Now Available from Hanover Square Press
Optioned by FX for development as a TV series
A literary suspense novel told with the style of Patricia Highsmith and Paul Auster, in which an eerie social game goes viral and spins perilously—and criminally—out of control
Rebecca’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Ezra, has gone missing, but when she notifies the police, they seem surprisingly unconcerned. They suspect he has been playing the “stranger game,” a viral hit in which players start following others in real life, as they might otherwise do on social media. As the game spreads, however, the rules begin to change, play grows more intense and disappearances are reported across the country.
Curious about this popular new obsession, and hoping that she might be able to track down Ezra, Rebecca tries the game for herself. She also meets Carey, someone who is willing to take the game further than she imagined possible. As her relationship with Carey and involvement in the game deepen, she begins to uncover an unsettling subculture that has infiltrated the world around her. In playing the stranger game, what may lead her closer to finding Ezra may take her further and further from the life she once lived.
A thought-provoking, haunting novel, The Stranger Game unearths the connections, both imagined and real, that we build with the people around us in the physical and digital world, and where the boundaries blur between them.
The Stranger Game is a sharp-toothed commentary on the ways in which "following" can foster a pretense of intimacy between strangers, and how the falsity of this intimacy—its utter lack of substance—often creates a perilous hunger for more: more access, more communion, more knowledge. It's also a fun, moody, twisty thriller, with a sun-touched, West Coast vibe...as much Joan Didion as Patricia Highsmith.
— Scott Smith
Imagine a metaphysical thriller inspired by Patrick Modiano and illustrated by Giorgio Di Chirico and you’ll have an idea of this enigmatic novel, The Stranger Game.
— Edmund White
“Following” gets a whole new meaning in Peter Gadol’s stylish psychological thriller set in the future of the day-after-tomorrow. A moody, increasingly dangerous house of mirrors where the rules morph as his players become more obsessed with “the stranger game.”
— Janet Fitch
If you've ever spent time people watching, or if you yourself have ever felt watched or followed, you'll see yourself in Peter Gadol's The Stranger Game—and it will unnerve you. This is the perfect novel for a world in which real human connection is so elusive.
— Will Allison
The ingenious conceit of Peter Gadol's novel—to literalize our obsession with on-line following—yields a psychological thriller that brilliantly exposes the state-of-the-culture, one in which we have traded authentic emotional connection for a virtual one whose implications for the soul are troubling. Like the best of Highsmith and Hitchcock rolled into one, The Stranger Game is a compulsively absorbing and thought-provoking triumph.
— Marisa Silver
The Stranger Game is a gripping and nuanced novel that asks whom we trust and why. It is about being an insider and an outsider, about being watched and, finally being truly seen.
— Ramona Ausubel