Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: Strangers at the Gate by Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson has released a new standalone novel and Kerry Hammond is here with her review.

Strangers at the Gate by Catriona McPherson was published on October 22, in Hardcover, by Minotaur Books. I am a fan of all of McPherson’s books, from her Dandy Gilver series to her standalones. I look forward to each and every one of her new releases because you just never know where she’s going to take the reader.

When I started Strangers at the Gate, I wasn’t sure if McPherson could pull it off. We start with a young couple who have landed dream jobs in the quiet countryside. Paddy is a new partner of a law firm and Finn has gotten a position as deacon of a church. It’s almost too good to be true and they set off to live in the gate house of the property owned by Paddy’s new boss.

The young couple seems to be on track and I, as a reader, wondered where this could all go. Then they get invited to dinner at the boss’s house and have a great night getting to know him and his wife. When Finn forgets her purse and goes back to the house to get it, she finds their hosts' bodies—stabbed and bloodied on the kitchen floor. Any normal couple would call the police and report the crime. But not Paddy and Finn, they go home and panic.

What follows is what happens when you don’t report a crime, when you learn that your significant other has even more secrets than you do, and when you find out that there is way more to the new jobs and new life than you originally thought.

I got sucked in right away. At first I thought it was unbelievable that the couple wouldn’t just call the police and report the death—for at the time they didn’t know if it was murder or suicide. But the more I leaned, the more I understood what drove them to wait. They were basically digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole and I really wanted to see how they would get out. I really enjoyed the ride!

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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