Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

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Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards
Sourcebooks Fire, October 2020

High school senior Mira is on her way home for the holidays but her connecting flight is cancelled because of snow, so she decides to get into a rental car with a woman she met on her flight and three other strangers. As they head out, the weather is clear but soon a blizzard comes in and the roads get increasingly dangerous. To up the tension, letters to Mira from an anonymous stalker are threaded into the narrative. Once things start going missing – a wallet, Mira’s phone, a spare phone battery – and the charging points in the car are sabotaged, it becomes clear that someone is trying to isolate them. Add to that the stranger who keeps turning up at the service stations they stop at, and the suspense is tightened even further.

The simple set up and ratcheting tension grabbed me pretty much right from the start. I got my nose stuck in and was in “just one more chapter” mode for most of the way through. There are quite a lot of “why didn’t she…” moments, and some of the red herrings just don’t make a lot of sense in retrospect, but, honestly, when I’m gobbling down a book that quickly, that’s fine.

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the digital review copy.

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