Strangers by Paul Finch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Strangers starts off with a bang and some strong chapters but unfortunately – for me it became unwieldy. The prologue is great and I liked Lucy (although she’s a regulatory menace as a police officer!) but the story started to drag around the middle. There were too many long and clumsy sentences, some of the dialogue was awkward or repetitive and there were sometimes so many road names needlessly thrown in that I felt like I was reading the A-Z.
The initial storyline diverges into a sub-plot which, in itself, was interesting and took a couple of surprising turns but it took up too much of the book. The SugaBabes club sub-plot could almost have been a book in its own right and, here, it lead to the initial story being sidelined and its conclusion feeling completely rushed at the end.
Conversely, some of the key points of suspense (for example, during and after the Didsbury ‘obbo’ and two of the chases in the last quarter of the book) seemed like missed opportunities; they needed tightening up or cutting down to increase tension.
Overall, this was a good idea with a great first third – and some really good characters – that I felt could have benefited from more editing for the latter two thirds. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, Avon for the ARC of Strangers.