The Couple at No 9 by Claire Douglas

4 Stars from me

This has a similar start to another book I’ve read recently, with bodies found accidentally during renovations. The similarities end there but I it certainly a thought provoking premise.

Super lucky couple Saffy and Tom are gifted a beautiful cottage in the Cotswolds after Saffy’s mum is given the cottage but doesn’t want to live in it. A few home improvements soon come to a halt once a body is discovered in the back garden.

A varied cast including Saffy’s mum (who is presently shacked up with a toyboy abroad) and Saffy’s nan (who is in a care home with dementia) begin to unravel the past to discover who the deceased is – especially as it seems they died while her Nan owned the cottage.

There follows a mix of family relationships and a cosy crime thriller – albeit with a few red herrings along the way.

There is what seems to be a subplot with Theo who is estranged from his cold and angry father. And also the story flits back and forth to when Saffy’s Nan was a young woman, and the present day.

Well laid out and easy to follow, The Couple at No 9 is a cleverly plotted thriller that will keep you guessing.

Blurb: It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO
When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE
Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED
Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?
As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?
Why did no one miss the victims?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger?

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