The Secrets of Strangers
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café - their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage. But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will...more
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Tuckbox was their café of choice near to the London railway station so customers could grab a quick takeaway coffee before jumping onto the train and heading into work. But one weekday morning, as strangers converged on Tuckbox, all with their own agendas, another person was about to change their lives. A volatile, angry young man entered Tuckbox; words were exchanged, and he left. But within minutes hed returned, and this time he held a shotgun in his hands. Terror reigned as shots were ...more
All you really need to know about this book is:
One Monday morning in the Tuckbox Cafe in ...more
The Strangers with the Secrets find themselves unwillingly spending the day in a cafe after a dude with a shotgun holds them all hostage.
That's the plot.
And I can't tell you how much I enjoyed learning about these strangers. This is one of those books that reminds you that everyone is living a life you know nothing about. It was fascinating and gut-wrenching and these people were so real to me and I felt all their triumphs and heartbreaks as my own.
Honestly I don't want ...more
People heading to work and school, on their way home from night shift or popping in for a coffee to warm them up. A man enters the cafe with a shotgun and alters the course of their day.
This is a hostage situation and we get to know all the characters including the hostage negotiator.
I really enjoyed this book and the interaction of the characters involved.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Books for my e-copy in exchange ...more
The one night. It was a random chance, you see? Like being in here today. This was a random chance too.
Charity Norman as shortlisted for the Best Crime Novel in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Crime and she utilises this expertise to present a new crime thriller. The Secrets of Strangers is brimming with dark secrets, shocking revelations and complex issues relating to the heart of humanity. Charity Normans explosive new offering is absorbing from the first ...more
Ohh man. By the end of this I was wanting to give this 7 stars total. What an amazing story this was!
While it wasn't really much of a thriller/mystery as I had thought, that didn't matter one bit. Yeah it was still partially a thriller but it was also a drama. Normally such books in not keen on so the fact I gave this 5 and want to add a bonus 2 stars, says Ohh so much.
The Story is of 5 strangers who are at a London Cafe called The ...more
I found it absolutely riveting, moving and unputdownable, Just like the cover said.
The characters were all believable and my opinion on some of them changed as I got further into the book.
I can't say anymore, without spoiling it - all I can say is read it!
Charity Norman kept this story interesting without making it long and boring. It kept me reading, had me on the edge of my seat right up until the end. I loved the ending as it really did complete the story.
The characters were all different in their take on things, their personalities and their way of life yet they all came together to help end a volatile situation.
I had so much empathy for the main character, Sam, after all he'd endured at the hands of his step-father. Perhaps having recently been subjected to 'gaslighting' I could identify more readily with Sam. The insidious way these people, 'gaslighters', go about undermining you and your beliefs, breaking you down piece by piece, isolating you from any support networks for their own evil ...more
On an ordinary weekday morning, an irate young man storms into a London cafe, raises a shotgun and fires twice at the proprietor. Staff and patrons scatter in fear, but an unlucky few find themselves trapped with the gunman.
In the hours that follow, as the police negotiator attempts to broker an end to the standoff, the remaining hostages - a nurse, a barrister, and a homeless man - form an extraordinary bond as they try to make sense of the situation they are in, and prevent an escalation of ...more
The Premise, 5 strangers trapped in a cafe with a crazy gunman, this sounded a lot like a real-life siege in Sydney a few years ago.
These strangers have nothing apparent in common, but as we slowly get to meet each of the hostages, as well as the gunman, we learn their stories and they learn about each other. They all have secrets and demons that are ...more
I love all of Charity Normanss books and recommend her to all my reader friends.
This one had me gripped and enthralled from the beginning.
So much humanity, love, understanding and so many engaging characters involved in the drama.
Keep writing dear Charity! ...more
This is my first book by Charity Norman; See You In September is now on my reading list. This is a captivating read; it kept me awake well into the night. Set in a London cafe, a group of strangers are thrown together when they are taken hostage. There is real tension in this unique crafted writing style. With wonderful character development, it grabbed me from the first page. ...more
Ive been busy and Ive also been under the weather, otherwise I might have finished this in a day or two. Im pretty sure the book would have read itself! :P
My main gripe with this story ...more
The bookcover reads unputdownable but I certainly had no qualms in putting it down before I drowned in saccharine. With a veneer of ...more
So we have five strangers in a cafe when a gunman takes them hostage and from then on we gradually learn more about these people their lives and much much more, the story is told with so much empathy and all of their lives are so different that it makes for a read that just grips you and doesnt let go. Although this is classed as thriller its so much more than that and I felt myself really caring for the ...more
It began as a group of strangers whose lives intersect at a cafe that becomes the scene of a siege. As their stories unfold they are drawn to each other in companionship, the most unlikely of sorts; a refugee nurse from Rwanda ...more
During the ensuing kerfuffle many patrons escape but the few who dont become hostages.
Over the course of the day the story enfolds. We learn what lead the gunman to that café on that particular morning. We also get to know the hostages and the negotiator.
The Secrets of Strangers was not the straight hostage/gunman story I thought it would be. It was an exploration of people and the consequences of the ...more
Its opens very strongly, much better than I was expecting. I absolutely bolted through the opening 100-odd pages but sadly, the further it went, the more emotionally manipulative it got. The over-exposition is pretty laughable at times as Norman pushes the narrative that a certain character is actually evil personified down your throat. The characters are all massively ...more
This is such a well written book
with a nice pace
the characters are believable
and has the story unfolds you end up emotionally attached to them all
Thank you netgalley, Charity Norman and Atlantic Books for allowing me to read and review this book
After the Fall/Second Chances (2013) was a Richard & Judy and World ...more