Book Reviews

Faces in the Crowd: #Strangers by C.L. Taylor @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK


Title: Strangers
Author: C.L. Taylor
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication: 02 April 2020
Format read: e-ARC
Number of pages: 400

Let me tell you, C.L. Taylor is scary. Scarily good at twisting life as if it were a dishes towel to get those drops of reality and dilute them with her magical writing to create an intense and nail-biting novel.


Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

Three slices of cake, two sittings, one terrified reader!

Ursula, Gareth, and Alice. Three people who couldn’t be more different. Three characters with enough layers to last the winter and keep you enthralled by the events happening to them. It can be difficult to juggle so many storylines and manage to spark an equal interest from the reader. Not for C.L. Taylor.

Ursula was a mystery to me. I could picture her clearly but had the feeling the image was somehow askew. Why was she acting this way?

Gareth? I felt sorry for him. I immediately saw him as a good man doing his best for his ill mother.

Alice… I was not so kind to. I found myself tutting at her reactions and shaking my head at her teenager-like behavior. If a man acts a certain way with you, don’t be that needy and obsessed woman. Thankfully, she redeemed herself later and I found her development satisfying enough to forgive!

The problem with books like Strangers is that if I give you details about the strains and stresses of those people’s everyday life, part of the magic will be gone. Magic, well, bad magic. Black magic causing goosebumps, making you turn around in the middle of the street to check if you’re being followed. The story is laced with personal dramas which link all the protagonists in a way that I never saw coming. I know, I know “the twist I did not see coming” I hear you complain about how many times you’ve read that and actually saw the thing coming! But there is a real surprise here, among the pain and the fear. And between this twist and you, there are characters created to make you shiver, react, and swear.

The drama never lets up without ever feeling too much. The tension is palpable, without choking you at every page. You get to meet Alice, Gareth, and Ursula through their present and get to understand them better through their past. Actions speak loudly, and C.L. Taylor cleverly reminds us even the smallest actions have consequences… I was unable to tear myself away from the pages that unraveled different but interconnected lives.

Strangers is suspenseful and dramatic, a pure thriller!  

Click on the cover to pre-order your copy!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

about the author.png


C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She is a four times Sunday Times bestseller and her books have hit the number one spots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play. Cally has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

Her dark psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and as BEFORE I WAKE in the US in June 2014 by Sourcebooks.

Her second psychological thriller THE LIE was published in the UK in April 2015. It became a Sunday Times bestseller and hit the #1 slots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play and Sainsbury ebooks. THE LIE was published in the U.S. by Sourcebooks.

CL’s third psychological thriller THE MISSING was published in April 2016 and was another Sunday Times and ebook bestseller. THE MISSING was published in the U.S. by William Morrow in 2017.

THE ESCAPE, her fourth psychological thriller, went to number 2 in the Sunday Times paperback chart in 2017 and won the Dead Good Books Most Unreliable Narrator award.

Her fifth psychological thriller THE FEAR was published on 22nd March 2018 in the UK and was another Sunday Times bestseller. It was longlisted in the National Book Awards crime/thriller category, shortlisted in the Dead Good Book Awards for ‘Most Recommended Read’ and in the ‘Page turner’ category in the Hearst Big Book Awards.

Her sixth psychological SLEEP was published in ebook and hardback in the UK on 21st March 2019 and will be released in paperback on 5th September 2019.

15 thoughts on “Faces in the Crowd: #Strangers by C.L. Taylor @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK”

  1. This sounds excellent. A book with plots you don’t see coming are the best kind. And reminders that small actions can have big consequences in books keep me gripped as they tend to stay with you after you’ve read it. Fab review for a great sounding book Meggy.


  2. This one sounds really good! I have seen this author’s books around a lot but haven’t read anything by her, I will definitely have to check this one out 🙂


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