The Stranger Diaries

Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9781328577856. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781328576088. M
OrangeReviewStarHigh school English teacher Clare Cassidy specializes in the work of gothic writer R.M. Holland. When one of her colleagues is murdered, a line from Holland's most famous work, The Stranger, is found on her body, and the police are certain the killer is someone Clare knows. As she struggles to make sense of the events surrounding the murder, Clare pours out her heart into her diary, but when she visits an earlier volume to check on the date of a work trip, she's shocked to find a note in unfamiliar handwriting in the margins: "Hallo, Clare. You don't know me." Unsure whether she has a stalker, a ghost, or suffered a break from reality, Clare struggles to keep it together for her teenage daughter—until the next murder.
VERDICT Griffiths's ("Ruth Galloway" and "Magic Men" series) first stand-alone novel is a modern gothic that updates and plays with genre conventions to great effect. Highly recommended for fans of British mysteries and classic whodunits. [See Prepub Alert, 9/10/18.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month