Book Reviews

The Stranger: A gripping story of secrets and lies for fans of Rachel Hore's Last Letter Home, a Richard and Judy pick by Kate Riordan

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List Price: £12.99

 

Hardcover: 320 Pages.

Published: 22 March 2018 by Michael Joseph

ISBN: 0718188063

EAN: 9780718188061

Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of deepest night a young woman is found washed up on the rocks.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Good Solid Read

WWII is underway with the nightly blackouts and constant threat of invasion. Penhallow Hall in Cornwall is a thowback in time until 3 land girls are posted there to shake up the ghosts. Why is Eleanor in a constant state of anxiety under her Mother's dominance? What secrets do the land girls hold & who is Jane the third landgirl?

This is a relatively slow-paced but enjoyable book. Penhallow Hall has ghosts steming back to an event in 1924 which has roots back to the death of Robin, a son of the house, in WWI. Eleanor is stuck in the groove of the past and sits terrified under the gaze of her mother, Mrs Fox. Thrust into this are three young girls who are working the gounds as part of the land army. Diana the sophisticated young woman who just can't help herself but to create mischief. Rose is  the older woman in an unhappy marriage. Then there is Jane who arrives late & is not what she seems.

This is a good solid read as are Kate Riordan's books in general. It isn't fast paced but moves along quite steadily. Some of the book is presented as part of Diana's diary & some in the third person. This isn't always clear and there were times when I got lost about who "she" was in certain circumstances. I do generally like books which explore different methods of delivery but in this case some of the change overs needed to be more clearly defined to prevent confusion.

The characters are clearly defined and interesting. The idea of Eleanor being cowed by her mother is slightly cliched but I enjoyed it all the same.

There is a big reveal towards the end of the book but this had been quite obvious for several chapters prior to this.  The ending of the book wasn't quite as satisfying as it could have been and I didn't feel that the final twist worked as well as it could have.

This book would make an excellent summer read. It is interesting and well constructed but easy to put down as required.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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