The Other People is another novel by C.J. Tudor that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Filled with heartbreak, sheer determination, and the fight to stay ahead in order to stay alive… this book had me totally hooked!
I had previously read The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place (also known as The Taking of Emily Throne) and absolutely loved each of them! When I heard this one was coming out, I could not wait to get my hands on a copy!
When I got an email letting me know that I had won a copy in a giveaway, I was ecstatic!
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on The Other People by C.J. Tudor
When this story begins, we meet a man named Gabe who is desperately trying to get home in time to eat dinner with his wife and daughter. It’s clear that Gabe has been quite busy and that it has been causing strain on his marriage. He wants to fulfill this one request more than anything, but of course, he gets stuck in traffic on his way home that causes a major delay.
Then Gabe sees a little girl pop up in the backseat of the car that he has been stuck in traffic behind. His first thought is about why she isn’t strapped in a car seat, but the next, he realizes that it’s his daughter!
As that thought really hits him, someone makes the girl duck back down and then traffic begins to let up. Gabe flashes his lights and honks, but the car just keeps speeding up! Soon, the car weaves in and out of traffic recklessly and gets too far ahead of him. Gabe ends up pulling off to call home, trying to convince himself that it wasn’t actually Izzy…
When he calls his house, he is greeted by someone that is not his wife. They tell him that he needs to get home immediately, that; “It’s about your wife… and your daughter.”
From there, the story jumps ahead. We learn that Gabe has gone from busy family man, to a shell of his former self that is very close to crumbling away to dust. After he had returned home that day, he found out that his wife and daughter had been killed. While he grieves, he also denies that his daughter is really dead. After all, he saw his daughter in that car, didn’t he? It doesn’t make sense to him.
Since that horrible day, Gabe has lost weight, he has dark circles under his eyes, and looks like he is suffering from an illness. Gabe is desperately trying to prove that it couldn’t have been his daughter that was found in his home despite everyone that tells him to let it go and move on. He spends his time traveling the highways, trying to spot the car that he saw his daughter in, stopping at service stations to hand out fliers. He hardly sleeps; he’s fueled by sheer determination and caffeine.
We also meet Katie, a single mom just trying to provide for her kids. Katie works in one of the service stations that Gabe frequently stops in. She can tell that he is going through something horrible and is kind to him, but they don’t talk much. But soon, that will change.
The third perspective we encounter is from a woman named Fran that is a ball of jittery nervousness and paranoia; always with a packed bag ready that she can grab and run. To make matters more difficult, there is a young girl with her that she is trying to protect, and this young girl suffers from narcolepsy that seems to be triggered by looking into mirrors. But if it’s just narcolepsy, then where do all the pebbles come from?
The story centers around these three main story lines; Gabe, the mourning father, Katie, the coffee shop employee, and Fran, the woman who is looking after a young girl called Alice. Each of these story lines were so interesting! I loved each of them equally and couldn’t stop reading because I just had to see what was going to happen next for each of them.
The characters were each developed perfectly! I loved that we got to know them on just a high level at first, but that we learned more and more about them as time progressed. It was so much fun to learn more, but it also made it a little suspenseful as well, as it was clear that each person had some secrets they were keeping.
This novel was wonderfully written. It wasn’t just the characters, it was they way that each of the story lines flowed together while slowly leading us toward the ending. This novel also certainly didn’t shy away from elements of suspense and thrill with a dash of violence and the unknown.
My copy was 318 pages, and man, if I hadn’t forced myself to put this down so I could do some blog hopping… I could have easily spent my day reading it cover to cover.
My Favorite Passages from The Other People
Gabe let the door fall shut. He waded awkwardly back out, clutching the plastic folder. He was cold now, shivering. Well, his top half was shivering. His bottom half could well have been doing a tango beneath the water for all he knew- he had lost all feeling below the waist a while ago.
You could spend a lifetime running from one life and chasing another. Gold at the end of the rainbow. Greener grass across the meadow. But, in most cases, the gold would be fake and the green grass would be AstroTurf.
Blood may be thicker than water but it’s a pretty useless substance for sticking anything together.
You don’t need another person to make your life complete. But life, like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces, is hard to complete on your own.
Memories didn’t just evaporate like steam. They were more like lost keys. You might have put them somewhere for safe keeping or thrown them into a deep well because you didn’t ever want to unlock that particular door again, but they were still there, somewhere. You just had to find a way to retrieve them.
Katie picked up her mug of tea and took a sip. Predictably, it had gone cold. Sometimes, it seemed like her entire life was measured out in undrunk mugs of tea.
He hadn’t quite rejoined life but, somehow, life had found him.
My Final Thoughts on The Other People
C.J. Tudor has certainly done it again! This page-turner was SO GOOD.
When I started reading this novel, I very quickly became invested in these characters and I felt very protective of them all. I really enjoyed slowing learning answers here and there, and working toward solving the mysteries as the story progressed.
When I finally finished the story, I couldn’t help but stop to think about how incredibly satisfying the conclusion was. Each little detail was tied up in a perfect little bow. Never before have I seen a conclusion to a mystery and suspense novel that ended as perfectly as this!
This is another book that I really wish would have a movie or series adaptation; it’s just screaming to be on the screen!
If you enjoy character-driven suspense novels with wonderful layering and a dash of the unknown, then I highly recommend this one to you!
I cannot wait to see what C.J. Tudor writes next! You bet I’ll be here for it!
Snag a copy through Bookshop to help support local indie bookshops:
Thanks for reading!
Have you read any of C.J. Tudors work yet? If so, what did you think?