Strangers at the Gate literally drips with Gothic, oppressive atmosphere as McPherson layers one ominous moment onto the next ... Lord Almighty, this is a wild ride of a story. I can say with assurance that you’ll never see the end coming. Just when you think you’ve seen or heard the craziest thing, McPherson surpasses herself ... this is her finest work yet. This contemporary-set thriller has a unique vibrancy to its prose and a powerful voice in narrator Finn Lamb. It’s certainly one of the strongest novels—on every level, from plotting, characters, and atmosphere to dialogue and construction—I’ve read this year. And this is the perfect time to dive into this chilly, creepy mystery. Be sure to wrap up tight with a blanket and have a steaming cup at hand to combat the cold of Simmerton before you begin—it’s always more fun when you can savor the shivers in secure comfort.
McPherson ramps up the tension with ever more creative revelations and twists that will have readers eager to see what on earth is coming next. It’s a fascinating study of what can happen when we suppress our instincts or aren’t sure who to trust, and a delightfully torturous day-by-day recounting of the aftermath of a life-changing lie: everyone seems suspicious, using the proper verb tense is suddenly crucial and eccentricity begins to feel a lot more sinister. Fans of McPherson’s award-winning work...will relish whipping right through Strangers at the Gate, guessing and gasping all the way.
McPherson...is a master of atmosphere, delivering a few nifty twists while weaving a creepy slow burner of a mystery that takes full advantage of its isolated setting. Narrator Finn is a pragmatic but quirky delight who will turn most folks’ ideas of what a church deacon should be upside down, and readers will be enthralled as she unearths some shockingly dark deeds. Another unsettling and cleverly plotted winner from the enormously talented McPherson.