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  • Mandy McHugh

The Other Passenger, Louise Candlish: A Review

I love Louise Candlish books, so I was thrilled to be approved for this title and quickly dove in. Jamie and Clare are seemingly content in their lives together when they meet Melia and Kit, a young, quasi-actor couple who quickly become part of their group. Dinners and drinks and plenty of socializing, Jamie is caught off guard when, on his way to work, he's approached by two detectives with shocking news. Kit is missing, and according to an anonymous passenger, he was the last one to see him alive. What follows is a twisty suspense where everyone is hiding secrets and nothing is as it seems.

I was torn about this book and had to sit on my review for a few days. The first half of the book was a tad slow and cumbersome. Candlish takes her time building characters and motivations, and while she was successful in that respect, the propulsion was missing at times. Large sections were devoted to the mundane monotony of the commute and the burgeoning relationships. It's necessary to set up the intrigue for later, but I think readers who are expecting a jump-out-of-your-seat suspense might need to brace for a slow-burn. I loved the twists, and once the mystery picks up, it's a fast read. The characters were despicable in their own ways, and I wouldn't say I particularly liked any of them. Not that it's a necessity, but with the investment you have in the first half, I wanted to root for one of them and found myself...not. Was I curious how the story would play out? Yes. Absolutely. But the most interesting parts were glossed over, told in past tense or generalized passive memories. I would've loved to see a little more of that and a little less of the commute to start. If you're a fan of character heavy storylines and unreliable narrators, this might be the book for you, but the pacing missed the mark for me. Overall, The Other Passenger was an interesting suspense with a motley crew of untrustworthy characters who will definitely leave you guessing until the very last page. Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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