Review: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish


Title: The Other Passenger

Author: Louise Candlish

Published: July 8th 2020, Simon & Schuster Au

Status: Read July 2020 courtesy Simon & Schuster


My Thoughts:

“Like all commuter horror stories, mine begins in the mean light of early morning – or, at least, officially it does.”

When James Buckby disembarks from his riverboat commute to Central London, he is met by two police officers eager to question him about his missing friend, Kit Roper. The police, it transpires, are acting on information from another passenger who witnessed an argument between Jamie and Kit days earlier, and suspect foul play.

The story of Kit’s fate unfolds from the first perspective of Jamie, whose narrative may or may not be reliable, as he details how he and his partner, Clare, met and befriended Kit, and his wife Melia. Their friendship develops quickly but soon grows complicated, tainted with betrayal, envy and deception.

I expect I’ll be in the minority, but unfortunately I struggled to finish The Other Passenger. Though the plot, when it finally unravels, is surprising and clever, exactly what I expect from Candlish, I found the build up too slow and the characters largely so unappealing, I didn’t much care what happened to any of them.

You may feel otherwise, and I wouldn’t like to discourage anyone from picking this up. I truly admired the twists, but I can’t personally rate it as any more than okay.


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Also by Louise Candlish reviewed at Book’d Out

Review: Those People by Louise Candlish


Title: Those People

Author: Louise Candlish

Published: June 27th 2019, Simon & Schuster UK

Status: Read May 2019, courtesy Simon & Schuster AU/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

Lowland Way is a desirable suburban address in the south of London. The homes are well maintained, the gardens manicured, the school district is favoured, the street even closes to traffic on a Sunday to allow the children to play freely. So when Darren Booth, and his girlfriend Jodie, move into Number 1, the residents are shocked by the new neighbours disdain for the status quo. They are loud, uncouth, and crude, and everyone wants them gone, but is someone on Lowland Way willing to kill to accomplish it?

Taking place over a period of a few months, we learn immediately that someone is dead. The story moves back and forth between the events unfolding on the street, and statements taken by the police in the aftermath of the death. Curiosity should keep your attention through the first third of the novel, and though the pace lags a little in the middle, it picks up and wallops you with quite a twist when you least expect it.

What I most enjoyed about Those People was the way in which Candlish’s ‘respectable’ characters fall apart in the presence of this interloper. Their veneer of civility slips, bit by bit, as their frustration and outrage grows. Only a handful of neighbours are directly affected by Darren’s behaviour, and while they try to do the right thing to start with, lodging complaints with the police and council, bureaucracy moves slowly, too slowly for some.

Those People is a provocative psychosocial drama, which offers some interesting twists. I found it a quick and entertaining read.


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