One fateful night. One unthinkable family tragedy. One survivor. This is Alison's story.
Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Apple Tree Yard, this stunning psychological thriller follows one woman's search for the truth about her family history. Alison is as close to anonymous as she can get: With no ties and a backroom job, hers is a life lived under the radar. But once Alison was someone else: Once she was Esme, a teenager whose bedroom sat at the top of a remote house on a bleak estuary. A girl whose family, if not happy exactly, was no unhappier than anyone else's - or so she thought.
Then one night violence was unleashed in the crooked house, in a nightmare that only Alison survived and from which she's been running ever since. Only when she falls for the charismatic Paul does Alison realise that to have any chance of happiness, she must return to her old life and face a closed community full of dark secrets.
As she seeks to uncover the truth of what happened that terrible night, Alison begins to question everything she thought she knew. Is there anyone she can trust?
©2015 Christobel Kent (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"An utterly compulsive psychological thriller. I loved it." (SJ Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep, on The Crooked House)
"Brilliant...A spooky, gripping and affecting story." (Louise Doughty, author of Apple Tree Yard, in the Guardian)
"Compulsive, unsettling and scary as hell." (Sunday Mirror)
"Echoes of Christie and du Maurier in this fine thriller." (Sunday Times)
"Demands to be devoured in one sitting." (Good Housekeeping)
"Best book Iv listened to this year"
Fabulous story. Great characters, kept me guessing the whole way through - so credible. Loved every bit of this book! I'm now going to my next Christobel Kent book!
"A place and people forgotten by the world"
The best parts of the story are the descriptions of the bleak estuary environment. This is a place easily accessible from Liverpool Street Station but at the same time remote and inescapable by the local people who scratch out a meagre living. Outsiders are not always welcomed by a suspicious and closed in community, and it is therefore of little surprise that this was the scene of a horrific family massacre. This is the story is of Alison, the sole survivor who is trying to find out the truth about what happened when she was a child. This is further embellished by her peculiar relationship with her much older boyfriend and his sinister ex-girlfriend. This part is very like the Daphne Du Maurier book Rebecca, and is very enjoyable. Unfortunately the unravelling of the murder mystery does become confused and muddled, and I had to wind the book back several times to maintain my grip.
The slightly over the top ending does draw matters to a satisfying conclusion and so I am therefore more than happy to give this a four star rating. The author is clearly talented and I am interested in reading more from her.
"Overlong and confusing"
I did enjoy this book in parts and stuck it out to the very end but to be honest it was a long and arduous journey and many times I didn't think I'd make it.
There are lots of characters in this book who play various parts in our heroines life. However, they are not well drawn and tend to meld into one another. The ending was not really a surprise and actually I'd lost interest by that point. Sorry!
I found this quite hard going. I had to keep re-listening to bits as I was completely confused about what was happening as the story went on. I'm still not entirely sure. It kept jumping back and forward in time but there were no pauses so you had to try to work this out yourself a lot of the time.
"Found it confusing"
The author jumps about so much it is hard to follow. Also I found the narrator would end sentences in a very quiet tone which made it difficult to hear. The story was a bit far fetched and you never quite understood why the male character did what he did.
"Plenty of Red Herrings"
Narrated by an actress who clearly knows how to give an audio book just the right amount of tension and character, this is a good, twisty read. I did have the real villain pegged from the first few chapters, but then I wrote thrillers too, and the author threw enough smoke and mirrors into the narrative along the way to make me question my number one suspect and certainly wonder how they were going to be worked into the narrative. My only niggle was a few times when the writing seemed to deliberately holding back on revelations in order to confuse the issue, but other than that a gripping read and a vivid evocation of place. By the end you can certainly taste the salt in the air.
"An okay read."
I think that the overall plot of this book is very good. I think that there are many loose ends that still needed explaining by the end. It was a little disjointed in places and I never really felt as if I got right into the book.
I have no idea
The endless repetition of the basis for the story
"Okay, but wouldn't recommend"
There were some bits of this story I enjoyed but the characters, and how they interacted felt completely unbelievable to me. And with such a lot going on emotionally would making it to a near strangers wedding be such a priority?
Good idea but felt a little dragged out.
Diverting on long journey though.
Not a patch on girl on train
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