The Other Passenger
The Other Passenger
by Louise Candlish
July 20, 2021
by Atria Books
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
From the bestselling author of Our House, winner of the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year Award
You’re feeling pretty smug about your commute to work by riverboat. No more traffic gridlock or getting stuck on the tube in tunnels (you’re claustrophobic); now you’ve got an iconic Thames view, fresh air ?— a whole lifestyle upgrade. You’ve made new friends onboard — led by your hedonistic young neighbour, Kit ?— and just had your first ‘water rats’ Christmas drinks.
But the first day back after Christmas, Kit isn’t on the morning boat. The river landmarks are all the same, but something’s off. You disembark to find the police waiting. Kit’s wife, Melia, has reported him missing and another passenger witnessed the two of you arguing on the last boat home after your drinks. Police say you had a reason to lash out at him. To kill him.
You protest. You and Kit are friends ?— ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your private lives? No, whatever coincidences might have occurred that night, you are innocent, totally innocent.
This book has a gripping description. I love how there is an unreliable narrator who may be lying to us the entire time. This was surprisingly the first book I’ve read by Candlish, but I really enjoyed it. Their genre is right up my alley. At the beginning, I was immediately riveted. It’s one of those books that kicks off with a bang. From the first page, I knew there was a murder, and thanks to the police investigation, I knew our main character was going to be deep in it. Poor Jamie has a low paying job, no real friends, and an absolute blinding fear of the Tube. Without Clare, he would barely be keeping it together. Now, he also has her co-worker, Melia and her partner Kit. That is, until Kit’s disappearance. All of the fingers seem to be pointing to Jamie as the one with the obvious motive. Although, it’s not so obvious to anyone except maybe the police. Now Clare and Jamie have the struggle of a lifetime to prove he’s innocent. Jamie will do anything to find Kit and clear his own name of any wrongdoing.
As I said above, this book will grab you from the very beginning. However, there are some things that didn’t really work for me. Even though we hear the story from Jamie’s voice, I really like Clare. I think her voice is downplayed a bit too much, and I wish it were stronger. I know it can’t be the main voice, but she’s definitely more fiery than we can see from her here. Also, the book started off so strong, and then idled for a while. After the first 20% of the book or so, I felt like I was on autopilot waiting for the next big reveal. Sure, there are some things that are surprising that come out, but it did feel like it just dragged a little bit. Although towards the end it did take off like a rocket for me once the reveals started coming out. That said, I still really enjoyed this book. I think the author has a knack for writing this back and forth timeline. It’s one of my favorite type of stories to read. I never had any problem keeping the two timelines separate, and Jamie’s voice is really strong. I felt like I could really feel what he was feeling through the whole story.
A huge thank you to Louise Candlish, Atria, and Netgalley for this tantalizing read!