by Sophie Hannah
The official blurb: Sophie’s sixth psychological crime novel to feature Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer.
It’s 1.15 a.m. Connie Bowskill should be asleep. Instead, she’s logging on to a property website in search of a particular house: 11 Bentley Grove, Cambridge. She knows it’s for sale; she saw the estate agent’s board in the front garden less than six hours ago.
Soon Connie is clicking on the ‘Virtual Tour’ button, keen to see the inside of 11 Bentley Grove and put her mind at rest once and for all. She finds herself looking at a scene from a nightmare: in the living room there’s a woman lying face down in a huge pool of blood. In shock, Connie wakes her husband Kit. But when Kit sits down at the computer to take a look, he sees no dead body, only a pristine beige carpet in a perfectly ordinary room…
I didn’t give the last Sophie Hannah book that I read a great review, so I am all the happier to say that this one was actually really good!
The Zailer/Waterhouse relationship side of the book was still weak however and I can’t help thinking that Sophie Hannah started something several books ago that she was then compelled to continue with; I wonder if she regrets it?
Putting that to one side, the storyline was excellent and forgiving a few elements that slightly stretch plausibility (but then don’t all books?) it was a really good and well put together story.
As ever, Sophie Hannah’s observational skills when it comes to recording relationships is simply excellent she manages to capture that familiarity of the routines that families have which are disliked by so many of the family yet which continue year after year, just because. The unspoken words between Connie, her sister and her parents are all there loud and clear.
There was one little thread through the story of which the purpose eluded me but that’s not to say that it spoilt the book. Maybe I’m just not on the right wavelength for these novels some of the time.
Sorry if this sounds like a negative review, I think my experience of the previous book has possibly prevented me from reviewing this book on an impartial basis; it had something to prove from page one!
For me, this was Sophie Hannah back on form and I would recommend it.