An electric, locked-room suspense thriller set in the remote Scottish Highlands, where icy temperatures and a terrible blizzard prevent any ideas of escape—from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

One bitterly cold February night at the remote MacKinnon Hotel, Remie Yorke begins her last shift at the front desk as the snow begins to fall. She has booked a one-way flight for the next day—and she's never coming back to Scotland. Or so she thinks.

As the storm quickly invades the surrounding Highlands, the roads become impassable and the phone lines fall dead. When the icy temperatures plummet further, an injured man stumbles into the hotel lobby from the blizzard. Police Constable Don Gaines has been in a car accident on the mountain road, and Remie welcomes him to safety. Gaines tells her that the other survivor of the accident is a dangerous prisoner who is now at-large; and Gaines is sure he is heading their way.

Then a second injured visitor arrives—also introducing himself as Constable Don Gaines. Both claim to want to protect Remie and the hotel's remaining guests. Both are convincing. Remie doesn't know who to trust.

But she must endure a deadly night before dawn breaks, and if she doesn't succumb to the cold, one of these men will surely kill her first. And she has no idea why they have chosen to come to the MacKinnon Hotel . . .

About the author(s)

Martin Griffin is a dynamic new voice in crime fiction. Before turning his hand to writing, he was a deputy headmaster and a doomed singer. Martin lives in Manchester, England.


Praise for The Second Stranger:

“Good premises can come easy; sustaining them across a novel's length is the trick. Martin Griffin does precisely this, and then some, in The Second Stranger, a Misery-evoking debut thriller set in the blizzard-blasted Scottish Highlands.”

Shelf Awareness

“Clever and bold. The Second Stranger starts with a shiver of dangerous uncertainty before exploding into full on murder and mayhem. Anything you think you know, you don't.”

Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A nasty February storm has cut off phone service at the remote MacKinnon Hotel in the Scottish Highlands, where Remie Yorke is working at the front desk. Suddenly, an injured man comes through the door, identifying himself as Police Constable Don Gaines and saying that he’s been in a car accident—and that the dangerously manipulative inmate he was transporting from the local prison has escaped. The policeman is securing the premises when another injured man arrives, the title character in Martin Griffin’s The Second Stranger. In a dismaying turn of events, this new visitor also claims that he is P.C. Gaines — and that the first man is the escaped prisoner, Troy Foley. Remie’s own memories, about a criminal brother who was killed in prison, contribute to a sense that she, too, is keeping secrets from the reader. Are any of them telling the truth, and will any of them get out alive?”

Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review