Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and author for the free Arc ebook copy.
The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell centres around Hannah who has left her old life behind after setting a house on fire due to discovering her husband was cheating. Her new life in Manchester begins with an interview at the newspaper The Stranger Times which, as the title suggests, reports on all the strange occurrences happening in the world all looked over by the drunken editor Banecroft. Not long after starting, they set about investigating on a mysterious death that has occurred leading to even stranger events.
Whilst reading I was definitely getting a Douglas Adams (think Dirk Gently) and Neil Gaiman (Good Omens) vibe. Which was a good thing for me as these were stories I really enjoyed. This then made sense reading that the author was a comedian. It’s not a laugh out loud funny but more of a bizarre funny.
I don’t think there was one character I didn’t like. They all had a depth to them so had all obviously been thought out really well. Banecraft, even though he seemed like the boss from hell, was still likeable which some authors find hard to do. His relationship with the receptionist Grace I really liked as he respected her boundaries and rules. Hannah could have been moping for her previous life but there was little of that as she got stuck in to the mysteries that were happening around her. In fact that was one thing that really stuck out for me. There was no forced romantic relationship! Which proves that you don’t need a love interest in a book. Even the minor characters had a back story.
It did take me a while to read. Because of the style I felt it was one I needed to concentrate on otherwise I was reading sentences and not taking them in (which happened a lot after an exhausting week at work) so I’ve taken a star of for that. Also I’m not sure it’s one I would want to reread as I now know what happens. It was a good read but not enough excitement for me. But if you want well thought out characters and a book with magical mystical elements then I’d definitely recommend this one! I will be looking out for more books by the author.
Stranger Times is out on the 14th January 2021