Love will Tear Us Apart is the third in the weird ‘Stranger Times’ series. I mean that kindly – I think ‘weird’ is the best genre to classify it in. I was bowled over by Stranger Times itself, book one, but less enthralled by its sequel. This one is firmly back in the ‘can’t put down’ category. In fact, after the first few chapters, I only put it down to switch from iPad to Kindle when the battery ran out!
Once again I’d like to thank the publishers, Random House UK, and Netgalley most sincerely for the opportunity of an ARC of this book. It’s due out on 9th February (but I see on Goodreads there is talk of delay, at least in the US).
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Stranger Times #3)
by C K McDonnell
Love can be a truly terrible thing.
Marriages are tricky at the best of times, especially when one of you is dead.
Vincent Banecroft, the irascible editor of The Stranger Times, has never believed his wife died despite emphatic evidence to the contrary. Now, against all odds, it seems he may actually be proved right; but what lengths will he go to in an attempt to rescue her?
With Banecroft distracted, the shock resignation of assistant editor, Hannah Willis, couldn’t have come at a worse time. It speaks volumes that her decision to reconcile with her philandering ex-husband is only marginally less surprising than Banecroft and his wife getting back together. In this time of crisis, is her decision to swan off to a fancy new-age retreat run by a celebrity cult really the best thing for anyone?
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the paper’s ex-columnists has disappeared, a particularly impressive trick seeing as he never existed in the first place.
Floating statues, hijacked ghosts, homicidal cherubs, irate starlings, Reliant Robins and quite possibly several deeply sinister conspiracies; all-in-all, a typical week for the staff of The Stranger Times. (goodreads)
I started Love Will Tear Us Apart with some trepidation, remembering my reservations about the second in the series, which I reviewed at the start of 22. I need not have worried. C K McConnell swiftly sweeps us into the weird world of The Stranger Times. But with a jolt, as the reliable Hannah has disappeared off to pastures new. Indeed, as we find Hannah contemplating the oddities about her divorce proceedings, it seems she has a role to play still, thank goodness.
And thus the story unfolds. This is a well-crafted tale. There are parts for all our favourite characters, and new ones, both good and weird. The strange fare that is the meat of the Stranger Times newspaper is given full rein. We experience Loon Day for added entertainment. I was pleased to pick out the ‘correct’ fictional conspiracy theory, which sub-plot was excellently put together. There were shades of Stepford Wives, the Prisoner, and Harry Potter thrown in, (but JKR threw so much in, it’s hard to avoid her, as I know from experience). The best thing is that there are no real twists: nothing comes out of left field. It’s all waiting for you, well-disguised and beyond belief.
It’s a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I’m looking forward to the next one. I hope this series will keep rolling off the presses as long as the newspaper!