I am a big fan of C.L.Taylor’s books so I was very pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, Strangers.
Ursula, Gareth and Alice are the strangers in question. Ursula is a delivery driver who has lost the love of her life and blames herself, Gareth works as a security guard and spends his evenings looking after his mother, Alice is recently divorced and believes that she is being stalked by an unknown person. They are all strangers to start with but their path’s eventually cross in a dramatic ending.
Strangers was a superb novel. Set in Bristol, the story is told from the viewpoints of the three main characters. Each of them have their own lives and worries and carry on oblivious of each other. Strangers, for the most part, is three separate stories. They only come together towards the very end. However, once they do collide you can look back and realise that there were clues all the way through, as characters appeared and disappeared throughout the chapters. Often when reading books like this told from multiple points with differing stories I find myself skipping over one to get back to whichever I find more interesting. However that wasn’t the case here at all, all three of the characters kept me gripped by their lives.
The story is very much character driven. We all know that actions have consequences and that those consequences will change how a person acts. This is apparent as the stories unfold. The ways that people act become more understandable when you know the why. Ursula for example is a shoplifter, to start with you think she doesn’t deserve sympathy, yet the more you learn about her the more sympathy you start to feel.
I felt this was a cleverly written book, that managed to take three pretty mundane lives and throw them into a situation where they become utterly compelling. They all had secrets that are gradually revealed and I found that every time a new piece of information appeared it changed my thoughts as to what was going to happen.
Strangers by C.L. Taylor was a fantastic, superbly plotted read and absolutely the best way to spend a weekend during lockdown.
Strangers is available here