Charlie’s seemingly perfect life comes to a devastating halt when she discovers her husband, Oliver, has a profile on a dating app. Instead of confronting him, Charlie creates a fake profile on the same app to catch him out. But then something unthinkable happens and suddenly the police want to speak to Charlie. Oliver isn’t the man she thought he was at all; turns out he’s involved with some very dangerous people. Charlie must now find the evidence that will prove her innocence before the real perpetrator catches up to her. But who can she trust?
What follows is a suspenseful pursuit around South West London as Charlie breaks into buildings, downloads secret documents and evades the police, until she ultimately finds herself right in the middle of the danger she has been trying to avoid.
The story is told in an easy, conversational first person narrative from Charlie’s point of view, which is witty and sardonic, and despite her rich and beautiful lifestyle (she’s an actress who works in a vintage clothing store in Notting Hill) has insecurities that make her relatable, ensuring the reader remains invested in her story.
Pip Drysdale, author of the bestselling thriller The Sunday Girl, takes the reader on a journey of cleverly placed cliffhangers as Charlie’s life gets increasingly worse. The writing is imaginative and colourful. Charlie, who thinks in movies and tv, describes her life as though she is playing a role on screen, where everyone you meet is the star of their own film and you’re just an extra. As she tries to act like the heroine of her own story, Charlie soon realises her life has become more crime thriller than romantic comedy.
A riveting roller coaster of relationships gone wrong and what ordinary people do when they’re placed in extraordinary situations, The Strangers We Know is a gripping thriller that you will read in a day and then recommend to all of your friends.
The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale is published by Simon and Schuster.
And in that moment, my life seemed like one of those tapestries Mum used to do when I was little: beautiful and neat on the front, but a knotted, tangled mess at the back.