Title: The Strangers We Know
Author: Pip Drysdale
Published: December 1st 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Imagine seeing your loving husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing that happens to you all week …
When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband Oliver on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends laughingly swiped through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t let it go. Because she took that photo. On their honeymoon.
Suddenly other signs of betrayal start to add up and so Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend her position – she signs up to the app to catch Oliver in the act.
But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are …
The eagerly awaited addictive new thriller from the bestselling author of The Sunday Girl.
‘Sometimes all it takes is one plot twist to realise nobody is who you think they are and everything you know to be true is actually false.’
Actor, musician and writer Pip Drysdale returns with her second novel, The Strangers We Know. A modern domestic thriller, with twists aplenty and a whole host of false leads, this addictive page turner enthralls from cover to cover.
Charlie is a married aspiring actress, who lives in London. When Charlie is confronted with an image of a man who resembles her husband on a dating app, her world changes. This shocking discovery sends Charlie spiralling down a pit of mistrust, confusion and paranoia. Charlie is unable to cast her fears aside and she soon second guesses everything about her husband Oliver. It will send Charlie on a mission to discover the truth behind the photo and why Oliver was inclined to join a dating app. However, what becomes abundantly clear is that a possible affair marks just the beginning of Charlie’s problems. The Strangers We Know delves head-first into the question, do we truly know our loved ones?
The Strangers We Know was another compelling and consuming tale from Pip Drysdale, a relatively new author, who is fast making a name for herself in the modern domestic thriller genre. The Strangers We Know is a novel that taps into our present day use of dating apps and social media. Drysdale cleverly intertwines these modern day trappings within an entertaining and astute thriller narrative.
The structure of The Strangers We Know was creative and engaging. Cleverly drawing on the main character’s aspirations to be an actress, as well as the author’s past career as an actress, The Strangers We Know unfolds just like a television script. As a result, this novel reads in a very visual way, I could very easily picture this one on the small or big screen. There is a nod to Netflix in this novel, which I thought was very in tune with our current fixation on streaming services. Structurally, The Strangers We Know is divided into nine episodes, defined the day, date and time. I enjoyed this clear set form of storytelling very much.
Charlie is our chief narrator and we receive a very thorough insight into the events of this beguiling tale from her perspective. At times I was a little at odds with Charlie’s thought patterns, reasoning and actions. However, I did find moments of clarity and sympathy for Charlie. I think Charlie offers plenty of page appeal, and readers will be likely to embrace her, she is definitely relatable. The secondary cast adds plenty of weight to this tale. I found Charlie’s interactions with the secondary characters offered plenty of intrigue and speculation, piquing my interest level in this tale. In fact, I was seduced into reading just one more page, then just another chapter and before I knew it, the book had reached its propulsive close!
My final word on The Strangers We Know is to praise Pip Drysdale for her setting interpretation. I loved the locale base of present day London, this bustling capital came to life before my eyes, reminding me of my past experiences in the UK. There were plenty of references to places and customs that I found both nostalgic and authentic. Drysdale also focuses on the privileged and aspiring social set of London within her novel. The cast of The Strangers We Know are quite refined and I found their experiences engrossing. I was also fooled a few times over and a few surprising along the way ensured that the author stayed one step ahead of this reader.
The Strangers We Know exposes a relationship marked by love, lies, betrayal, tragedy and deception. A highly readable and intense book, Pip Drysdale’s second novel is impressive, making her an author we need to watch.
The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale was published on 1st December 2019 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Strangers We Know, Pip Drysdale, visit here.
*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The Strangers We Know is book #148 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge