The number of books that I have started and then given up on after the first couple of pages numbers quite a few (life is too short to struggle through a rubbish book). This book, however, had me gripped from the first page (the prologue essentially warning about who you invite into your life and house). Perhaps I was so gripped as it resonated to me that most people in this world are indeed quite crackers and I myself, on occasion, have been left scratching my head wondering if I’m some sort of magnet for oddballs and people who knit jumpers from cat hair.

Anyway, back to the book. Our main character is Elle, an author who hit the jackpot with her debut novel after struggling as a waitress and amateur writer for years. We pick up when she’s returned home from some writers’ retreat/jolly somewhere, and during her time away she rented out her home to bring in some extra cash (she bought an expensive house with the advance for her second book and is now running out of money). But things are not as she left them – her locked writer’s room (overlooking the sea – totally jealous) has had things moved around. Did she actually lock the room, or did she forget? A paperweight has been cracked and the shard of glass found in front of a mirror in a different room. A message written on a window pane.

Whilst all these strange occurrences are going on, we see Elle desperately trying to write a second book in time for her deadline that is only weeks away. At the same time, she has to contend with a less than friendly neighbour (annoyed as Elle’s new house now blocks his view of the sea; how did that get past planning I wonder?), her book editor nagging her for updates, and the local librarian  wanting to be her best friend. Thankfully, her sister is on hand for some advice, guidance and wine. But when Elle is alone in the house one evening and finds herself locked in her writing room, she starts to realise that perhaps it’s not all in her head…

I really enjoyed this book, and although it is a ‘thriller’, I found turning the pages was like putting on your favourite jumper (the one without the curry stain down the front). The author cleverly introduces characters and sub-plots to the story which makes you wonder what really is going on in her house.

4.95 stars out of 5 for me, and will be having a nose at what other books the author’s written.

April 2024