#BookReview Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent @SimonSchusterCA #StrangeSallyDiamond #LizNugent #SimonSchusterCA Title: Strange Sally Diamond

Author: Liz Nugent

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Jul. 18, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The internationally bestselling author of the “dark, captivating psychological thriller” (People) Lying in Wait returns with a wickedly dark, twisted, and brilliantly observed new novel about an enigmatic woman confronting her unknown past.

For Sally Diamond, people are confusing, unpredictable, and hard to read. She has always preferred routines to spontaneity, silence to noise, and forthright communication to small talk. Adopted at the age of seven by a psychiatrist, she cannot remember any details of her childhood before that age. Now, at forty-three years old, the truth comes into sharp focus when Sally’s past becomes headline news: she endured something unthinkable as a child, and now, the entire world knows exactly who she is…and was.

Suddenly, Sally finds herself in the spotlight. People everywhere are digging into her past, ravenous for details, and Sally herself is learning things about herself and her family that she never knew before. Soon, a stranger from New Zealand sends her a familiar teddy bear in the mail, but why does he insist on addressing her as Mary? And why is her new neighbor so obsessed with her?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Sally in the present-day and a boy named Peter in the past, this is a novel that confronts the trauma of family secrets and explores one woman’s brave decision to define herself and her future.


Thrilling, haunting, and highly unnerving!

Strange Sally Diamond is a dark, perceptive, mysterious tale that takes you into the life of Sally Diamond, a socially inept, middle-aged woman with PTSD from childhood trauma and a tendency to take things literally who, after recently losing the only father she’s ever known, begins to struggle with living alone when long-buried secrets come to light, memories begin flooding back, someone is intent on tormenting her about the past, and danger now seems to lurk around every corner.

The prose is meticulous and tight. The characters are scarred, selfish, eccentric, and dangerous. And the plot, told from alternating perspectives, unfolds methodically into a seedy tale full of twists, turns, surprises, familial drama, lies, secrets, deception, self preservation, wickedness, tragedy, and murder.

Overall, Strange Sally Diamond is a nuanced, sinister, unpredictable tale by Nugent that once again highlights her innate ability to showcase the scheming, despicable, demoralizing, evil side of human nature while also reminding us of the devastating, enduring consequences of living in environments fraught with excessive control, manipulation, violence, and forced captivity.


This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.




Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theater, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the novels Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait. She lives in Dublin.

Photograph by Beta Bajgartova.

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