If you love the idea of Strangers on a Train meets two women who want to escape their husbands and A Simple Favor, then you might want to add Not So Perfect Strangers to your TBR. This was one of those mystery thrillers I read in a few days! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Tasha Jenkins has finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband. Taking her teenage son with her, Tasha checks into a hotel the night before their flight out of D.C. and out of Kordell Jenkins’s life forever. But escaping isn’t so easy, and Tasha soon finds herself driving back to her own personal hell. As she is leaving, a white woman pounds on her car window, begging to be let in. Behind the woman, an angry man is in pursuit. Tasha makes a split-second decision that will alter the course of her life: she lets her in and takes off.
Tasha and Madison Gingell may have very different everyday realities, but what they have in common is marriages they need out of. The two women want to help each other, but they have very different ideas of what that means . . .
They are on a collision course that will end in the case files of the D.C. MPD homicide unit. Unraveling the truth of what really happened may be impossible‒and futile. Because what has the truth ever done for women like Tasha and Madison?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: domestic abuse, emotional abuse, religious abuse, pedophilia, racism, gaslighting
Not So Perfect Strangers definitely delivers a strong thriller vibe, but it’s grounded in characters and motivation. It features Tasha and Madison’s POVs allowing us to gain insight into these two women. And what I loved the most about this is that you can see all the things people think about our lives, our ambitions, and their own manipulations from the outside. Silent predators. When we are just living our lives, there’s all sorts of secret stories being written about us.
It features two women whose marriages are crumbling, or broken, for very different reasons. Comparing the timelines of before and now, Stratton introduces another layer of tension. We wonder how things skewed so far off the tracks of what we thought our life, our future, would be. In Not So Perfect Strangers none of the characters are uncomplicated. There are layers to both Tasha and especially Madison. To see the experiences that have shaped their decisions.
Not So Perfect Strangers manipulates our sense of right and wrong, of motivation and incrimination. In all the complex games of love and hurt we can play. The complexity of love. When we have to let it go or to fight. While I felt like Not So Perfect Strangers has a bit of an abrupt ending, I enjoyed this thriller and the A Simple Favor vibes! Definitely a good read for a train ride to escape for a few chapters! Find Not So Perfect Strangers on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.