After a spectacular burnout that caused him to lose his high-paying job, Jamie Buckby has found work as a coffee shop barista, a job that pays much less than his previous career.
But money really isn’t an issue for him. He lives with his girlfriend, a wealthy, successful businesswoman, in her wonderful historic home in a tony London neighborhood. The two have had a long and compatible relationship, but in keeping with the saying there’s no fool like an old fool, Jamie risks it all when he falls for the beautiful, manipulative and much younger Melia.
This being a mystery by bestselling British novelist Louise Candlish, there are plenty of other complications as well in “The Other Passenger.” We watch the story unfold through the eyes of Jamie, who commutes to work by riverboat with his neighbor Kit, who is married to Melia.
Kit and Melia are living well beyond their means, wracking up credit card debts and obviously envious of Jamie’s lifestyle. Then, one day, Kit doesn’t turn up at the boat, and when Jamie arrives at his stop, the police are there waiting for him. Kit’s been reported missing, and another passenger saw Jamie arguing with him on the boat just before he disappeared.
But it’s way too time consuming and difficult for Melia to wait and work hard to achieve her dreams. It’s much better to convince Jamie with promises of money and a life together to help her get rid of her husband. Jamie is foolish enough to believe that’s what Melia really wants. With the police closing in, he soon realizes that Melia has outwitted him and has much different plans in mind.
“There were several inspirations, and that’s how my books are usually conceived — I’ll find a way to marry multiple obsessions,” Candlish said. “I wanted to do a commuter mystery, I wanted to create a ‘Double Indemnity‘ for the 2020s, I was eager to explore the generational warfare between Gen X and millennials. Finally, I felt the need to write a love letter to London life around the River Thames, to capture its dangerous allure.”