THE OTHER PEOPLE | C.J. Tudor
01.28.2020 | Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
Gabe is late coming home one night. While stuck in traffic, a rusty car cuts in front of him with a little girl in the window that looks just like his daughter, Izzy. Gabe even believes that she mouths the word Daddy as she looks back at him. Distressed, he attempts to follow the car, but ends up losing it in traffic. When he calls home to check in with his wife someone he doesn’t know answers the phone. It’s a police officer saying that he needs to get home immediately and that his wife and daughter have been killed.
Fran and her daughter, Alice, have been on the road for months. They are on the run from someone, but Alice doesn’t know who. Constantly living in a state of fear, the mother and daughter can never feel comfortable. One day Fran is confident someone has arrived at their door bringing danger. It seems that the danger for Fran is linked to Gabe’s tragedy and a group known as The Other People.
Missing is different than being dead. In a way, it’s worse. Death offers finality. Death gives you permission to grieve. To hold memorials, to light candles and lay flowers. To let go.
C.J. Tudor’s debut novel, THE CHALK MAN, blew me away. When I heard the premise of THE OTHER PEOPLE I knew I needed to read it. I went into this book largely blind to the synopsis, which I think is honestly one of the best moves a reader can make.
Tudor alternates the narration of THE OTHER PEOPLE between events happening in Gabe and Fran’s lives, as well as some additional viewpoints. These two main characters seem completely unrelated, but as you get to know them better and tag along with the events happening in their day to day, Tudor provides pieces to the puzzle and their connection. I love how subtle Tudor is in her delivery of hints for not only the connection between these characters, but also to the truth of their lives. Gabe and Fran are both hiding secrets that have shaped the outcomes of their lives, but what those secrets are is not clear from the beginning. I will say that I was able to guess a lot of what was revealed, but I didn’t feel like that took away from the story for me. I actually felt reading this book like I was solving a puzzle and it was rewarding to guess correctly.
People say hate and bitterness will destroy you. They’re wrong. It’s hope. Hope will devour you from the inside like a parasite. It will leave you hanging like bait above a shark. But hope won’t kill you. It’s not that kind.
One of the elements to Tudor’s writing that I’ve come to appreciate after reading two books by her is the multifaceted dimensions she gives her characters. The reader can truly feel the development of each of them coming into their full personality through things like revelations from the past. This character development helps to make the interactions between individuals throughout the story feel genuine and realistic. The reader has an easier time understanding why certain decisions are made, which makes the entire story flow smoother.
I absolutely enjoyed the creepy, unsettling vibes that THE OTHER PEOPLE possesses. This book is by no means something I would put down as horror, but there are definitely things that made me think in this book. I was very unsettled by the feeling that every action you make could have irreparable consequences and bring harm to others seeking revenge. The manner in which this is done in this story made me judge myself and ponder what I would do in other’s shoes.
I highly recommend THE OTHER PEOPLE to anyone who is a lover of the crime fiction, mystery, and thriller genres! This book is incredibly bingeable and downright entertaining!
A huge thank you to Random House for sending me a free copy of this book!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.