The Other Passenger

Atria. Jul. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781982174101. pap. $17. SUSPENSE
Nearing 50, Jamie Buckby has a panic attack on the London Tube that goes viral. He resigns from his communications job and works as a barista while figuring out his next step, and his partner Clare now provides the household monetary support. One evening, Clare invites her twentysomething colleague Melia and Melia’s boyfriend Kit over for a dinner party. An intergenerational friendship develops between the couples, particularly between Jamie and Kit, who both commute on the same river bus. But as their lives become more intertwined, Jamie and Clare learn that Melia and Kit live beyond their means, and start to become alarmed at Kit’s increased recreational drug use. After having an altercation with Jamie on the river bus, Kit goes missing. Jamie is under suspicion for causing Kit’s disappearance when a mysterious unnamed fellow passenger on the river bus makes a report of the fight. Jamie knows, however, that he’s innocent of any wrongdoing in Kit’s disappearance. Candlish (Those People) concocts a twisty plot that weaves together the yearlong evolution of a friendship and the investigation into Kit’s disappearance. This book stands apart for its expert pacing and plotting, and for its exploration of the complexity of financial disparities in relationships, friendships between generations, and the London housing crisis.
VERDICT Sure to please readers looking for thrillers in the vein of Lisa Jewell and Aimee Molloy; a single-sitting page-turner with character and thematic depth.
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