Five strangers witness a brutal murder in broad daylight — but can they truly believe what they saw?
With its grassy hills and breathtaking city views, London’s Hampstead Heath is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends and loved ones—and on an unseasonably warm Valentine’s Day, the lawns are especially full. So when an aggressive lovers’ quarrel breaks out, there’s an audience of park goers nearby to hear the shouts traded back and forth, and to watch as the violence escalates suddenly to murder, then suicide.
For the five strangers who observed the gruesome act, the memory of the gore is unshakable. But one of them—disgraced journalist Jen Hunter—is compelled to question the truth of what she thought she saw. Are the facts of the case plain as day, or were they obscured, in the moment, by the glaring sunlight?
As she mounts an obsessive investigation for a seemingly-impossible alternative, the lives of the other witnesses begin to unravel, each in its own particular way. Soon one thing becomes clear: the crime they witnessed was more terrible, more twisted, and more far-reaching than they ever could have imagined.
About the Author:
E. V. Adamson is a pseudonym of award-winning journalist and author Andrew Wilson. He is the author of four acclaimed biographies, including one on Patricia Highsmith, and four Agatha Christie novels, which feature the Queen of Crime as a series sleuth.
"An 'of-the-moment' mystery which keeps you wondering until the final page." - Jane Corry, author of I Made a Mistake
"It starts with a chilling act of murder and continues with twist after twist" - Claire McGowan, author of The Other Wife
"So perfectly pitched it gave me vertigo." - Kate Weinberg, author of The Truants
"Both a tightly-plotted, entertaining work of suspense and an unflinching study of the trauma of witnessing violence" - Louise Candlish, author of Our House
"Fantastic—I read this in one sitting" - Kate Mosse
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 60 members
This is one of the most interesting books I’ve read so far this year. It’s largely a book about perspective and the perspective of five different characters. Does perspective equal truth? This book does a great job of answering that.
I was not at all prepared for how much I would enjoy Five Strangers! It is a gorgeous February day, actually, Valentine’s Day and Jen Hunter is waiting for her friend Bex at Hampstead Heath. A day for love turns tragic with no warning as a man murders the woman he was with and then commits suicide. For the five witnesses, it is something that will affect each of their lives and something that none of them will ever forget. Jen had lost her job and her boyfriend, and even if she was not already having an awful day, this tragedy will have unimaginable repercussions for her. She receives a message asking her if she is certain about what happened at the park. At first, convinced this is obviously someone's idea of a cruel joke, events soon lead her on a journey to find the truth. Is it possible that the five of them have somehow been deceived? Her investigation uncovers many secrets but as she digs deeper, she slowly fears that she is either losing her grip on reality or that someone once very close to her wants her dead. The more I learned about Jen, the more I questioned whether or not she was an unreliable narrator or if something more sinister was occurring. Told from Jen and Bex's POVs, I found out how far someone would go to fulfill their own sick agenda as I flew through the pages. You know how you can love a book but also dislike writing a review because you don't want to give anything away. Yep, this is that book. All I will say is that this story took off in a way I never expected.4.5 stars.
Massive surprise! I was hoping for it to be good of course, but I thought this might be a bit generic and wasn't that sure. It did everything perfectly. The writing, the plot, the narrative, the characters, everything! And this it where you see that the difference between a good novel and a great one, are not always about big things, but more in the way the author handle every little details in it and Adamson does it like a master. I definitely recommend it!
Wow, this book should definitely be turned into a movie.. When Jen Hunter and four bystanders witness a horrific murder-suicide in a lovely park, it seems as if it is a cut and dry case. However,Jen,recovering from a horrible break up with her boyfriend and the loss of her job as a blog writer, thinks that she and the witnesses have all missed something. Jen turns to her best friend, Bex, to help her keep from having another mental breakdown and perhaps discover what really happened on that horrible day. Adamson cleverly reveals more about each character until all is revealed.
We LOVE unreliable narrators! But is everyone unreliable? Can I trust anyone in this story? Oh man, it threw me. It surprised me. It got me. Everything is distorted and only perceived. I loved this book so much.
It’s Valentine’s Day in London and Hampstead Heath is filled with people celebrating the holiday. Suddenly a fight breaks out between a man and woman as they start to yell at each other. This argument then leads to violence that leaves the woman dead and then the man proceeds to commit suicide. There were five strangers that had observed the entire incident. One of them, Jen Hunter, is a journalist and instinctually questions the facts of the event they had witnessed. Is there more to the story than a simple lover’s quarrel gone wrong? E.V. Adamson has created a fantastic thriller that will pull you in and keep you guessing. I loved the fast pace and the alternating POV between Bex and Jen, this kept me fully engaged from beginning to end. It was a mental puzzle with all of the pieces falling into place one by one. I can highly recommend this one to thriller/mystery fans! Many thanks to Scarlet and NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.