Cover Image: The Strangers We Know

The Strangers We Know

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Member Reviews

What do you do when you spot a man that looks suspiciously like your husband on a dating site? 

When Charlie is confronted by that situation she takes matters into her own hands by trying to discover the truth and joins the dating app herself. 

This is the start of a very compelling story, which asks us how well we actually know people. Especially people we promise to spend the rest of our lives with. 

A fast paced and intriguing novel.  I am looking forward to reading more by this author.
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Charlie is looking through a dating app with her friend, helping her find a date when she come across her own husbands picture.  At first she thinks it is just a mistake but the more she looks at the picture she realises they are actually photos she has copies of.  She confronts him and he denies it but she is still unsure.  Charlie starts secretly looking into her husbands personal computer and information and comes up with way more than she bargained for.

I loved the Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale and she has produced the goods again with The Strangers We Know!

#netgalley #PipDrysdale #TheStrangersWeKnow
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Book blurb...
Imagine seeing your loving husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing to happen to you all week… 
When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband Oliver on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends were laughingly swiping through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t because she took that photo. On their honeymoon. She just can’t let it go.
Suddenly other signs of betrayal begin to add up and so Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend her position – she signs up to the app to catch Oliver in the act.
But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are... The eagerly awaited new thriller from the bestselling author of The Sunday Girl.

My Thoughts…
PLOT
Pip Drysdale has again created a plot that hooks you as a reader, even though you want to shake the main character when she makes decisions that put her in difficult situations where she may get herself into lots of trouble.
PACE
The pace of this story is good and as with good mystery thrillers, you find yourself unable to put it down.
LANDSCAPE
Landscape does not play a big part in this story as the plot is more about the characters than the environment they are in.
LIKEABLE CHARACTERS 
I so wanted to like Oliver, Charlie's husband however the plot kept giving me reasons not to, but were they true?
UNLIKABLE CHARACTERS 
I found myself persuaded to like the unlikable characters until Charlie pulls the rug out from under me.
OVERALL FEELINGS ABOUT THE STORY
In 2018 I read the Sunday Girl and summarised it as "It’s often said a book is impossible to put down and this one really, really is.”  Here I am in 2019 saying you have done it Pip Drysdale and Thanks.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a copy of this book and a kindle version to review!

Charlie is on a night out with her girlfriends and as one of her friends scrolls through a dating app, she catches a glimpse of what she is sure is a photo of her husband on it. What follows is a series of twisty turns, where it seems that a cheating husband is the least of Charlie’s worries.

This was definitely an exciting page turner! I was never quite sure who could be trusted and which way the story would go.

I did feel that Charlie was not a very relatable character and I found her a bit grating, however that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book and I would give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 stars
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Charlie’s seemingly perfect life comes to a devastating halt when she discovers her husband, Oliver, has a profile on a dating app. Instead of confronting him, Charlie creates a fake profile on the same app to catch him out. But then something unthinkable happens and suddenly the police want to speak to Charlie. Oliver isn’t the man she thought he was at all; turns out he’s involved with some very dangerous people. Charlie must now find the evidence that will prove her innocence before the real perpetrator catches up to her. But who can she trust?

What follows is a suspenseful pursuit around South West London as Charlie breaks into buildings, downloads secret documents and evades the police, until she ultimately finds herself right in the middle of the danger she has been trying to avoid.

The story is told in an easy, conversational first person narrative from Charlie’s point of view, which is witty and sardonic, and despite her rich and beautiful lifestyle (she’s an actress who works in a vintage clothing store in Notting Hill) has insecurities that make her relatable, ensuring the reader remains invested in her story.

Pip Drysdale, author of the bestselling thriller The Sunday Girl, takes the reader on a journey of cleverly placed cliffhangers as Charlie’s life gets increasingly worse. The writing is imaginative and colourful. Charlie, who thinks in movies and tv, describes her life as though she is playing a role on screen, where everyone you meet is the star of their own film and you’re just an extra. As she tries to act like the heroine of her own story, Charlie soon realises her life has become more crime thriller than romantic comedy.

A riveting roller coaster of relationships gone wrong and what ordinary people do when they’re placed in extraordinary situations, The Strangers We Know is a gripping thriller that you will read in a day and then recommend to all of your friends.
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The blurb got me straight away and I couldn't wait to read more. This book was very well written. The characters were easy to connect to.
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“Nothing is ever as it seems, is it?”

When Charlie Carter catches a glimpse of a man who looks like her husband on a dating app, she desperately wants to believe she is mistaken. Since their marriage eighteen months previously, Oliver has been the perfect husband…hardworking, attentive and loving, and she wants his unequivocal denial to be enough.

“You see, that’s the problem with trust issues: eventually you find you can’t trust yourself either.”

But it isn’t. To allay her lingering suspicions, Charlie sets a trap and is devastated when her worst fear is realised. Her marriage is over.

“And that should have been it: rock bottom. A cheating husband and broken dreams. Fair is fair. But no. Life was just getting warmed up.”

Fast-paced with some surprising twists, The Strangers We Know is an entertaining contemporary thriller from Pip Drysdale.

I really enjoyed the plot, and I’m loathe to spoil the surprises it offers. There is an unpredictability that is compelling, if not entirely credible, and I easily read it straight through.

Unfolding from Charlie’s first person perspective, Drysdale exploits the character’s profession as an actress in the structure of the novel, it’s easy to imagine this novel being adapted for the screen. It has a modern sensibility which will appeal to a younger audience, and a classic whodunnit twist to satisfy mystery fans.

Caught in a web of deceit and betrayal, and unsure who to trust, Charlie doesn’t always make smart decisions, which can be frustrating, but her naivety is also relatable, which makes her an appealing character. She is indubitably the star of this novel.

“But here’s the thing with life: You have to get through it. There’s no choice. Eventually, even in real life, the heroine has to win out in the end.”
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Interestingly I read Pip Drysdale's The Sunday Girl, while travelling home from Italy last October. It's typical of me, but I've included reference to my Emirates meal in the review, which in retrospect is kinda weird. Happily however, I enjoyed the book (far more than the meal) and it seems, though I thought I knew what was going to happen, it didn't quite play out like that.

Similarly, here though I kinda guessed the 'who' of this book, I didn't guess the 'why'. Drysdale offers readers a twisty ride and I was quite surprised at some of the false leads I happily pursued as I was reading. I tend to think of myself as pretty savvy in terms of whodunnits (mostly because I ponder 'why' characters or information are introduced rather than having some great crime-solving ability). Here however, (like in Drysdale's last book) I easily believed some of the bad press given to some characters and misjudged a few people.

The book's written from Charlie's point of view so we know what she knows... when she knows it. We know how charming Oliver was in their first encounter. And we learn later his behaviour was part of a dare (sorry, spoiler alert). And then there's his history with other women and a jilted ex in particular. So.... there are a few bumps but 18mths later Charlie and Oliver are happy. Until she sees him on the dating app.

Because we're in her head, we know how he acts around her (and his reaction to her suspicions) and it's hard to reconcile the Oliver we see through Charlie with the one she's starting to worry exists. She gives him chance after chance to prove her wrong. There's something about his behaviour that rings true, that isn't hiding a whole other life that involves cheating on Charlie; but she's confronted with a stream of evidence to the contrary.

So Charlie starts to snoop; wondering how well she knows her husband. How well she knows of his sexual and relationship history and his rather nebulous business exploits.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise there's something about iffy about Oliver's work. But is it Oliver? Is it his dodgy partner Justin? Or is it just reflective of their business, working in countries like Nigeria and Brazil and dealing with people he'd prefer not talk about.

I have to admit, I'm really distrustful. (Perhaps why I'm still single in my 50s.) I know people who've discovered partners on dating apps when, like Charlie, they've assumed they're in happy relationships. Or... as experienced by a friend here, the potential suitor is just a 'playa' who says he's leaving his wife, but really not.

There's an interesting support cast - Charlie's bestie, a work colleague, a pilates friend. And then there's Oliver's world and his business partner Justin.

I really enjoyed this book. There was a slight sense of an anticlimax on its conclusion, and I'm not sure if that's because we find out secrets in an iterative way. Something that's also one of the novel's strengths. Drysdale does the 'just when you think you have all of the answers...' type twist well.

I noted in Drysdale's first book she cleverly used The Art of War as reference. Here each chapter is introduced as an 'episode' reflecting Charlie's work as an actress. I also liked that - though the book is written in present tense, it's also kinda written retrospectively - counting down from a key turning point in the novel. 

I liked Charlie. As I said, we're in her head so it's hard not to feel sympathy and identify with your host or narrator; she also annoyed me a little and I wasn't sure why. She's likeable enough... not precious or untrustworthy but there's a sense of her not really being invested in her own life.

She worries about Oliver's motivation for proposing for example, but doesn't talk about her own for accepting. And then there's the stuff with her ex-boyfriend.

It felt a bit like she's happy to hand responsibility for her life to someone else.

"Oliver was like one of those brightly coloured dividers between sections of a school folder. There was my life 'before Oliver', where reality was a far cry from what I'd thought life would be like....

Then there was my life 'after Oliver', where I was calmer....

'Love' with him meant I was seen. I was safe....

It gave me strength. As though my love for him formed a secondary spine." pp 9-10

Weirdly, there's reference to an event in Charlie's past about which we get some detail but not much and felt a little underdone, though I guess it helps shape the person we meet now.

"That was the 'me' I'd recreated when I'd moved to London to start afresh at nineteen. I couldn't change my interior monologue, my fears, nor my wounds, and so instead I changed what I showed people. I created an illusion and I wore it like armour. See: none of us are who we appear to be." p 18

All in all though, this is another entertaining read from Drysdale and I'm enjoying her work... and look forward to more!
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I pride myself on being some what of a self-appointed private detective, so this story appealed to me on so many levels. From the moment Charlie discovers her husband's photo on a dating app, her life begins to unravel. And instead of taking the approach of talking directly to him, she decides to use all her knowledge from films and T.V. shows to go undercover and expose the truth. This takes her on a trail of more lies and deception than she could have imagined, about her picture perfect life and husband.

The Strangers We Know is fast paced, full of twists and turns, and written in a very contemporary voice and style. I loved the moments when Charlie would talk directly to the reader, with lines like "pay attention. You'll need to remember him later." It felt like a best friend telling you a "you won't even believe what happened to me" story. The second half of this book, when the story had built up to a certain point, really captivated me. I found myself up until 2am needing to find out how this would all resolve. 

Highly enjoyable. If you loved Catherine Steadman's Something in the Water, then I think you'll love this too.
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What would you do if you found out that your husband was cheating on you? What would you do if you found your whole life was a lie? Charlie's world collapses when quite by accident she finds her husbands profile on a dating site. When she confronts him he laughs it off, but things aren't adding up. She finds more signs of extra marital affairs, and then everything implodes, and she turns to her girlfriends for help.

As she digs into Oliver's life she is stunned to find that he, and others around her are hiding secrets, big secrets, and she isn't the only one being betrayed.

In 'The Strangers We Know' Pip Drysdale has a more than worthy follow up to 'The Sunday Girl'. It sucks you in at the start and spits you out at the end. Though I did have my suspicions who was behind it all, and I was right, this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, which I read quickly in a day. I recommend this book to all lovers of psychological fiction.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest r4eview.
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A blissfully happily married Charlie finds her world turned instantly upside-down when she stumbles across her husband Oliver on a dating app. Cue a twisty and fast-paced thriller that unravels the mystery of why Oliver appears to be someone other than the faithful man she has built her life around; and perhaps Charlie shares her life with more than one unsavoury character. How well do we really know the people we let into our lives? Who can we truly trust? Are we all just sharing our hopes and secrets with the strangers we know? 
🙊
"We like to believe we're in control of our lives; that if we buy insurance, think positive thoughts and pay our bills, we'll be safe. Everything will be okay. But the truth is that sometimes it's not okay. Sometimes all it takes is one plot twist to realise nobody is who you think they are and everything you know to be true is actually false."
📱
I am so grateful for the generosity Simon and Schuster Australia shows in gifting me with ARC's to review, and this one is no exception. Pop it on your Christmas wish-list and support this wonderful Aussie author @pipdrysdale
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I was hooked from the start, following the story of Charlie Carter, only recently married and out with girlfriends, she sees an image of her husband on a dating app. Could she have made a mistake or not? Her initial doubt begins to grow, and soon she finds herself looking for other evidence to support her fears, that her husband Oliver Buchanan has a secret life. Without revealing too much, Charlie’s life is turned upside down. Pip Drysdale’s draws you into Charlie’s life to such a degree, that it is almost voyeuristic. I couldn’t stop reading but I was almost fearful of what would be revealed. This was such a fast-paced thriller – I loved every minute of it.
5+ stars! I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Pip Drysdale has written another compelling story that gets hold of you and doesn’t let you go!  We initially meet Charlie Carter having broken up with her boyfriend and is being cheered up by her friend Tess, when she meets Oliver. It doesn’t take long but soon they are together and even married. However, things become complicated when Charlie sees her husband on a dating app. Things turn crazy as she follows up on this by joining the dating app herself.
The story takes many twists and turns that keep you intrigued and captivated! Murder and criminal activities add complexity and depth to the story. 

Highly recommended read.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher Simon & Schuster for a copy to read and review
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Just who can you trust?  A twisty modern day thriller!

Charlie notices her husband’s photo on a dating app her friends are swiping through, in fact she even took that photo on their honeymoon!  She’s in shock and thinks she must be mistaken as she has the perfect marriage, hasn’t she?  Her suspicions are now aroused and as she casts her mind back things start beginning to add up.

Charlie shamelessly decides to sign up to the dating app herself as a blonde she’s invented named Annabella with a few random photos she’s downloaded off the web of an attractive woman.  She intends to catch him out but she discovers it’s so much worse than she could possibly imagine and she is overcome with confusion.  When she confronts her husband Oliver, her life changes forever!

Charlie flees the house leaving Oliver and becomes involved in a tangled web of deceit, a police investigation and murder.

Wow the deeper you get into this story the more the plot thickens! A fast paced modern thriller where nothing is what it appears to be.  An entertaining read!
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I received an e-arc from Simon & Schuster Australia courtesy of Netgalley. That does not effect my review of this book.

The Strangers We Know is Pip Drysdale's sophomore novel, she has grown in her writing and it has shown!

The Strangers We Know had twists and turns that I did not see coming and I could not put the book down! I had to know how it ended! I really enjoyed the narration of this novel, Charlie is an aspiring actress so she recounts the days in a script like way.

I gave this book 4/5 stars and I highly recommend.
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Pip Drysdale - you have done it again!  When I read The Sunday Girl last year I was instantly a fan and could not wait to get my hands on copy of The Strangers We Know.  And again I stayed up way past my bedtime to read this book.  And it was absolutely worth all the lost sleep as I could not get enough.  This book is headed straight to the top of the bestsellers chart - it is brilliant!  I will be recommending The Strangers We Know to anybody that will listen to me!!

Imagine seeing a photo that you took of your own husband on your honeymoon on a dating app!  This is what happens to Charlie when she is out with the girls on night in London.  She keeps telling herself that she is imagining it, but at the same time she can't forget about it.  The more she thinks about it, the more signs she finds that Oliver to betraying her.  Up until this point she believe that they had the most perfect of lives. So Charlie does what any woman would do - she joins the app in an attempt to catch him in the act.  

Little does she know that this is start of her entire life crumbling, and not knowing who to trust or believe.  Her picture perfect life is over and she now has to find out who her husband really is. Charlie is thrown into a world that she did not even know existed and has to separate fact from fiction.  There are so many twists and red herrings that you will not know how it is all going to end.

The story is told from Charlies point of view, in both the past and the present.  We learn more about her life with Oliver and her past as the chapters go on.  Pip Drysdale is very clever at not giving anything away too soo, and making you think you know exactly what is happening before giving you whiplash when it twists again.

A very big thank you to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this fantastic book to read.  All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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This is a very twisty thriller indeed!

Charlie Carter thinks she has the perfect marriage to Oliver, a handsome, considerate man, so different to her previous partner Josh. But when she spots his photo on her friend's dating app she starts to have her doubts that he's not who she thought he was. And then she is implicated in a murder and must use all her smarts to work out what has been going on before the police catch up with her.

This is very compelling reading, because like Charlie, you just need to know what Oliver was up to and who can be trusted, but Pip Drysdale with keep us guessing to the end. Heart-racingly good!
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I LOVED this book!!! I had read another of Pip Drysdales books and was a little disappointed so when I finished this one, I was so glad that was amazing!!!! The twist at the end which I wasn’t expecting. I kinda had an idea of what was going to happen but when it all came together at the end… so good!!! Didn’t want to put this one down!!!! Thank you so much for letting me read it!!!!!
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Gripping and full of twists.  Found it hard to put down and devoured in 2 days.  Will be hand selling to all Sunday Girl fans
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You think you have a happy marriage....then you find your husband has a profile on a dating app....you set up your own fake profile to find out more about what your husband is doing behind your back. Lucky you have supportive girlfriends you can lean on during this time. Just when you think your life can't get any worse you are now a suspect in your husband's murder. All is not as it seems. My first time reading a Pip Drysdale book and what an introduction for me! It was a great read a page turner that kept me guessing with unpredictable twists which make for an enjoyable read in the thriller genre in my opinion. Definitely going to add her other books to my tbr pile. Thanks to #netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #pipdrysdale #tea_sipping_bookworm #litsy #bookstagram #simonandschuster  #amazon#kindle
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