Tuesday 12 March 2019

#BookReview The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths @HMHbooks

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the author of the beloved Ruth Galloway series, a modern gothic mystery for fans of Magpie Murders and The Lake House.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favourite literature.

To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn't hers, left on the page of an old diary: "Hallo, Clare. You don’t know me."

Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?


The Stranger Diaries is a stand-alone thriller from the creator of the Ruth Galloway series. I found the book to be both entertaining and pretty predictable. I found the first half of the book to be really good, then somewhere along the way did I predict who the culprit was. Then, I pretty much waited to see if I was right. And, I was. And, that's the issue I have with the book, not enough suspects. It was too easy to figure out who was behind writing in Clare's diary.

I loved the fact that that the old school was the previous home of a famous author whose wife is said to haunt the house. At the same time, I wished that Griffiths had used this more in the story, made the story about the author more sinister. This whodunnit story just didn't rock my boat. It was like a Midsomer Murder episode, and one of the less interesting ones.

The writing is good, I liked that the book is split between different POV, Clare, the cop and Clare's daughter. Getting different POV, seeing the characters from different perspectives was a great move. All and all would I say that this book didn't completely engross me, I liked the story. However, I would have liked a better ending, a more shocking one.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

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