The Second Stranger

Pegasus. Nov. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781639364879. $26.95. M
DEBUTOn a stormy winter night in the Scottish Highlands, Remie Yorke is working her last shift as the night manager of the Mackinnon, a remote lodge where she and two guests are the only inhabitants. The closest building to the lodge is the prison where Remie’s younger brother Cameron had been incarcerated until his sudden death a year prior. A man purporting to be Police Constable Gaines knocks at the lodge door and claims to have been in an accident while transporting a prisoner. The prisoner has escaped and may be heading toward the Mackinnon. A second man appears soon after, also claiming to be Gaines. With no way to communicate with the outside world and no escape on impassable roads, Remie must figure out who’s really with her at the Mackinnon and why. Griffin’s debut locked-room mystery quickly shifts into a cat-and-mouse thriller as Remie has to decide whom to trust.
VERDICT Uneven pacing and several glaring inconsistencies impede some of the suspense, but fans of plot twists and isolated settings will find something to enjoy. Recommended for larger public libraries.
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