crooked houseThis is the story of Esme, or should I say Alison, who when her family are murdered moves to Devon to live with her Aunt Polly to escape the memories, the violence and to begin a new life. Alison is as close to anonymous as she can get: with no ties, no home, a backroom job, hers is a life lived under the radar. She’s a nobody; she has no-one and that’s how she wants it.

Her life is progressing safely and in a controllable fashion until one day her boyfriend invites her to a wedding in the village where her family were murdered.

As they arrive in Saltleigh she discovers the bride is an ex-girlfriend and her family have lived in the village for years and therefore must have known about the murders. Despite the passing of the years and new hairstyle the local slowly begin to recognize Alison and the plot really begins to develop.

Chilling and unnerving, this is a literary and psychological thriller of the highest quality with well-developed characters and beautiful atmospheric writing – if I read a better thriller in 2015 I’ll be a lucky person.

Sheila O’Reilly
Little Brown/Hardback/£14.99/9780751557503