From the very first page, Pip Drysdale’s follow-up novel The Strangers We Know, transports the reader from the literary page to an entirely different medium. The novel reads like a TV mini-series with the chapters divided into “episodes”, something I’d never seen before. It’s an interesting take and it should make for an excellent screenplay as it is now being developed for television. The Strangers We Know is an intense psychological thriller that is not the slow burn found in most mystery novels today but plunges its readers into a story that twists and turns at every angle making us question what is real and what is not. It begs the question of how well we truly know the ones we love, and what we would do when faced with the knowledge that maybe we never knew them at all.
It all begins with a birthday party, a dating app, and a photo. Charlie is celebrating her best friend’s birthday at the bar, watching innocuously as Tess laughingly scrolls through social media, looking for her next date. Charlie is happily married though, and has everything she ever wanted in Oliver, her charming and dashing husband until a swipe right shatters her world forever.
Charlie finds her husband’s photo and profile on a dating app and is subsequently consumed with her incessant need to find out how and what Oliver has been up to. Suddenly she’s thrust into a world she knows nothing about. Without giving away spoilers, let’s just say that there are dozens of plot twists: stolen identities, infidelity, shady back alley financial deals, murder, and running from the police. Though this adds to the thrill factor, it can be a lot to keep up with, and the constant barrage of questions readers (and the protagonist herself) must ask themselves takes away from the main story itself.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the novel, which again, cautions readers to avoid the pitfalls of deluding ourselves that we have everything under control.
“We like to believe that we’re in control of our lives; that if we buy insurance, think positive thoughts and pay our bills, we’ll be safe. Everything will be okay. But the truth is that sometimes it’s not okay. Sometimes all it takes is one plot twist to realise nobody is who you think they are…”
So, pay attention folks, because it can all turn on a dime. Or, in the words of the author, a plot twist.
About the Author
Pip Drysdale is a bestselling author, musician and actor. She grew up in Africa, Canada, and Australia, became an adult in New York and London, and lives on a steady diet of coffee, dreams, and literature. Her debut novel, The Sunday Girl, was a bestseller and has been published in the United States, Australia, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The Strangers We Know was a bestseller, shortlisted for The Ned Kelly Award, and is being developed for television, The Paris Affair was also a bestseller. Her fourth book, The Next Girl, is out in Australia and NZ in December 2022 and Canada in Spring 2023. Connect with Pip at PipDrysdale.com or on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok @PipDrysdale.
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster (Nov. 7 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1668021498
- ISBN-13 : 978-1668021491
Lori Green is a Canadian writer who has been writing poetry, horror, and dark fiction since she first picked up a pen. Her work has been accepted in various publications including Blank Spaces Magazine, Ghost Orchid Press, Dark Rose Press, Black Hare Press, and more. She studied English Literature at the University of Western Ontario and now lives along the shores of Lake Huron. She is currently working on several short stories and writing her first novel. You can follow her on Twitter @LoriG1408.