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“If you like your novels wide-ranging, ambitious, socially panoramic, and engaged in the most important issues of the day, Amanda Craig is the writer for you. For more than twenty years now she has been anatomising the state of the British nation with wit and empathy, ” Jonathan Coe.
When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider’s web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other’s husbands. After all, they are strangers on a train – who could possibly connect them?
But when Hannah goes to Jinni’s husband’s home the next night, she finds Stan, a huge, hairy, ugly drunk who has his own problems – not least the care of a half-ruined house and garden. He claims Jinni is a very different person to the one who has persuaded Hannah to commit a terrible crime. Who is telling the truth – and who is the real victim?
Amanda Craig is one of our finest contemporary novelists, and with this, has written a marvellously shrewd and immensely satisfying reworking of Strangers on a Train.