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The book started fairly ordinary. You get to meet the 4 main characters and in my case did not really like any of them. However the scene is set for the 2nd half of the book which I could not put down. An excellant read. The book is well written and I am going to read more of her books in the near future
Oh my goodness, Louise Candlish what a book! Having read previous books by this author I knew that it would be an adventure but that was something else. That ending...;!!! A psychological thriller with a cast of unlikeable characters and themes of envy and betrayal - I read this in 2 sessions, reading late into the night to finish it. I just had to see how it was going to end, and I was not expecting that!
The Other Passenger is a twisty and unpredictable thrill ride. Jamie is scared of the underground so travels to his job in a cafe on the Thames riverboat with his new friend Kit. On the 27th December, Jamie is met from the boat by 2 police officers asking questions about Kit - he gone missing and Jamie was the last person to see him, making him prime subject number one. From this point we Jamie's story from a year ago when he first met Kit and his girlfriend Melia. The 2 couples are very different in age and financially but enjoy spending time together.
I won't say anymore about the storyline as you will want to be shocked like I was when reading this book. Very cleverly written, I was addicted. Highly recommend.
If the genders in this story were flipped, Jamie Buckby might well be called a gold-digger. At 48 he’s not-unhappily stuck in a menial service job as a barista, because he doesn’t have to work to get ahead. His girlfriend Clare is doubly blessed; the owner of a very valuable inherited property, she also has a high-powered career. Jamie’s just quietly coasting along without a real care in the world until Kit and his girlfriend Melia come along. In their late twenties, Kit and Melia are just barely getting started in life and already are on a downward spiral into a pit of debt due to an extravagant lifestyle. When Kit disappears, Jamie’s startled to find the finger of suspicion pointing in his direction. But as the story unfolds, it quickly becomes apparent that these suspicions aren’t unfounded, as Jamie slowly admits that maybe he’s not the all-around good bloke he’s portraying himself as.
It’s hard to find anyone in this story to like. Of the four principals, Clare is the only one who’s not actually prepared to do something criminal, but she’s also hard to empathize with because her inherited wealth makes her arrogant and oblivious to what the unprivileged majority have to face up to. And honestly… having her be the only not-awful person by the end of the story felt pretty elitist. Kit is an entitled brat, Melia’s even worse - especially with her choice to seduce and use Jamie - and Jamie, frankly, is a selfish idiot. He deserves exactly what he gets by the end of the story, though he, at least, has enough self-awareness to acknowledge it. All three of them are motivated by greed.
There are some interesting twists and turns here, but the problem I had was that with each reveal, I liked Jamie a little less. Starting to dislike the first-person protagonist of the book you’re reading makes it a hard slog to get to the end, no matter how clever and original the plot might be. I like the writing style but the story itself just didn’t really resonate with me; I couldn’t relate to any of the characters because in their shoes, I just wouldn’t have made their choices. I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
Wanting what others have fast becomes a fatal obsession in The Other Passenger. Whether that be your job, your house, your bank balance or your relationships, perhaps there is always someone in your circle of friends and acquaintances who feels that for you in particular, it all came a bit too easy.
Unable to cope with the suffocating commute that is the London underground, Jamie has been instead working nine hours a day at a café not far from the Thames. For a man in his late forties, it’s a bit of a step down from his previous corporate position, but as time goes on, Jamie is beginning to find the pleasure in the simple things. Girlfriend Clare works in real estate and the pair live in a gorgeous London home, thanks to the generosity of Clare’s parents. Jamie knows that Clare has the position of power in the relationship, but it has never really been a problem between then. Clare introduces Jamie to Kit and Melia, a millennial couple who are barely scraping by, despite the two of them both holding down solid full time jobs.
Kit is magnetic, one of those people who draws all into his orbit, but there’s a dark side to him as well. The resentment Kit obviously feels for anyone who is doing better than him, whether that’s due to hard work or good luck, makes itself apparent to Clare and Jamie who being older, have little patience for those who constantly complain. At first when Jamie begins to catch the ferry every day to work, it seems like the obvious solution to save him from any more embarrassing panic attacks on the underground. Travelling every day with Kit and another two commuters, the four form an informal little club called The Water Rats. As the relationships begin to splinter off and entangle, Jamie is lost in the arms of his new obsession. He is the obvious suspect when Kit goes missing.
The Other Passenger is an absorbing thriller packed with the murderous intentions of the newly discontent. As with her prior works, British author Louise Candlish excels in writing characters that are standing at the crossroads of making monumental life choices. Will they walk away and continue with their safe lives, or will they take a chance, knowing that their future happiness will come at such a high cost to someone else?
The dangers of wanting to change your life and relationships by scuttling everything that came before and the thrills of beginning something new are quandaries thoughtfully explored in The Other Passenger. It’s a testament to the work put into building fully realized characters that the objections to personal accountability we encounter here seem quite reasonable.
The two couples are not trussed up as odious, self serving Londoners who can’t afford to live in their expensive city of choice. They are instead two couples who would have been a lot better off if they had never met.
There are very few authors I buy or read their book without even reading the blurb but this author is one, it’s a risk of course but again this book has proved me right I have to say as well that reading about my street was brill ( one of the characters place of work was here and so a lot of the book was based in and around the area I live )
So.... Clare and Jamie more than solvent late 40’s Melia and Kit flourishing in debt mid 20’s And never the twain should meet But they do via work and also via the ‘riverboat’ commute Kit and Jamie take twice daily Their friendship blossoms but so does a game that two of them are playing, a game so evil and twisted you struggle not to baulk at the audacity of it The story is told by Jamie over the period of a few weeks with flashbacks and the web of deceit and lies these people manage to weave is fascinatingly depraved Its chilling, dark, tense, soooo well written and has twists that twist on themselves until the ending where you think there cant be anymore...then there is..... A warning that the characters will have you furious at their deception and loathing of their greed and immorality Outstanding in every way, makes me happy to be a reader!! 10/10 5 Stars
L.C has done it yet again folks. “The Other Passenger” tells the story of Jamie and Clare a couple in their late forties who are friends with millennials Kit and Melia. Jamie is feeling pretty smug, now that he has a season ticket to travel to work along the Thames by riverboat, avoiding the horrendous gridlock London traffic. Jamie, with Kit get the drinks in on their evening commutes home after their long days. All is well. Until the first day back after Christmas and Kit isn’t on the morning boat. Everything else seems the same. But something isn’t right. When Jamie disembarks, the police are waiting for him. Melia, Kits wife has reported him missing and another passenger has witnessed Jamie having a blazing row with Kit on the last boat home after Christmas drinks. It seems the police have reason to believe that Jamie had reasons to lash out at Kit. But he’s innocent right? Or is he? L.C’s plot devices and sharp plot twists are unmatched in her latest book “The Other Passenger”, so much so it’s taken me almost 24 hours to get my feelings together for this review. Candlish has a way of taking relatively normal people, and situations to create something so suspenseful you will not believe what happens from one page to the next. As always, you think you have worked out the story, worked out the twists, but something that L.C has mastered beautifully is the art of the unanticipated turn of events, the curveball, the bombshell which will leave you open mouthed and like me only just picking up your jaw from the floor.
What I loved most about “The Other Passenger” other than it being a welcome distraction in these dark and unprecedented times, is how different the characters were from Louise’s previous books “Our House” and “Those People” because as with a lot of authors who have enjoyed huge acclaim, it can be all too easy to recycle characters, but by now L.C knows her craft and has created a world so relatable, but so unbelievably crazy you’d have to read to believe. The age old question of “Do you know the difference between right and wrong?” is tested in many ways, the human behavior of how people will bend those rules to serve them, and justify their behavior is something I really adore about L. C’s writing style which she explores beautifully. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. But as with everything, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And boy, this book has plenty to offer in terms of suspense and building up one hell of a momentum until a hugely satisfying finale and epilogue.
“The Other Passenger” to conclude, is a welcome ray of light in these dark times.
When I read the blurb, I was immediately intrigued but the moment I had read more than a few pages, and two policemen are waiting for Jamie at the end of his daily commute on board a Thames riverboat, alarm bells began to ring. After all, Jamie knows all about London and is totally at home with its pleasures, both good and bad. Yet he takes the two men at face value even though they behave like no Metropolitan Police detectives I have ever known and I'ver known quite a few! Also, although Kit is supposed to be witty and charismatic and Melia is drop-dead gorgeous, I thought they were unattractive. I didn't find this 'triller' at all thrilling. Everyone was money-minded, jealous and resentful whilst drinking copious amounts of booze. If that's what London is today, I thank God I left it long ago. The bad thing is that the evil psychopath gets away with it. The good thing is that the only two honest and kind people face a happy future together.
This wasn't quite what I was expecting from the blurb - it is a bit misleading. However, the story overall was fairly engaging. I didn't feel I couldn't put it down - I found it a bit slow at times. It was like traveling by train, it jerked along in a frustratingly lackadaisical way and then would speed up and you'd pelt forward before juddering to a halt again.
My main problem was I didn't like the main character, who is a self-satisfied git who is too easily led by the glamour of youth. Also, Kit is supposed to be a hugely charismatic character, but I thought he came across as a loser. Because of that, the ending fell flat for me.
Candlish's writing is competent, and I liked her descriptions of the commute along the Thames which were well done and evocative. I also liked the philosophising about a generational desire for money and the feelings of turning 50 - they were thoughtful and insightful. However, it's not really what I would have expected from a thriller. So not bad, passed the time, but didn't make me salivate to read more like other authors such as Lisa Jewell - Sophie Hannah and Liane Moriarty have.