The Other People is an exceptional psychological thriller with a dark and menacing mood that draws on a creepy supernatural feel. The writing is crazy good in instilling a chilling atmosphere, with voices and the finger of a paranormal threat to remind us that no –one is safe.
On his way home driving along the M1 motorway in England, Gabe believes he sees his daughter looking out the rear window of a very distinct rusty old car, covered with bumper stickers. Traumatically he readers her lips as she calls out ‘Daddy’ and then he loses the car in the traffic. He then learns that his wife and child have been murdered in their home but it can’t be Izzy because he saw her in a car. No one believes him and he is questioned as a murder suspect. Gabe is so distraught that he becomes ill and collapses, and his father-in-law identifies the bodies as his wife and daughter.
Gabe has withdrawn from the world he once knew, his appearance is dishevelled and he’s noticeably thin. He now lives in a VW Camper Van and travels up and down the motorways of Great Britain stopping at the service stations handing out posters asking if anyone has seen his daughter or has any information. He does mildly interact with a waitress at a service station called Katie and a man only known to him as the Samaritan. “ ‘Some people call me the Samaritan.’ But sometimes, Gabe wondered what others called him.”
Meanwhile, Fran and her daughter Alice are constantly on the run moving from place to place with a knowledge that they are being hunted, by dangerous people and a paranormal foreboding. The fear of their hunters and Alice’s dreams are brilliantly portrayed for a manic existence, always on the run. Alice avoids mirrors because she’s not always sure who is looking back. Fran calls on her estranged sister, Katie, for help and the secrets and deceptions escalate.
A third thread drifts like an ethereal tale concerning a pale girl in a white room. She sleeps. Miriam has devoted herself to looking after the girl even with the unexplained incidents that often happen.
Clues eventually start to be revealed for Gabe and he uncovers a message that states The Other People. Further digging suggests they can be found on the dark web and now the sinister elements start to gather. Each thread holds suspense and fear while the story unwinds, and it becomes a difficult decision to set the book down.
As the story elements start to weave together the narrative becomes more and more compelling. The characters are full of light and shade and play their role as the story speeds towards its end. It’s difficult to say too much about the plot or characters as that is part of the pleasure of reading this book, to discover for yourself. Just remember that there is always a price to be paid for a favour or request – ‘an eye for an eye’.
Utterly compelling, dark, scary and hugely entertaining. I would highly recommend this book and this author, and I would like to thank Ballantine Books, Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC copy of the book in return for an honest review.