The Other People by C.J. Tudor

"Missing is limbo. You're stranded; in a strange, bleak place where hope glimmers faintly at the horizon and misery and despair circle like vultures."

C.J. Tudor's writing flew on to my radar a couple years ago. I was enamored by the review copy of her debut novel, The Chalk Man. She followed it up with another stellar standalone novel The Hiding Place and turned her books into instant "must-reads" for me. Enter her latest novel The Other People. Once again, I graciously accepted a copy from the publisher and dove in with heightened anticipation. There's a reason I'm such a proponent of Tudor's work, and this latest novel is no exception.

How's this for a hook? Gabe is driving home from work one evening when he's stopped behind a beat-up clunker of a vehicle. In the rear window, he can just make out the face of a young child, a girl. Recognition overcomes Gabe's mind as he realizes the girl in the car is his daughter Izzy. He has to be imagining things. Izzy is home with her mother. Just as his mind is about to move past what must be an eerie coincidence, Gabe is thrust into full-on panic. Through the dust of the vehicle's window, the little girl mouths the word "Daddy."

With that opening setup, Tudor immediately grasped my attention. This brilliant premise allows the structural gymnastics that follow to be a little more palatable. The Other People follows three main perspectives. There's Gabe, desperately searching the interstates for his long lost daughter, Katie, the diner waitress who frequently serves Gabe, and Fran and her daughter, running from the people who seem so keen on finding them. Tudor deftly shuffles between the trilogy of characters while also bouncing between past and present day. In less skilled hands, this would become a narrative jumble, but in Tudor's hands, it is a winding thrill ride to the shocking convergence of the three threads.

If there's a weak link to the story, it may be the supernatural element that exists. For fear of spoiling, I won't go into details, but I found the more fantastic plot points to slightly detract from the driving action. While effective on their own accord, I don't feel like these elements were fleshed out enough to be truly pivotal to the story. That being said, all of Tudor's work has been the kind that requires some suspension of disbelief (its all fiction after all), so I'd be lying if I said this took away too much from my enjoyment. As with her previous two novels, The Other People by C.J. Tudor is a highly original thriller that will have the pages turning and your mind escaping into a brilliantly conceived world. This is the kind of escapism reading we are going to need in these trying times, and Tudor is the perfect author to deliver. Go ahead and add this to your "to be read" list. I'll be anxiously awaiting her next novel in the meantime.

For more information visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.
(2020, 6)

This entry was posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 and is filed under ,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

16 Responses to “The Other People by C.J. Tudor”

  1. You remind me that I've been meaning to try her books since Chalk Man came out. This sounds sensational, too, Ethan.

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    1. I definitely think you would enjoy them!

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  2. I did like The Chalk Man, but I haven't read any of Tudor's other books. Yet. But they're on my TBR list. :) Great review.

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    1. Thanks! I think The Chalk Man is my favorite of hers.

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  3. I have heard of the author, but I am yet to try something by him. One day!

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    1. All three of her books are really solid reads!

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  4. The supernatural element in this is intriguing -- I didn't expect that of this author!

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    1. She has toyed with the idea of supernatural in her last book, but it is interesting to see it inserted into a more traditional thriller.

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  5. Well, the opening had my heart pumping, and definitely had me intrigued. I never have an issue with suspending belief, when I am reading fiction, so that would not be a problem. Sounds like quite a thrill ride.

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  6. I really loved The Chalk Man, so I need to check out her other two!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  7. I too really like her writing Ethan. And I agree with you about the supernatural element. I thought it was strong without it, but I still enjoyed the book very much!

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    1. Same here. I'm already looking forward to whatever she writes next!

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  8. That's an amazing hook! I hope Gabe got his daughter back! Nice to hear the author pulled off all the POVs and different timelines. I'll have to check this out.

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