The Other People by C.J. Tudor

Posted On 20 January 2020

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TheOtherPeopleThe Other People is such a great read. It’s a psychological thriller but what makes it so gripping and so tense is the fact you simply have to know what’s happened. I remember watching a film a few years ago, a guy and his girlfriend at a service station and the girl goes missing and her boyfriend becomes all-consumed with knowing what happened to her, to such an extent that he’s even prepared to put himself in danger.  Okay, I’m not saying that I put myself in danger by reading this book (just to be clear) – although there were late nights. What I’m really getting at is that the author manages to put you into the central character’s shoes.  He’s desperate to know what happened and as a reader you become totally wrapped up in his desperation.  Your curiosity is heightened to a ridiculous level, you feel sorry for him and almost want to shout hints but more than that you’re willing the story forward in order to unravel the mystery and that, for me, is a winning story.  On top of that there are stories within stories taking place here that gradually feed into the main thread.  So many lives all connected, primarily, by the need for revenge.  An eye for an eye.

The story is compelling virtually from page 1.  There is a mystery girl who lies in a room alone – but I won’t elaborate further on that aspect of the story.  Moving swiftly on, we then make the introduction of Gabe, who is the main POV character although not the only one.  Gabe is on his way home, worried about being late and stuck in traffic, he’s idly looking at the car in front, and reading the abundance of stickers plastered over the back, when a little girl sits up on the backseat, a girl who looks exactly like his own daughter, you can only imagine the turmoil his mind spins into when this little girl sees him and mouths the word ‘daddy?’ The traffic then lightens and the car in front pulls ahead, disappearing into motorway oblivion. Gabe knows his daughter can’t be in that car.  He knows she can’t. But at the same time he knows what he saw and with every fibre of his being he knows it was his little girl.  As it happens, whilst Gabe was on his way home, his wife and daughter have been murdered.  Gabe becomes the main suspect for a while and whilst his story of the car on the motorway is listened to with scepticism absolutely nobody believes that his daughter was in that car.  Gabe still does, he believes his daughter has been taken and his search for that strange car and his missing child becomes all consuming for him and totally gripping for me.

Alongside Gabe we follow another couple of character’s.  A waitress in a motorway service station called Kate.  Kate sees Gabe on regular occasions as he spends his life trawling the roads looking for the mystery car.  He’s almost like a ghost, a shadow of his former self.  He inspires pity in others but also discomfort because he’s clearly so desperate and so sad.  Kate doesn’t have the happiest existence.  She’s lonely. She works hard to make ends meet and wonders if she’ll ever have either the time or energy to become involved in another relationship.  Being a single mother of two and working long shifts really doesn’t help in that respect.  Then there’s Fran and her daughter Alice, who seem to live in a perpetual state of fear and are constantly on the run.  Their lives are ruled by the need to stay hidden but from what isn’t immediately clear.  The other character of note is the Samaritan.  This chap certainly has all the menace!  Fortunately, he seems to have fallen into the category of ‘helpful guy’ in terms of wanting to assist Gabe find the car and this is just as well, I don’t think you’d want to fall on the wrong side of the Samaritan.  I actually found this character quite fascinating and could easily read a book that centres around his dark dealings.

Obviously there are more characters involved and the way their stories are gradually revealed is deceptively addictive. In laws, mothers, daughters, sisters, police, and more. There lives are inextricably linked in strange ways, and the beauty of the story is the differing shades of grey that they’re all painted in.  Here are secrets and lies aplenty.  Mistakes that can’t be run away from and wishes that should never have been uttered.  The dark web is named so for a reason and it’s involvement in this story takes us down a creepy ‘big brother’ track that gives you the chills.  Be careful what you wish for people because you never know who is watching.

I don’t really want to say too much more for fear of spoiling a story that is best discovered during the read and not before.  This is well written. The characters and their motivations feel very real and propel the story forward at a great pace.  I couldn’t put the book down and practically read it in two sittings.  The ending pulled all the complicated threads together and I’m left with a feeling of wanting to read this again as well as being ridiculously curious about one of the other characters.

In terms of criticisms. I don’t really have any to be honest.  I would mention that the story involves light magical realism which is very subtly played out and for me added an extra speculative vibe that was curiously creepy.

Overall this was a really good read that I would definitely recommend to lovers of mysteries that involve light fantasy.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publishers, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Rating 5*





18 Responses to “The Other People by C.J. Tudor”

  1. David W

    Her best thus far! Thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her on my podcast, too!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Ohh, you chatted to her on podcast. well, I need to check that out.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Sofii @ A Book. A Thought.

    Such an Amazing Review! ❤️✨ I added this to my TBR since I heard about it and now I’m even more excited to read it, it sounds SO good 😍

  3. Tammy

    Wow, this sounds amazing. And I know what movie you’re talking about, I saw that as well. Awesome review, I must read this😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      And do you remember watching the movie,you feel equally intrigued and baffled, this book gives you that same vibe.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I have seen this mentioned a couple of times and that beginning is something that preys on my curiosity: learning from your review that the story brings to satisfying fruition all those apparently disparate threads encourages me to acquire this book as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing!!!! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really liked this one – the mystery of it all, the fast pace and the fantasy elements. Really compulsive reading.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Seriously, chills from your review! And all I did was read the intro and some of your conclusion, because I hope to be reading this one next. So excited!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed this – I liked the last book but thought this was better. I was hooked.
      Lynn 😀

  6. pagesandtea

    This sounds so good. Definitely looking forward to getting a copy, I love a good thriller with a bit of a fantasy-type feel to it.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I was hooked to this. I hope you love it too and look forward to reading your thoughts.
      Lynn 😀

  7. waytoofantasy

    Ooh, I’ve become a bit of a fan of CJ Tudor after the last book I read, I’m going to have to check and see if my library gets this in. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you like it – her books do seem to divide opinion a little 😀

  8. The morning after the night before. Book hangovers. | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Other People by CJ Tudor – I was gripped.  How could I not be. A man who thinks his daughter has been taken but nobody believes him. […]

  9. Looking Back at 2020 : The Ghost of Books Past | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Other People by CJ Tudor – another author that I’m really enjoying.  The Other People was both thrilling and chilling in equal measure. […]

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