Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest thriller from C.L. Taylor, Strangers. If you love a thrilling, tense and suspenseful read then you will love this book. A big thank you to publisher Avon Books for provided the arc and some much needed light relief. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books | Hive
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.
Oh I do love getting my hands on a book by C.L. Taylor. You are always guaranteed and absolutely cracking read and Strangers, her very latest thriller, is no exception. It reeled me in from the off with three very different, very intriguing characters whose lives connect in a very original way.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot of the story other than that Alice is the manager of Ursula’s favourite boutique in a shopping centre in Bristol. although they are very aware of each other, they do not know each other and it takes a set of very exceptional, very dark and very surprising circumstances to bring them into each other’s worlds. Gareth is a security guard and the centre and finds himself caught up in the middle of a police investigation that he doesn’t want to be a part of.
What I loved about this book is that the author has taken such diverse characters, each having a moment to shine in terms of telling their story, but each with such a unique voice and story that even having the three narrative threads did not become confusing at all. The are all people we can identify with in a way. All three are battling their own complicated lives and their own anxieties and problems, from internet dating to missing parents to serious personal loss. I felt empathy for each of them in turn, and could understand their actions, even if not able to condone some of them.
It is Alice’s life which appears to be the most complicated, and which is really the crux of the story. Just as she believes she has met the perfect man, something happens to scupper her new found happiness, something that puts her in grave danger. But as to where that danger is coming from, you have to read to find out. There are many supporting characters, some more likeable than others, some plain strange or disturbing to be fair, but the author has woven them into the story perfectly. IN isolation their actions may seem out of place, or unfair. Collectively, they make for one hell of tense and unnerving read.
Now you can feel the tension, that sense of apprehension slowly building from the very beginning of the book. Perhaps it it is the odd behaviour of some of the characters that drives that sense of impending dread, but whatever it is, it works. The pacing is perfect, with the action changing perspectives just at the right moment to leave readers on tenterhooks. As we move towards a fairly dramatic showdown, you can feel the pace and the sense of urgency kicking up a notch, all building to a totally satisfying conclusion.
It all goes to show that the strangest of friendships can be forged from the most unusual of situations. And then that ending … I know one thing. I am never shopping in a Bristol mall again! Top read and most definitely recommended.
About the Author
C.L. Taylor is an award winning Sunday Times bestselling author of seven gripping psychological thrillers including SLEEP, a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for autumn 2019.
She has also written two Young Adult thrillers, THE TREATMENT, which was published by HarperCollins HQ and THE ISLAND, which will be published in January 2021.
C.L. Taylor’s books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into over 25 languages and optioned for TV.
SLEEP won the ‘best ebook’ award in the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards. THE ESCAPE won the Dead Good Books ‘Hidden Depths’ award for the Most Unreliable Narrator. THE FEAR was shortlisted in the Hearst Big Book Awards in the ‘Pageturner’ category.
Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014. She lives in Bristol with her partner and son.
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