CITY OF STRANGERS by Louise Millar


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A photographer finds a dead man in her kitchen and sets out to identify him.

Grace Scott and her new husband, Mac, return to their Edinburgh apartment from their honeymoon in Thailand to find a decomposing dead man in their kitchen. But before Mac sees the body, Grace spends several bizarre minutes creeping around the sprawled dead man, photographing him from different angles. Grace then lies to police officials about the time she spent with the body prior to their arrival and decides that if no one steps forward to claim him, she’s going to track down the man’s true identity. A freelance feature photographer who aches to get into cutting-edge news reporting, Grace is unaware that another man is both hiding and eavesdropping on her—and on the police—in the space beneath her upstairs apartment. Growing more and more obsessed with the dead man's past, Grace sets out to find his family. He left behind a cryptic note that said, “I am not that man,” signed Lucian Grabole, which leads Grace to a homeless shelter and then to the next step in her journey: London. Meanwhile, a reporter named Sula, who works for Scots Today, is investigating the discovery of a body in what appears to be an unrelated case. Millar has written a convoluted story that’s bereft of thrills but jammed from cover to cover with annoying and undeveloped characters. Both Grace, who abandons her husband in her quest to become a photojournalist, and bitchy, abrasive Sula prove so unpleasant that readers will find themselves rooting for the bad guys.

The story falls victim to Millar’s florid, overwrought prose and an unbearably silly subplot.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6013-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2016


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