Review: The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman


Title: The Secrets of Strangers

Author: Charity Norman

Published: March 3rd 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read March 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

On an ordinary weekday morning, an irate young man storms into a London cafe, raises a shotgun and fires twice at the proprietor. Staff and patrons scatter in fear, but an unlucky few find themselves trapped with the gunman.

In the hours that follow, as the police negotiator attempts to broker an end to the standoff, the remaining hostages – a nurse, a barrister, and a homeless man – form an extraordinary bond as they try to make sense of the situation they are in, and prevent an escalation of the violence.

Tense, provocative, and emotionally charged, this well-written character driven novel unfolds from multiple perspectives as the author slowly reveals the circumstances that has led to this shocking crisis. I’m loathe to reveal any details of The Secrets of Strangers that make this such an engrossing read as Norman takes an unexpected path to shed light on the motivation of the hostage-taker, and the lives of those caught up in his crazed action.

As with Charity Norman’s previous novels that I’ve read – Second Chances, The Son In Law, and The Secret Life of Luke Livingston – The Secrets of Strangers explores humanity’s weaknesses and strengths in the face of tragedy.


Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD $29.99

or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

Also by Charity Norman reviewed at Book’d Out

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Barrett
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 22:05:54

    A very careful review, but enticing too! I look forward to exploring this one myself and thanks for a great review.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Claire Louisa
    Mar 05, 2020 @ 23:09:13

    I’m reading this at the moment and I’m finding it hard to put down. After this I really want to read See You In September, that has been waiting to be read by me for ages.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. fuonlyknew
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 05:34:04

    I enjoyed your review and I’m curious to try this author now.



  4. Helen Murdoch
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 06:08:09

    This could have been ripped from the news headlines. It makes me think a bit of Bel Canto where the situation provides a venue for the characters to shine.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Kathryn
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 17:59:24

    Saw this on shop shelf today. Your review makes it like good reading. Hmm.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Beth F
    Mar 06, 2020 @ 22:47:39

    I don’t think I’ve read this author . . . I’ll have to investigate.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Vicki
    Mar 07, 2020 @ 00:51:11

    New to me author, the book sounds really good. And I love the cover!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. the bookworm
    Mar 08, 2020 @ 00:45:26

    The Secrets of Strangers sounds intense.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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