house
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Blind date with a book: thriller

When I get into a new thriller, I often become deeply engrossed very quickly. This was no exception. I had intended to make this book last a while due to the current circumstances, but once it was started, I could not put it down. In a way, I went into it blind because I received it as a gift months after reading a review, so my memory of it had faded.

The story unfolds in a small city just on the outskirts of London. We are introduced to a young woman who is living a fairly ordinary life with little to no knowledge about her past. She was adopted as a baby and now, just after turning 25, she starts to unveil her past and her long-lost family. 

The first chapter concludes just after she has discovered she has inherited an eight bedroom house in a prestigious part of London. My mind was filled with questions about this immediately. How and why is she now the owner of a humongous house worth millions? However, much to my surprise, turning to the second chapter gives no consolation. Instead, we are now introduced to a second character, a single mum of two, barely getting by in a small corner of France. The third chapter is narrated by a man, but this time it is set in the past: when he was a boy in the late 1970s. 

What makes him so interesting is to hear the story through a young person’s eyes – not many books tackle a child narrator

At first this was quite hard to grasp; every chapter transported me to a different location. This felt like three different stories for a while. But as the characters were developing, more and more details were unfolding. However, the relationships that connect them all remained unknown for a long while into the book.

The character who was telling the story set in the 1970s was my favourite. His part was vital in giving details of the horrific things that had happened in the house for many years. In the present he is a fully-grown man, and so his story is told from his perspective as a child. What makes him so interesting is to hear the story through a young person’s eyes – not many books tackle a child narrator. His story is what the woman who has just inherited the house is so desperate to find out. So, whilst the lady was trying to piece information together bit by bit, the reader was being fed the story straight from first-hand experience. It is exciting to see how they link up.

The book was full of twists that I didn’t see coming

In my opinion, another main character was the house. Whilst this obviously can’t talk or express feelings, it was a very big part of the story. As the three different stories were evolving, more and more became known about the house and all the things that happened in it. The rooms were described in great detail and there was a big contrast between how it was described in the 70s compared to present day. We also discovered how it became a crime scene and how it was left empty for many years.

The book was full of twists that I didn’t see coming. New characters were introduced throughout and once I thought I finally put the pieces together, I was proven wrong. This really kept me on my toes as I was constantly trying to fully understand the plot as more and more was added into it. 

The ending is quite emotional. The three characters finally meet and have a lot of catching up to do, after almost 25 years of no contact, but of course the reader already knew most of their stories. This isn’t to say it was dissatisfying. If anything, it was relieving to see that the story was finally coming together. If this has persuaded you to read for yourself, the book can be found here. 

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