this for a while. Before I share my thoughts on the book, here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window.
She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’
It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.
He never sees her again.
Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.
Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.
Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up with her and Alice . . .
You know that feeling when you pick up a book and you just know that you are going to love it? that was how I felt when I dipped into the first chapter of The Other People by CJ Tudor. I really am a fan of the author’s work, it’s always exactly the kind of book I love to read, but I have to say that I think this is my favourite one yet.
This is a dual narrative story, half of the book focused on Gabe, a man adamant that he had seen his daughter in the back of a strange car and who devotes his life to trying to track her down, even though everyone would have him believe she is dead. And, to be fair, there is overwhelming evidence that this could be true, every reason to doubt what Gabe thinks he saw. On the other hand we have Fran, a woman on the run, trying hard to protect her own daughter. But as to what she is on the run from and how these two stories tie together … Well that’s where this book becomes very very clever.
I don’t want to say too much about the story as to do so would give too much away. But it is a kind of six degrees of separation kind of tale of the most thrilling and heart stopping kind. CJ Tudor has infused this book with . such tension, such compelling narrative, that you really don’t need to work hard to suspend disbelief and let yourself be carried away by the tale that evolves in front of you.
I really felt for Gabe, for the broken man that he becomes and the way in which he feels haunted by his loss. But underneath it all there is a determination, a focus which endeared him to me and I wanted to see him come good. His relentless trawl up and down the motorway in search of clues feels both futile and heart-wrenching. He is not billed as the perfect man, and the more you read on the more you see the fractures that were spreading through his marriage and the surprising truth about his past. He is human, he has made mistakes and paid possibly the heaviest price as a result. But he is likeable. I was instantly drawn to him as a character.
Fran is an altogether different matter. You get the sense there is something hidden about her, and not just because she is running away. There is a tension in all that she does that adds to the dramatic feel of the scenes she features in. You know she is hiding the mother of all secrets and yet she remains one hundred percent focused on protecting her daughter, so despite a certain lack of trust, I did warm to her too.
CJ Tudor’s stories are always infused with a sense of the supernatural or the spiritual, and this is no exception, although far less so obviously than the previous two novels. In this book the threat is far more human, and has a far darker feel as the basic premise is entirely possible. This is a book about the lengths, both good and bad, that someone will go to for family. There is an underlying tension, an atmosphere that comes from knowing the danger can been seen and felt quite clearly.
If you love CJ Tudor’s books I am sure you will love this. Laced with mystery, suspense and heart pounding moments of action and intensity, it had me completely taken from the very first page.
And yes – it gets one of these as I’m certain it’s going to be another great success.
About the Author
C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.
Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.
Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.