From the award-winning author of ‘The Sisters,’ ‘Local Girl Missing,’ and ‘Last Seen Alive,’ comes a taut psychological thriller in which family secrets and hidden pasts build to a violent climax in a guesthouse among the idyllic Welsh mountains.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” – Sir Walter Scott.
Author Claire Douglas uses Sir Walter Scott’s poem as an introduction to her novel and it fits perfectly. We are introduced to a family, Kirsty Woodhouse and her husband Adrian, who have two children. Amelia is eleven years old and her entire world is falling apart, her friends, her school, and London itself is being left behind. Her six-year-old sister Evie is delighted. “What an adventure, we are going to Wales.” She is thrilled. Their grandmother has helped them with the purchase of an old rectory they are going to transform into a first-class Bed and Breakfast.
Kirsty hopes she can be civil to her mother. They are starting over and an issue is implied here but not stated openly regarding Adrian, who wants to write a novel and fulfill his dreams. The mountains look perfect and the village in the valley is quaint. What could go wrong? As they settle into the house, the atmosphere begins to darken. A local visitor books herself into the B&B for a few days to visit relations in the area but it turns out she tells anybody who will listen, that the house is cursed and the constant drama amongst Kirsty’s relations, who were invited by the grandmother, makes for a lot of melodrama.
It’s complicated in part, with trips to the past that don’t shed much light on the present. The story never has a chance of a happily-ever-after, but all things considered, author Claire Douglas wraps it up nice and neatly. It is a solid read and will give your brain a good workout, that much is for sure. Enjoy!
Available in Bookstores November 17th