Imperfect Strangers by David Staniforth
Imperfect Strangers by David Staniforth is a psychological thriller. A really good psychological thriller.
First, let me thank David for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Authors who do this really impress me. But David has nothing to fear. He is a very talented writer.
Okay, to the book.
Let’s meet Keith. He is a shy, awkward, stammering, and rather strange security guard who dresses oddly. Although she is now deceased, Keith was raised by a mother who should never have had children. Keith could do nothing right, and her punishments were severe. Consequently, Keith grew up to be mentally unstable. He still hears his mother’s voice.
Then there is Sally. She has her own emotional issues. She is rather shallow, and very naive. She is swayed by whoever is in front of her at the time, be it her best friend, or her boyfriend. Although she tries to stand up for herself, she usually ends up doing whatever they say. She tries to be kind – to a fault.
Sally works in the same building as Keith. One day she smiles at him. That does it. Although they barely know each other, Keith develops a relationship with her – in his mind. Sally, who is unaware of how attached Keith is becoming, goes out of her way to be nice to him, thereby unwittingly encouraging him. A recipe for disaster? Think Psycho.
David Staniforth really brings these characters to life. Told from both of their perspectives, you really see how one event can be viewed very differently by two different people. You end up feeling sorry for Keith, liking him, fearing him, hating him. You actually end up feeling the same way about Sally. I wanted to slap both of them once or twice.
The plot moves along quite fast, and suspense builds, particularly the last quarter.
The book truly does make you wonder how well you know the people you see every day. And are they worth a smile?
Good book! Well worth the read.
Read: May 2017
Favorite Quotes from Imperfect Strangers:
“Up until that moment we had been perfect strangers.
That phrase rankles. I have difficulty attaching the word perfect to myself. For me it is not an appropriate word and it jars because I know it’s untrue. It doesn’t do to lie to oneself. Sally is perfect. For her the word fits… perfectly.”
“Someone has borrowed this library book before me and folded down various page corners. I find such vandalism intolerable.”
“I pondered over why it is that I like the library so much, and I came to the conclusion that it’s because I belong.”
About the Author: David Staniforth is a British writer, who spent most of his life as a graphic designer in the printing industry before getting a first class honours BA in English studies. He has written a number of fantasy books, and this is his first thriller. (His second was Void, which I reviewed earlier this year).