Gripping from the start, this atmospheric thriller is taut from the oft. It starts with a young girl on a life support machine, who we know nothing else about, but there appears to be a bad vibe about her…
Gabe is a shadow of his former self, sleeping in a camper-van, traversing the M1 in the vague hope of finding who took his daughter. This is after seemingly seeing her as an abductee in the back of an old car travelling ahead of him on the motorway on that fateful day. His wife and child had disappeared suddenly and Gabe is torn apart by the fact he doubted himself and therefore did not pursue the car long enough.
Spending time in motorway services drinking coffee at night, he becomes a familiar face to Katie, a waitress. Whilst set in the UK, it does have more of a feel of an American backdrop, which was slightly disorientating. A good Samaritan leads him to a spot where the missing car, with all its distinctive window stickers, has been found. It is by a body of water, where the levels have dropped and revealed the car. There is no body but some remnants left behind which give Gabe some potential, if tenuous, leads. Katie seeing some new life in Gabe approaches him only to see the words the Other People. She knows who they are….
Slowly the story flits back in time to reveal what happened to Gabe’s wife and daughter, and the intrigue as well as tension continues to intensify. How some of the ‘Other People’ manage to show up in the right place at the right time is a bit of a reach, but if you let that go – with vivid characterisation, lots of mystery as well as a twisting plot, good suspense and a supernatural hint, it makes for a gripping page turner.
Sara Garland 4/3*
The Other People by C. J. Tudor
9780241371282 Michael Joseph Books Ebook January 2020