The Stranger 2 (Chapters 7 – 24)


The stranger that Ellie finds on her property is Luca, and after he spends the night in her field, she decides to hire him and have her property tidy up. He stays in the garage, which is empty, and Ellie brings a bed and some pieces to make the place cosier. From the first moment she notices that the people in the village are stiff towards her because she has hired, Luca, who is a foreigner. This is the time when the refugee crisis in Calais was taking place and people were wary about too many foreigners coming to England.

Then Ellie starts an affair with David, and strange things start to happen to her. Once when she has been out with Kate, she returns to find someone in her house, but since it is dark, the man flees and she can’t see it. Some days later she steps out of the cottage and finds that one of her hens has been nailed to a tree and hangs there dead, and beside it there is a handwritten message in a piece of paper, telling her to leave. Ellie doesn’t tell David about the hen, but when she tells him about the trespasser, he sends the police, and they are suspicious of Luca, but the man’s documents are all in order. In the second incident Luca asks Ellie not to tell David or the police because they will suspect him. I may be wrong but I think Ellie is right to trust him. The person I don’t trust is David, and I have the hunch that somehow he is behind all these incidents. What makes me suspect is that David knew that Ellie would be out with Kate, so he could well have sneaked inside.

The incidents are not limited to her house. Strange things start happening in her tea room, which she first assumes are Kate’s mistakes. A sugar shaker is filled with salt; milk is left outside the fridge all night and becomes sour; a piece of glass is found in the jam when a customer was using it; bad reviews are left on Tripadvisor; and the last thing is that a rotten rat is found on the floor of the tea room. Who is doing this? If David is behind the incidents, how did he do it? Could he have found a key to the tea room and have another key cut? And why is he doing this? Why does he want Kate gone if he apparently likes her this much? And if David is not the culprit, then who is?

Ellie has found out more about William and his affair. In his study, which is a mess, she finds a crumpled paper, and when she smooths it out, she realises that it is a letter to her. William apologises for not being the man who she needed, and in a cryptic way he tells her that he became the knight in shining armour for someone else. In the letter he doesn’t really  mention an affair, but she infers that from his words. The letter is not finished as there is a sheet missing, and that is what Ellie hopes to find.

One night when she stays with David, he goes to the factory, and since she feels unable to sleep, she decides to explore the house. She discovers a room where David has his late wife’s things, and when she smells her perfume, she remembers this is the scent in the bag that she found among William’s things, and she realises that the garments in that bag were definitely Henrietta’s style. So now she is positive that the woman William was having an affair with is Henrietta, and she debates with herself whether she should tell David, but so far she has kept quiet. I have a theory. I don’t think that William and Henrietta had an affair, but he was helping Henrietta somehow, and I have the hunch that his help was in connection with David. That is why he said that he became a knight in shining armour for someone else. Maybe David sneaked into the house the night Ellie surprised a trespasser because he hoped to find something incriminating in William’s study. Actually, the trespasser was in William’s study when Ellie arrived. Also, when Ellie does some spring cleaning, David suggests she could use his housekeeper Anca, and even though Ellie tells her not to get into William’s study, Ellie finds her yellow glove there, which means that the woman ignored her orders. Yet, when she wants to talk to and ask her, David tells her that she is gone all of a sudden, and then he explains that she was pregnant and quite wary, and he suspects that Anca was raped. I think this is very suspicious, but Ellie trusts her wholeheartedly.

As for Ellie’s past, we learn that Dr Des Ashton raped her when he visited her once when she was with flu in bed. As a result, she got pregnant and had a son, who her parents forced her to give away. Ellie didn’t tell anybody about the rape, and her dream to become a doctor smashed as she couldn’t get the grades. After the rape, she must have been quite the state to be able to concentrate on her studies.

So intriguing and gripping! I am pretty sure that the bad guy is David, but I don’t know why he is terrorising Ellie like this. Why does he want her to leave? Maybe he is after her property? If so, does he have to resort to this kind of antics? Why wouldn’t he make an offer to her like any normal person would do? I don’t think that is the reason; there is something else that I am missing. And what about Ellie’s long-lost child? Does he have any relevance in what is happening in the present?

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