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The Other People


The Other People

THE OTHER PEOPLE opens with one of my all-time favorite philosophical quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre: “Hell is other people.” As far as this novel is concerned, the group of “Samaritans” known as The Other People appear to be out there seeking to do what's right and get justice for others --- with a small price. That small price is a “favor” that may be cashed in at any time. Sometimes, The Other People do things that are not so nice, and the pressure they can exert if you fail to live up to your end of the bargain may make you believe that they are less than Samaritan-like and closer to residents of that warmer climate that Sartre had referenced.

British author C. J. Tudor has taken the thriller world by storm as this eerily creepy novel follows her international hits, THE CHALK MAN and THE HIDING PLACE. She has drawn positive blurbs from literary heavyweights like Stephen King and Harlan Coben, and the praise is well deserved. THE OTHER PEOPLE poses the question: What sort of personal wrong deserves to be avenged, and how far would you go to see that become a reality?

"THE OTHER PEOPLE is a completely original work of fiction that gets under your skin and doesn't leave until well after the final page has been turned."

The story jumps between different characters with an eventual connection being made later on in the narrative. One of the primary characters is the middle-aged Gabe Forman, who is driving on the highway one evening after work when he sees a car pass him by that he swears has his five-year-old daughter in the backseat. Ironically he receives a call from Detective Maddox, who advises him that something bad has happened to his wife and daughter.

We then are introduced to what appears to be a typical mother and daughter, Fran and Alice. While they are dining at a restaurant, Alice gets up to use the restroom. There she notices that her reflection is actually of someone else, someone she doesn't know. She collapses to the floor and is found several minutes later by a worried Fran. Alice begins to exhibit even stranger behavior, like having visions of a young girl all alone in an entirely white hospital room. At the end of this vision, the girl tells Alice that “the Sandman is coming.”

Interwoven throughout the stories involving Gabe and Fran/Alice are other characters, some of whom belong to the group known as The Other People. It is while Gabe is eating out that he finds a strange notebook with the title THE OTHER PEOPLE spelled out on the cover. He also has met a tall, thin man who purports to be just a good Samaritan seeking to help him get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding his wife and daughter, who the police claim were murdered. His father-in-law even identifies the bodies, but still Gabe cannot let go of the fact that he saw his daughter in the back of that car, and he knows she is alive somewhere.

Gabe ventures onto the dark web and finds a site that connects him to The Other People, where he learns a lot about them. To begin with, they have many rules. They promise to “share the pain...with those who deserve it.” Beyond their odd mission statement is a Q&A to help visitors to the site find out more about them. For instance: Q: Why are you called The Other People? A: We all think that tragedy happens only to other people. Until it happens to us. We are people just like you. They then go on to talk about how they seek out justice for others and what their definition of that justice is. This is extremely creepy, fun stuff!

There are quite a few plot twists and revelations that will have you on the edge of your seat. THE OTHER PEOPLE is a completely original work of fiction that gets under your skin and doesn't leave until well after the final page has been turned. In fact, I think that many readers will be so creeped out that they are sure to dream about these situations that Tudor has served up. What I like most of all is the final page that leaves the door wide open for further time to be spent with these characters, as well as The Other People.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on February 28, 2020

The Other People
by C. J. Tudor

  • Publication Date: October 6, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 1984825011
  • ISBN-13: 9781984825018