Sunday, April 28, 2019
39. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
read by Andrew Wincott, Esther Wane, Sarah Feathers, Anjana Vason
Unabridged audio (10:32)
2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Goodreads rating: 4.06 - 2669 ratings
My rating: 3.5
Setting: Contemporary England
First line/s: "If you'll permit me, said the Stranger, I'd like to tell you a story."
My comments: I've read other Eli Griffiths books and greatly enjoyed them...and I enjoyed this one too, just not quite as much. There were three major voices in the story, and three different voices narrated it, which was nice. It kept skipping quickly between those voices and would probably have been a little more confusing without the change of speaker. A fourth voice was that of a deep, old-fashioned British male voice reading the short story, "The Stranger," divided into four or five short parts, which were inserted here and there throughout the book. Plot points overlapped, they didn't flow - each speaker didn't pick up and continue in the same place that the previous speaker stopped. This was disconcerting at times. And I had deep uncertainties about Claire which were difficult to let go - how many mothers would happily let their 15-year-old daughter date a 21-year-old man, no matter how much of a sweetheart he was? Having this sort of cloud hanging over the head of one of the protagonists was hard to shake. And even though everything was wrapped up by the end, it seemed as if something was missing. Hmmmm. Oh well. It was in interesting mystery.....
Goodreads synopsis: From the author of the beloved Ruth Galloway series, a modern gothic mystery for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favourite literature.
To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn't hers, left on the page of an old diary: "Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me."
Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?