Strangers at the Gate: A Novel (Hardcover)
Sometimes things that appear too good to be true are just that! Paddy Lamb has been made partner in an Edinburgh law firm and his wife Finnie has snagged a prime job as deacon in the church near Paddy's new office in the town of Simmerton. Everything seems to fall nicely into place until Paddy's boss and his wife are found brutally murdered the evening of a welcoming dinner for Paddy and Finnie. Things begin to unravel in this deliciously gothic Scottish mystery by acclaimed novelist McPherson. Filled with shadowy twists and turns, this is sure to keep you whipping past page after atmospheric page to the startling ending.— From Susan
"Strangers at the Gate is one of her best." - New York Times bestselling author Ann Cleeves
From Catriona McPherson, Agatha Award-winning author of Quiet Neighbors, comes Strangers at the Gate: a twisty, fascinating mystery that asks the question: who do you turn to when everyone's a stranger and you've stopped believing your own eyes?
Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb are leaving city life in Edinburgh behind them and moving to the little town of Simmerton. Paddy's been made partner at the law firm in town, and Finnie has snagged a job as a church deacon. Their rented cottage is quaint; their new colleagues are charming, and they can't believe their luck.
But only days after moving into the gate house, Finnie begins to have doubts. She keeps hearing strange sounds, and the thicket of trees make her feel claustrophobic rather than safe. When they witness the bloody aftermath of a brutal murder, it 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 is unlike anywhere Finnie and Paddy have been before. They are not the only ones hiding in its shadow and very soon they've lost control of the game they decided to play...
About the Author
CATRIONA MCPHERSON was born in Scotland in 1965 and lived there until immigrating to the US in 2010. Her Dandy Gilver historical mysteries have won numerous awards, including two Agathas, and her contemporary novels have won two Anthony awards and been Edgar and Mary Higgins Clark finalists. Catriona is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America and a former national president of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Davis, California, where she writes full-time.
A 2020 Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee!
"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." - New York Times bestselling author Ann Cleeves
"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." - Kirkus
"Atmospheric . . . McPherson spins a tense tale of murder and deception. Fans of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca will find much to like." - Publishers Weekly
"Finnie Lamb is a stalwart character who brings a quiet religious tone in the face of death to this enthralling stand-alone from McPherson." - Booklist
"All is not idyllic in Simmerton, a locale simmering with intrigue: with an unexpected spot of murder, a bevy of curious characters, and endless days of dreich, damp weather, McPherson delivers a maze of a thriller that will keep you guessing, turning pages, and staying up well past your bedtime." - The Seattle Review of Books