Review: The Other People
I loved The Chalk Man, so when I saw CJ Tudor had a new book on the way, I was delighted to receive an eARC from Netgalley and Ballantine for review consideration.
Let me start by saying, I loved this book. A man's life is thrown into turmoil when he learns his wife and daughter have been found dead. However, he's convinced his daughter is still alive, and dedicates his time to roaming the highway in search of the car he saw driving away with her. When a fellow road traveler helps him find the car, Gabe falls down a rabbit hole of deceit, murder, and en elaborate dark web network known as The Other People.
What I appreciate about Tudor's story-telling is her ability to create depth in her characters through flashback and conflict. We're not given the pieces up front, but rather experience them along the way to finding answers. Because of this, The Other People worked really well for me. Gabe's sordid past. His unsweetened reflection on his relationship with his wife. Tudor's characters jump off the page. Gritty, real, and often unlikable, it's hard not to relate to them. Feel for them. Root for them. Grief is palpable, and the mourning process is presented as more of a roller coaster than a linear process of healing.
Similar to The Chain, the anonymous group of people take justice into their own hands; no different than the reader, they are normal people who suffer through unspeakable personal tragedies and aren't satisfied with society's definition of "closure." This, perhaps, is what makes The Other People work more than any other factor: the understanding that this could be anyone. From the florist on the corner to the old woman sitting on the park bench, the stakes are high, and danger is everywhere.
The daughter's paranormal subplot was also interesting, further proving that Tudor is masterful in her execution, regardless of subject.
On a personal note, I also appreciate the subtle nods to Stephen King. As a fellow Constant Reader, it's hard not to get excited with the Easter eggs (19, 217, etc.) and I always look forward to finding them.
Heart-wrenching, explosive, and immersive, you need to discover The Other People.