Clare is an English teacher who adores classic horror – at least until one of her colleagues is murdered in a fashion too similar to Clare’s favorite horror short story, and a stranger’s words suddenly appear in her diary…
I’ve been in a reading slump for quite some time, but I also spend a lot of time at my local library. Consequently, I see a lot of the new books coming out, and I will often grab one or two that sound interesting and take a peek at them. Usually they got right back on the shelves, and even the ones I take home end up being just okay. The Stranger Diaries? Now this one was awesome!
Ever since I was a kid, I loved ghost stories, especially with a dash of paranormal (or seemingly paranormal). Unfortunately, both the mystery and thriller genres are full of books that I don’t quite get along with, and I’m often disappointed by them. Every once in awhile, I accidentally stumble upon one that works for me. This was one of those times. The Stranger Diaries is written in a way that echos classic lit in pace, motifs, and style, but also stays modern enough to feel like a tribute rather than a copy. Clare’s favorite short story is interspersed through the book, with a new section revealed each time there’s a narrator shift, and it feels like a true classic rather than a story written specifically for this novel. The novel itself is less about the reader figuring out the mystery, and more about the characters as they deal with the mounting horror before them. There’s a richness in the fabric of the book that I found refreshing.
This would have been the perfect book to begin the RIP season. In fact, I loved the writing so much that I looked up Griffith’s other novels and plan to try her Ruth Galloway series in the fall!
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