Charlie’s life gets turned upside down when she discovers her husband, Oliver, on a dating app on a girl’s night out. Unwilling to believe her husband could be unfaithful, Charlie digs deeper, becoming suspicious of his friends, his work and his overseas trips.
But the deeper Charlie digs, the more danger she puts herself in. In a search for the truth, she finds far more than she was bargaining for.
Pip Drysdale’s novel, ‘The Strangers We Know’ is narrated in the first person, as Charlie. I find that writing in the first person can be slightly risky, as the story can become jumbled.
Drysdale does do an alright job writing in the first person, although I found the plot line jumps a little bit, as sometimes you’re in the moment, and then ‘Charlie’ will say things like:
‘And that should have been it: rock bottom. A cheating husband and broken dreams. Fair is fair. But no. Life was just getting warmed up.’
For me, it created an air of disorientation, and broke the suspense I was feeling beforehand.
Regardless, the plot itself was quite dramatic and had many twists and turns, which would keep any reader on their toes, no matter the perspective or tense. Everyone is a suspect, and no one is immune to Charlie’s scrutiny.
I can’t say much more without giving away all of the juicy details, so I’ll leave it at that.
Luke Hollander was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest, 20 years ago in the town of Edgewater. And his half-sister, Rachael, has been living with the guilt of it ever since.
What was meant to be a silly teenage game, turned deadly in a heartbeat, and Rachael still doesn’t know who replaced her soft pellet gun for a real one.
Rachael continues to blame herself for shooting Luke, and regardless of the relationships her guilt erodes, she can’t seem to move on and forget the horrors of that night. And judging by the whispers of everyone else in Edgewater, they haven’t forgotten either.
Paranoid, by Lisa Jackson, was a quick and easy read. Her writing flows well and leaves the reader wanting more. Jackson writes a compelling mystery – giving the reader enough of the past and present tense to keep up the guess-game, right to the very last page.
I was actually one of the many readers who seemed to think everything was all tied up, I knew who the culprit was and the story was done – when the last piece of the puzzle came along and whacked me in my silly, proud face.
My only qualm was that the shock ‘twist’ happened so late in the book, I felt I had already had closure and was ready to move on to a new book. Although there were a couple of telling clues, there probably could have been a few more, in order to make the ending seem more ‘complete’ rather than a tacked-on last thought.
Alicia Berenson won’t say a word – not since she shot dead her husband, Gabriel.
Once a famous painter, now turned notorious, Alicia now resides at ‘The Grove’ – a psychiatric ward. Refusing to speak for over 6 years, when she shot her husband point blank 5 times in the face, Alicia suddenly becomes aware of a new Doctor in the ward.
Psychotherapist Theo, has recently switched jobs – intrigued by Alicia’s case, and desperate to unravel the mystery behind the silent patient at ‘The Grove’.
‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides is gripping, from start to finish. Alicia Berenson is an extremely interesting character, providing thought-provoking moments, even in the absence of her voice.
This novel has many twists and turns, partly written from Theo’s point of view, and partly from Alicia’s, in the form of her personal diary entries. There are so many questions, all culminating into a final up-ending.
Without giving away too much, all that can be said is that as the reader, it was easy to become drawn in, invested and intensely mystified – and subsequently de-mystified – all in the space of a few hundred pages.
My only criticism is that ‘The Silent Patient’ ends as quickly as it started, and although that is partly intentional, it left me wanting more – more information, more backstory and more pages.
But when you haven’t got ordinary parents, it’s only to be expected.
Charlie’s parents (Andy and Vicky) took part in a Government-run college experiment in the 60’s, when scientists were trying to find a link between psychedelic drugs and psychic abilities. Their experience was something they tried to brush off, but strange things begin to happen to them.
Andy and Vicky try to live a normal life, in a normal neighbourhood, eventually having a child – Charlie. But Charlie is not normal. At an early age, Charlie shows signs of extraordinary talent – drawing power from seemingly thin air.
But the Government isn’t done experimenting yet. ‘The Shop’ – a firm of secret Government agents – is determined to detain Charlie and her father, and continue studying Charlie and her father’s abilities.
Andy and Charlie go on the run, trying to evade and expose The Shop, in order to live out their lives in peace. But keeping one step ahead of The Shop is harder than they first thought…
This was the first Stephen King novel I have read – so I went into it with an open mind. Usually I steer clear of Sci-Fi and stick to historical fiction and story-lines based on facts, so this was a little out of my comfort zone.
That aside, the story was great to follow – filled with suspense and anticipation for what was going to happen next. The role of Andy being a father who simply wanted to make sure his daughter had a normal life is very relatable and also quite heartfelt at times.
Although the ending left me with some unanswered questions, I felt like that was all part of the intrigue of this sort of genre, and still thoroughly enjoyed the book.
‘The Woman In The Window’, by A. J. Finn tells the story of Anna Fox, a reclusive ex-psychologist who is afraid to leave her up-town, New York home. Diagnosed with Agoraphobia, Anna spends her days drinking wine and spying on her neighbours.
Anna’s only glimpse of the outside world is through her windows, where she keeps track of her neighbours movements. When the Russells family move in across the street, Anna becomes excited – but as she spirals into her depression and medicated delusions, she begins to question the strange things she sees from her upstairs-window.
With no-one to turn to, let alone believe her, Anna begins to investigate further.
‘The Woman In The Window’ is fast-paced and dripping with mystery from the get-go. The novel gives the reader a glimpse into the sufferings of someone so afraid of the outside world, they cannot leave their own home.
Anna is grasping at reality most of the time, struggling with loneliness, medicated sleep and a drinking habit she relies on to pass the time. The reader must decide if Anna is reliable and her account of the happenings in her street truly happened. Was she hallucinating? Dreaming? Drunk? Panic-stricken?
There are moments where the story takes dramatic turns, and the reader falls easily into the whirlwind of Anna’s confusion, fear and frustration, making the novel a true page-turner.
It is definitely worth the read, if you’re into fast-paced and page-turning, with a small dose of cliche to go along with it.
Kim Leamy lives a quiet life – teaching photography in Melbourne, Australia, and keeping to herself. That is, until an accountant from America approaches Kim one day before class, convinced she is not who she thinks she is at all. The accountant believes Kim is actually Sammy Went, a child who went missing from Kentucky 26 years earlier.
Kim brushes the accountant off, unable to see how her (now deceased) mother – a caring, loving social worker – could ever have had a role in an international kidnapping. But Kim can’t seem to shake the encounter from her mind, and decides to meet with the American again, if only to prove him wrong.
As Kim delves deeper into the mystery that is Sammy Went, based on information from the accountant, she decides to travel to America to unravel what could, after all, be hers (or Sammy’s) mysterious past.
This story was a unique twist on a ‘cliche’ story line, telling the tale of little Sammy Went and her family of secrets. For a debut novel, this was quite a good read! The author, Christian White, manages to find a way to keep you guessing about Sammy’s past, filled with kidnapping, secrets and religious conspiracies.
I really enjoyed reading this novel. Funny story – I bought it at the airport when I had a few hours to spare, and read about three quarters of it during that time. But I LOST IT! But I enjoyed what I had read so much, that as soon as I had a chance, I went out and bought the book for a second time, just so I could finish it.