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Strangers at the Gate

Shortlisted for the 2020 Mary Higgins Clark award.

Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb are leaving city life behind them and moving to the little town of Simmerton. Paddy has landed a partnership in a local solicitors and Finnie’s snagged a job as a church deacon. Their rented cottage is quaint; their new colleagues are charming; they can’t believe their luck.

But witnessing the bloody aftermath of a brutal murder changes everything. They’ve each been keeping secrets about their pasts. And they both know their precious new start won’t survive a scandal. Together, for the best of reasons, they make the worst decision of their lives.

And that’s only the beginning. The deep, deep valley where Simmerton sits and the even deeper side cuts where the sun never shines are unlike anywhere Finn and Paddy have been before. They are not the only ones hiding in these shadows and very soon they’ve lost control of the game they decided to play.

Where do you turn, when everyone’s a stranger and you stop believing what your own eyes see?

Buy it

"Another unsettling and cleverly plotted winner form the enormously talented McPherson."             KIRKUS

'I love McPherson's books - the clear and effortless prose, the entirely credible characters, and the wonderfully twisty plots - and Strangers at the Gate is one of her best.' ANN CLEEVES

"McPherson delivers a maze of a thriller that will keep you guessing, turning pages, and staying up well past your bedtime."                SEATTLE REVIEW OF BOOKS

'McPherson spins a tense tale of murder and deception. Fans of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca will find much to like." PW

 "the period authenticity of Victoria Holt, several finely-honed settings à la Mary Stewart, and the idiosyncratic familial bloodlines of Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, and Susan Hill wrapped in an eminently-readable and highly-engaging style. There is practically nothing predictable about this novel ..." BOLO BOOKS

"There were plenty of times that I declared (yes, out loud), “Oh! I know where this is going!” But I am happy to say I was never right."                NERD DAILY