Reviews

The House By Simon Lelic @PenguinRHUK @DeadGoodBooks

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Penguin Random House 2017

Special thanks to Elke at Penguin Books for sending me this copy and including me on the Instagram Booktour.  Prior to that I had noticed this book on Instagram (the cover really is pretty awesome don’t you think?) and was also aware it was the Goldsboro Books December Book of the Month.  You can imagine my delight at receiving an early copy!

So, what’s it about…

From the cover – 

THE PERFECT COUPLE.  THE PERFECT HOUSE. THE PERFECT CRIME.

Jack and Syd moved into their house a year ago.  It seemed like their dream home; tons of space, the perfect London location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it.  That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door.

AND NOW THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THEM.

Taking an original format of journal type entries which Jack and Syd chose to write as their account of events which serve to tell the story.  Effectively detailing events in alternating chapters and so told from both perspectives.  Initially looking back, the couple retrospectively notice things which at the time they brushed off but appear sinister with the benefit of hindsight.

Jack and Syd move into their dream, ‘forever’ house which seemed to be too good to be true, however from the offset this book has a sinister tone, the cluttered house they needed to clear, the strange smell in the attic, the vulnerable girl living in the house behind theirs… and the relative isolation of this pair, secrets in Syd’s past and the partial estrangement from parents.  This story is really about Syd and Jack in their home, in their world and a clash of circumstances and events which interact into a satisfyingly good drama!

The plot is slick, for the reader there are lots of unknowns at the outset, things that feel very unclear, their relevance not yet explained which emerge and are clarified as the story unfolds.  This felt like clever writing, a comprehensive plot linking separate parts of the story at the conclusion, the big reveal.  With twists aplenty, secrets, lies and a murder this was gripping stuff, a fast read, a page turner with a satisfying and morally just finale.

A quick and entertaining read, sitting comfortably in the crime / psychological thriller genre.

 

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