I was thrilled to receive a copy of Louise Candlish’s latest book, The Other Passenger, from lovely Jess Barratt at Simon and Schuster in return for an honest review because I absolutely loved Louise’s Our House. You can read my review of Our House here. I’m ashamed to say that Those People is still sitting on my TBR but I do take it down frequently and read the dedication in the front from Louise that I received at the book’s launch.
The Other Passenger will be published by Simon and Schuster on 25th June 2020 and is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Other Passenger
It all happens so quickly. One day you’re living the dream, commuting to work by riverbus with your charismatic neighbour Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn’t turned up for the boat and his wife Melia has reported him missing.
When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends – ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?
No, whatever danger followed you home last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.
My Review of The Other Passenger
Jamie and Clare have the perfect life.
What a creepy, distasteful, and utterly compelling world Louise Candlish has created in The Other Passenger. I loved every word. I felt totally tense throughout because Jamie’s first person voice speaks straight to the reader, drawing them in and making them complicit in the action so that I felt excited, unnerved and almost guilty. By the end of the book I felt I had experienced every moment with Jamie et al.
Indeed, the characters in The Other Passenger are awful, brilliant and fascinating. I loathed each in turn, I felt empathy for each in turn, and Louise Candlish so manipulated my responses I didn’t know who was innocent, guilty or deserving of compassion or disgust. This is absolutely brilliant writing. The people in The Other Passenger are clearly depicted so that they leap from the page vividly and I forgot I was reading a story, but felt I was listening to Jamie in person. Melia and Kit in particular made my flesh crawl but I needed to know every intimate detail about them with the same level of fascination as Jamie has.
The plot, as I would expect from Louise Candlish, is carefully wrought and plotted, so that by half way through the novel when I have usually worked out what is going on, I had no clue as to what the outcome might be. The drip feeding of information, the unreliable nature of the characters and the rapid events meant I was ensnared and unable to put the book down. I had to know what happened next.
I thought the menacing nature of the setting supported the plot perfectly too. The murky, swirling history of the Thames turns a seemingly innocuous action of taking the riverbus to work into a threatening, skin crawling experience. I truly felt tense and this effect is enhanced by reference to real events from the past so that the reader loses sight of the fact they are reading a story rather than a real life account.
The Other Passenger is a brilliant exploration of being careful what you wish for with themes of emotional and sexual betrayal, truth and lies, affluence and poverty, ambition and acceptance making for a thought provoking as well as entertaining read. Louse Candlish made me consider how far we judge others by their jobs, homes and possessions and she shows us just how wrong we can be on so many levels. This is a sophisticated, multi-layered book that mesmerised and repelled me in equal measure because it made me consider the blackness of my own soul compared with others. The Other Passenger is so good!
If The Other Passenger doesn’t become one of THE books of the summer there’s no justice. It’s a cracker and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
About Louise Candlish
Louise Candlish is the bestselling author of twelve novels, including The Sudden Departure Of The Frasers (2015) and The Swimming Pool (2016). Her thriller Our House was published in the UK in April 2018 by Simon & Schuster, followed by Those People in 2019.
Though her stories are about people facing dark dilemmas, Louise tries to get through the day without too much drama of her own. She lives in South London with her husband and daughter and is very attached to her dog Maggie and cat Tilly.