Hi! I have been on a huge graphic novel kick lately so it has been a while since my last Lil Red’s Book Club meeting. But, since I finished the Lucifer series of comics, I am back on my mystery/thriller novel obsession and devoured The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths within a week. Unfortunately, the grand reveal of this book just didn’t do it for me, which is too bad because everything that led up to it was filled with nail biting suspense. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:
Talgarth High was the former home to Gothic writer, R.M. Holland, who specialized in the dark and obscure. He is also the favorite of Clare Cassidy, an English teacher who reads his short story, The Stranger, every year to her classes. Clare is a posh, divorced, middle aged woman whose daughter, Georgia, attends Talgarth High, as well. And, as most thrillers go, everything is seemingly perfect until a murder takes place.
Two murders, actually. Two murders that are obviously inspired by The Stranger in the ways that they are committed and in the fact that the killer leaves a quote from the novella behind at each crime scene. “Hell is empty”. The Stranger Diaries is an intertwining whodoneit between Clare, Georgia, and Detective Sargent Harbinder Kaur – all of whom could be in danger if the killer strikes again.
From witchcraft and long dead writers to notes from the killer appearing in Clare’s diaries, red herrings are everywhere in The Stranger Diaries. Will you be able to figure out whodoneit in time? Read the book and find out!
My mom and I normally read the same books as each other and we both came to the conclusion that this was an excellent book with a really shitty ending. The Stranger Diaries was unputdownable for me and I took every opportunity of free time I had to continue turning the pages.
I loved reading snippets from The Stranger, I adored how the book went back and forth between characters, and a lot of the book was downright creepy. How would you feel if someone was writing to you in your private diaries?! But, the big BUT, is that the grand reveal of the killer was the most random, lackluster unveiling I’ve read in a long time and that was so disappointing to me.
Obviously, I’m not saying NOTHIN about whodoneit. But I will say that if you read the book, try not to look too far into the subplots because they are definitely going to cloud your judgement. Take things for what they are and you might just be able to solve the case on your own!
I am going to give The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths a star rating of: five out of ten. Had the ending been better, it might have received the prestigious ten out of ten stars from me but, unfortunately, I am having trouble looking past a huge build up for a let down of a grand reveal. Whomp whomp.
What are you reading right now? Which book should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah