The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

Louise Candlish’s 2020 novel The Other Passenger is a twisted tale of deception rife with unreliable characters. Candlish has a way of telling stories that grip you from the beginning and don’t let go until the very end. This novel was no exception.

Jaime and Clare have been living together in London for the last ten years. Not married, but still very much a couple, Clare is the breadwinner of the two with deep family money and a gorgeously expensive townhouse gifted to her from her parents. Jaime had been adding funds to their communal account until months ago when he had to quit his job following a terrifying claustrophobia incident aboard the tube in the tunnels. Now he works at a coffee shop as a barista and is very much dependent on Claire to survive.

The biggest change in Jaime’s life was his decision to commute to work by riverboat instead of the tube. Now he has no more gridlock or claustrophobia to contend with – all thanks to his young friend Kit and his girlfriend Melia for their riverboat pass suggestion. Kit and Jaime now feel like they have had a major lifestyle upgrade – a leisurely ride to work with alcohol available on boat on their way home. Kit and Jaime’s friendship blooms the more they commute.

One day Jaime is living his best life and the next, it all comes crashing down. It all starts when Kit does not show up for the morning boat commute and Melia reports him missing. As soon as Jaime gets off the riverboat, the police are waiting to question him as they have had reports from another passenger who saw the two men arguing on the boat. They believe Jaime was the last person to see him alive and may be behind Kit’s sudden disappearance. These accusations make no sense to him and he protests that he would never want to hurt Kit. After all, the two of them are friends. This anonymous other passenger doesn’t know anything about Jaime’s life. He’s completely innocent and has nothing to hide.

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