Happy Publication Day to The Other People by C.J. Tudor!
Gabe and his wife, Jenny, have been drifting apart. She gives him an ultimatum: one night a week, no working late, no other commitments—he needs to be on time for family dinner and to put their daughter, Izzy, to bed with a story. Racing home on the M1 so he will be on time, Gabe is stopped in traffic behind an old car covered in stickers. As he reads the platitudes, he sees a child’s face—it’s Izzy, who whispers “Daddy.”
Three years later, Gabe lives in an RV and drives the motorways hoping to see the car again even though everyone else believes she’s dead. Then, a mysterious figure known only to Gabe beckons him to a remote lake: he’s found the car with an unidentified adult body inside. Clues in the car point to The Other People, a dark web community of wounded souls who find justice—in exchange for a favor that is less than optional.
Fran and her daughter, Alice, understand Gabe’s life. They, too, make their home on the motorways, but they are desperate to disappear. Fran knows more than she should about The Other People, and if they find her and Alice, Fran knows they’ll be killed.
As Gabe tries to uncover the trail of The Other People to find Izzy and Fran and Alice attempt to outwit him, the secret association mobilizes to stop them at any cost. In the process, Gabe allies with Katie, a waitress from the night shift at one of the service areas, but that only puts her and her two children in the crosshairs. They must confront their deepest secrets and shameful pasts if they are to find the truth about Izzy and survive The Other People.
The Other People captured my attention. While some of the plot was self-evident, other developments made my jaw drop. Gabe, Katie, Fran, and Alice were all interesting characters, and the Samaritan was an intriguing cypher throughout the book. I also liked having the motorways as the primary setting—a place of transience and anonymity seemed fitting for the characters. I didn’t enjoy the supernatural element that wove through the book, though. It wasn’t ever explained to my satisfaction, and I think the plot would have stood alone without that element. Regardless, I enjoyed The Other People and would encourage fans of Tudor or Stephen King to add this to their reading list.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books/Random House for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.