The Other People by C.J. Tudor
Updated: Feb 26
It’s been a while since I did a post, so, today’s blog rantings, ravings and ramblings is about new C.J Tudor book:
The Other People:
She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . . 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.
It will come as a surprise to no-one that I am a big fan of C.J Tudor, and if this comes as a surprise to you, then I will assume that you are the kind of person that gets surprised by the sun hanging in the sky every morning, because I do love me some good engaging suspense stories!
And if you do not know who C.J Tudor is, well, then let me tell you, she is an English writer that is often compared to Stephen King, basically answers the age old question, how would SK’s writing be like if he was English, female and have worked as a dog walker, I do not know how this work experience have affected her writing, but you never know where writers get their inspirations from.
Anyways, Tudor have three books released so far, book one is The Chalk Man, book two is The Taking of Annie Thorne (or if you bought an US copy of the book, The Hiding Place) and finally book three The Other People.
I read The Chalk Man when it was first released, and it is safe to say that it blew me away! Its an impressive debut novel, so it is understandable that I had high hopes for the second book, when the second book The Taking of Annie Thorne (or The Hiding Place if you live in the US) was released I found myself just the tiniest bit disappointed, don’t get me wrong it is a crackling great read, but for me it did not reach the heights of The Chalk Man, maybe I, in my ripe old age(36) is just spoiled with too many good books, and each new mind-blowing great reading experience leaves me wanting for more.
Anyways, so for book three The Other People, will it mark the decline in writing for our beloved C.J Tudor? Short answer: no. Long answer: Hell no! The Other People is in my “humble” opinion the best one yet!!
Why you might ask? Well, I will tell you why!
Right from the first chapter the story grips you and drags you along in a breakneck speed. You are cast straight into Gabe’s worst day, when his wife and daughter is seemingly killed in a home invasion, only issue is that he convinced he saw his daughter in another car while he was driving home from work, we jump ahead a few years, and we find Gabe spending his days driving up and down the same highway looking for some clues so he can find the truth to what happened that fateful night and what really happened to his daughter Lizzie, with the help of a stranger that calls himself the “Samaritan”, Gabe is finally on the right track to solve the mystery. The story does not focus solely on Gabe, we also follow Katie, a waitress to one of the many service stations littered on Gabe’s route on the highway, we also follow Fran and her daughter Alice, whom is constantly on the run from some unnamed threat, Alice seemingly have issues with mirrors and she have a tendency to wake up grasping pebbles, like ones one would find on a beach. Gabe’s, Katie’s, Fran’s and Alice’s stories are interwoven seamlessly, there is no lull, nor gaps to be found in The Other People storytelling, and it all leads to a satisfying conclusion.
It will come to no one’s surprise that this is a book with plot twists aplenty (well, if you have read any of Tudors other books, then you will know what I am talking about) but whenever I thought I had figured out what was happening something happens that leaves me in the dark again! This book has more twist and turns than a bag of fusilli pasta!
For the characters themselves they are well rounded and believable, even the smallest character seems to come alive by Tudor’s writing!
For the main gallery of characters themselves; Gabe is a broken man, loss, grief and past mistakes have broken him, but still he does not give up hope, in the end it is all he has left, even when everybody says his search for his daughter Lizzie is futile.
Katie, is struggling with balancing her work life and being a mother, often leaving her two children with her sister, who does not have the best taste in men.
You feel the angst and stress that Fran and Alice feel when they are on the run, rarely getting any respite from their stalkers.
I must admit I find the Samaritan an unsettling character, even if he seemingly is one of the good ones.
Genre wise The Other People is a suspense/thriller seasoned with supernatural flavourings, exactly what I crave and like!
So, in the end I will give this book a whopping 5/5 shiny beach pebbles!
Now it is just a waiting game for the next book that is slated for next winter!