Select one of the keywords
Strangers at the Gate    by Catriona McPherson order for
Strangers at the Gate
by Catriona McPherson
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Catriona McPherson's Strangers at the Gate is an atmospheric psychological mystery, starring a married couple, Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb, who have both kept secrets in their pasts from each other.

As the story opens, they have left Edinburgh at Paddy's urging, after he was surprisingly made partner at a country law firm in the small town of Simmerton. Finn, who worked for ten years as a church deacon, has been offered the same job in Simmerton. The positions have come with a small rented gatehouse cottage near Widdershins, the country home of the firm's boss, Lovatt Dudgeon. It all seems like 'winning the lottery', so why does Finnie have such strong reservations?

Soon after they arrive, Finn and Paddy are invited by Lovatt and Tuft Dudgeon for a meal at the big house. It's a riot and Finn starts to feel better about the move - that is, until they return after the meal for the handbag Finn left behind and find the couple murdered. Afraid that they might come under suspicion because of events in their own pasts, they don't call the police and the suspense steadily mounts as time passes and the deaths are not discovered.

Finn desperately tries to learn more about the victims and about Simmerton, while keeping her own knowledge of the Dudgeons' demise secret. She becomes acquainted with an odd and rather sinister collection of characters before the shocking truth is revealed. Strangers at the Gate held my attention. It shares with author's previous Go to My Grave an abundance of secrets, and the question of how well we really know those closest to us.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews