They are strangers, jammed against each other in a crowded carriage. Noisy school kids fill the train – and three of them are about to cause a whole heap of trouble. In the chaos, Helen and Kerm are thrown together in a way they never expected.
Catching a train? Read Strangers on the 16:02 and you’ll never feel the same way about your fellow passengers again.
For the last few years I have eagerly awaited the announcement of the new set of Quick Reads titles, looking forward to whatever Doctor Who story was going to appear. I was disappointed therefore this year that there was no new Doctor Who title. I spotted a book by a friend’s favourite author though and when I went to buy a copy of it for him the cover to Strangers on the 16:02 caught my eye. I read the blurb on the back and was intrigued enough to buy a copy.
The story focuses on two characters, Helen who is on the way to tell her sister a dreadful secret and Kerm who is going home after his grandfather’s funeral. The book begins by concentrating on their individual stories, filling in a little of their history and explaining why they’re on the train. The incident happens that pulls the two characters together comes a fair way into the book, from this point the book moves to a rapid conclusion.
The Quick Reads structure means that the author has relatively little space to explore the characters, I felt that she did a good job of it – I felt I had a good idea about both Helen and Kerm by the end of the book. I liked Kerm in particular, the descriptions of him and his family were vivid and interesting.
I enjoyed reading the book and in general feel it worked well within the Quick Reads structure. My only disappointment was in how quick and sudden the conclusion came. I liked that the ending was designed to leave the reader thinking, for me it was just a little too rapidly pulled together, it felt quite abrupt.
This was the first book I’ve read by Priya Basil. Based on it I shall certainly be reading her other books.
Strangers on the 16:02 is published in paperback by Black Swan in the UK priced £1.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.