The latest book by the popular Australian author, Liane Moriarty, is rather entertaining and one can claim that is a page-turner, though not in the way that many crime novels are as its suspense is slowly built and in the first chapters the reader is introduced to a lot of characters (9 guests and the personnel of Tranquillem House). We get to know each one as the story of Nine Perfect Strangers is narrated by multiple points of view with Frances, a romance novel author, being the protagonist. She, along with the other eight visitors, decides to spend ten days in a health retreat, named Tranquillem House. All have their reasons for this decision which are given to the reader in the first half of the novel. The author takes her time in outlining her characters and the reader becomes acquainted with a variety of personal histories that define their literary shape, their innermost thoughts, and desires as well as their distinct idiosyncrasies.
Moriarty is a clever writer, her stories are always interspersed with a lot of humor, witty descriptions, and remarks but as the plot begins to unfold and the reader learns more about the character's background it becomes certain that this is not a lighthearted novel, written to make you laugh. Some of the stories are genuinely distressing in their tragicness and the plotline, especially after the first half, becomes more and more bizarre and suspenseful, The reader just has to know what truly lies behind the new-age, relaxing facade of the retreat and its managing director, Masha. I will not mention anything else concerning the plot as I am afraid I will spoil the experience for those who haven't read it.
Overall, Nine Perfect Strangers left me satisfied and hungry for more of Liane Moriarty's work. A possible flaw is its length (nearly 500 pages) but the quality of the prose is such that makes the reader forget that. In my opinion, it is one of the author's best novels so far, along with Big Little Lies. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys quality crime fiction and suspense stories.
I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free ARC of this e-book.