Strangers by CL Taylor

Read it over a couple of days… With a newborn… Definitely 5 stars!

I didn’t get much reading done in Nov/Dec, but when CL Taylor put on Instagram that her new book Strangers was on NetGalley I hightailed it on over there and got my hands on it! 🙂

So with 3am feeds and sleepless nights, I got this one done in about 4 days – after a massive reading slump! That is how good it is.

I would say that this one is better than the last. I really liked Sleep, but Strangers was just crazy good.

It is written in much the same way as Sleep, in that we hear from different people’s perspectives and it is written from the POV of three main characters. We have Alice, Gareth and Ursula.

Alice is a single parent with a twenty something daughter who lives at home with her. She is unlucky in love and trying her hand at internet dating when we meet her. When she has a bad experience with a man she arranged to go on a date with, she meets Simon and her life turns upside down.

Gareth is a security guard at the Meads, a fictional shopping centre, in Bristol. He is over 50 and lives at home with his dementia stricken mum. He feels that his life is going nowhere and doesn’t feel fulfilled in his role at home or work. Although harbouring a slight crush on the next door neighbour, he doesn’t have a love life and to top it all off, his dad disappeared twenty years ago, which sits heavily on him and influences much of his thought processes.

Ursula is an odd one. She is a delivery driver who is having problems with her job, her housing and her propensity to steal things. She shop lifts and steals things from her housemates. This leads to her being kicked out and having to move in to a house share with a stranger she is not completely comfortable with, called Edward.

Ursula shop lifts from the fashion shop Alice works at, in the shopping centre Gareth does security for. That is how they all connect.

The story starts with a dead body, so we know it is going to be good from the off. I would recommend this one to anyone who likes a good murder mystery, a puzzle to solve and a complex character dynamic. CL Taylor write with suspense and intrigue and you won’t want to put this down!

I love the way Taylor writes with confidence. It isn’t forced and is easy to read. The story progresses smoothly, and the transition between the viewpoints is seamless rather than stilted, as with some multiple POV books I’ve read.

I would recommend this to new and existing fans of CL Tayor, and also fans of the genre in general.

Thanks NetGalley for this title, and also the author for another cracking read!