The other passenger by Louise Candlish

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Simon and Schuster, 2020. ISBN: 9781471196461.
(Age: Senior secondary/Adult) Highly recommended. Louise Candlish weaves an absorbing tale of deceit, love, greed and duplicity in this wonderful thriller. The reader is taken on a ride where the characters need your sympathy one minute and have your loathing the next.
Candlish sets her narrative firmly in London, mostly around the Thames. The commute by river boat has a large part to play. Jamie, who has a phobia about crowds and confined spaces, finds the journey to and from his job relaxing, comfortable and convenient. It is also where he meets Kit, a young man with an easy, confident persona. Interestingly Kit's partner, Melia, works for the same trendy real estate firm that Clare, Jamie's partner, is a leading light.
The four become friends, with an invitation to Clare and Jamie's Georgian town house on Prospect Square. Kit and Melia cannot help but be impressed particularly as they are renting an expensive small flat nearby, but find it difficult to make ends meet.
The Thames commute also brings in some others who form a wider acquaintance group, where Kit seems to be the one to whom the others defer. When Kit disappears over the Christmas festive season, Jamie is questioned on his way to work by a couple of detectives, who seem to believe he may have had a part to play in the disappearance.
As the story evolves so does the tangled web Jamie, Melia, Kit, Clare weave for themselves. Stories change and one is never entirely sure who can be believed. This is Jamie's story but he is an unreliable narrator who does not allow you to know the whole truth. Your sympathies which lie with our story teller at first, soon begin to fall away as he lets you in to what you believe are truths but then are blown away in the next chapter.
Louise Candlish is the author of a number of other works including Our House a winner of the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. This is the first of hers that I have read and cannot wait to read others she has published. She knows how to twist her plots leading her readers up all sorts of garden paths only ready to be taken on yet another false direction.
If you enjoy a good thriller look no further. Themes: Crime, London, Riverboats, Commuters,Thriller, Unreliable narrator.
Mark Knight