The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths Book Review @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

the stranger diaries


A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…


Elly Griffiths is back with a new stand-alone novel, The Stranger Diaries. I love Elly Griffiths’ writing. I’ve recently read the first two novels in her Dr Ruth Galloway series, and with all three books I have read, I have found them utterly engaging from the start. If you haven’t read any of Elly’s previous work before, this is the perfect time to start.

Her latest book had me hooked from the first page and immediately she sets the tone for what is a dark and an absorbing tale. We meet Clare Cassidy, who is a teacher at a secondary school, and who also teaches creative writing in her spare time. The school that Clare is teaching at is a Victorian mansion, once owned by RM Holland, whom Clare is currently researching and planning to write a book about. But at the beginning of the book, one of her fellow teachers, Ella, is found murdered, and she won’t be the first to die. But what is more disturbing to Clare is the haunting link the current murders have to events that took place in the time of the man she is researching.

Clare was an intriguing character from the start. The woman who has been found dead was a good friend of hers at the school and Clare becomes anxious and is determined to find out who has done this, especially when more deaths begin to occur.

There are lots of reasons which make this book compelling; the strange writing that starts appearing in Clare’s diaries, these added some really chilling moments, her research into the old owner of the house, and the characters around Clare. There were very few people in Clare’s life who I thought I could trust. This is what made this book particularly enjoyable as I tried to work out if any of them were responsible for the murders and why.

I really enjoyed reading Elly’s latest book. I hope that she will feature Detective Harbinder again as she is also a character who I really engaged with and I would really like to see her progress further. The Stranger Diaries is addictive, a thoroughly enjoyable Gothic tale. Definitely recommended.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 1st November 2018

Print length: 416 pages


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