Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman.
Five hostages, one café – and the moment that changed everything.
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?
Another tense, multi-dimensional drama from the writer of the Richard & Judy bestseller After the Fall.
I have literally just finished reading this wonderful novel and I feel such a mix of emotions. It is so incredibly moving and has quite honestly reduced me to tears. It’s so beautifully constructed and turned out to be so very different from what I first imagined.
I was drawn to the scenario offered in the synopsis. It promised drama, conflict and tension. Yes it does have all those things but oh, there is so much more. I have to say that Charity Norman has left me feeling rather blown away by this story. At the moment it is still floating around my head, it’s not an easy story to shake off. The characters linger, they’ve become so real to me over the last two days. I can still very much feel the sadness within but it is also uplifting and has made me hold all the things and people dear to me a little closer to my heart.
The Secrets of Strangers has such depth to it’s story that it goes way beyond a thriller. Of course it is thrilling and tense. The initial opening chapters set the scene brilliantly but Charity has this wonderful ability to make it a human experience and characters hold court rather than wreckless, uncomprehensible violence. This novel isn’t a crime thriller, it’s a story about people and the things they endure, the things that can push them over their tipping point. It shows good and evil but with very different faces, a subject that Charity touches on perfectly. It also shows the incredible lengths that a compassionate, caring human being will go to to save another. And it isn’t quite what you think.
The story doesn’t just take place in the cafe. It flits back and forward as we learn more about the people trapped in there and the stories that come with them. First appearances can often be deceptive. I really don’t want to give too much of this story away… I think much of it’s power came from the unexpected but I will say that this is an incredibly moving novel that will stay with me for quite some time.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour – I’m so very glad I read this – it made me cry in a good way. Thanks also to the lovely people at Allen & Unwin for sending me a review copy.
The Secrets of Strangers was published on 7th May 2020 and is available in paperback, ebook and on Audiobook.
About the author
Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. THE SECRETS OF STRANGERS is her sixth novel.
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