The Secrets Of Strangers By Charity Norman
‘The Secrets Of Strangers’ is the latest book by Charity Norman.
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for a group of 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 the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?
Charity Norman is a new author for me and one that I enjoyed thoroughly after reading this book.
The story is seen from the different perspectives of people from all walks of life who decided to go to a particular coffee shop on a particular day when a man was feeling at his lowest.
To celebrate his birthday Neil gathers up all the change he has collected to treat himself to a cup of tea, solicitor Abi is getting ready to help a young mother in court and Mutesi has just come off a night shift to enjoy breakfast with her grandson and daughter. All four are preparing for the day ahead when a young man enters the cafe with a grudge and a gun. On the outside whilst people are fearing for their lives, negotiator Eliza is trying to get inside Sam’s head and figure out how he has got to this point in his life.
There are many things that I really liked about this book, the characters, the dialogue and the clever plot. The characters are an interesting mix of people who all have their secrets and issues, that on this particular things come to head and they find solace in each other during this surreal situation.
The characters are relatable and complex that I felt such an empathy for. Neil is homeless after unsuccessfully battling a gambling addition that has left him without his family and only Buddy a dog for company. Hardfaced Abi pretends that she the last thing she wants is a baby but that’s all she wants but biology isn’t on her side. Mutesi is such a kind and gentle character, creating a calming presence in the cafe, she speaks to Sam as though he is her grandson and not someone holding her hostage. In the background, we see the point leading up to Sam’s breakdown and it makes for hard reading as he struggles with mental health and family.
A beautifully written story about relationships, unexpected circumstances and life. Charity has explored many topics in this story, addiction, fertility and mental health in both a sensitive and informative manner. ‘The Secrets Of Strangers’ is a heartfelt and compelling story about the complexities of life and relationships that made for fascinating reading.
You can buy ‘The Secrets Of Strangers’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.