City of Strangers by Louise Millar

City of Strangers
Louise Millar

Emily Bestler Books/Atria

Grace Scott returns from honeymoon in Thailand to find a dead man lying on her kitchen floor. Her photojournalist instincts kick in, and she photographs the man before calling the police.

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“. . . a real treat to read . . .”

Who was he? Why did he break into their new apartment only to slip and die among the unpacked wedding presents? Does he have a family, and if so, where are they? The Edinburgh police treat the death as an accident, but over the next few months Grace develops an obsession with the case. The chance discovery of a note possibly written by the man gives her his name – Lucian Grabole. Suddenly what looked like a humdrum future spent freelancing in Scotland turns into something far more interesting. Armed with the name, Grace resolves to discover all she can about Lucian Grabole and pitch the human-interest story to her boss. 

Against her husband Mac’s wishes, Grace follows a trail of clues to Europe where she enlists the help of famous photojournalist Nicu Dragan. A Romanian connection reveals more than expected about Lucian Grabole, and a sinister picture of the dead man emerges. The mystery of his life and death seem connected with two other murders in Scotland – and someone seems determined to ensure Grace doesn’t discover what really happened in her apartment that night.

City of Strangers is a real page-turner. Louise Millar has created an engaging character in Grace Scott, a woman struggling successfully against adversity to achieve her full potential. The other characters like the saturnine Nicu, ebullient Ewan and hard-nosed Sula are fully-drawn, too. They make City of Strangers a real treat to read.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews