Blurb: What if everything you knew was a lie…
This house has a past that won’t stay hidden, and it is time for the dead to speak.
Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square, Edie is shocked to find the place she remembers from childhood reeks of mould and decay. After her aunt Dolly’s death Edie must clear out the home on a street known for five vicious murders many years ago, but under the dirt and grime of years of neglect lurk dangerous truths.
For in this dark house there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden. The truth must come out.
Finding herself dragged back into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what really happened all those years ago. But as Edie uncovers the history of the family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if sometimes it isn’t best to leave them buried.
An unforgettable and addictive story, perfect for fans of Lesley Thomson, Diane Chamberlain and Tracy Buchanan.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015QM8AP8/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738
My Rating: 4.5/5
Review: If you plan to read this book make sure you have plenty of time set aside for it. I started it one evening and would have stayed up till I finished it had I not had plans the following day. This is not a fast-paced story but it hooks you from the beginning and draws you in so well that you don’t notice until it’s too late. The story focuses on Edie’s clearing of her aunt’s house but in clearing the house old secrets start to come to light. The square where the house is has changed but some of the neighbours haven’t and through them, the house and a few others the true story of the square and its past will be revealed.
This is the first book I have read by Ann Troup but it certainly won’t be the last. The way all of the layers of the story weave together is brilliantly done, some authors try and combine events from the past with a story in the present and manage but not many achieve the seamlessness that is evident here. Despite the constant presence of the events from the 50s and 60s from the items in the house and people referring to them the story doesn’t get confusing or lose itself at any point. There are a mix of characters and character ages and all were well-written and, I felt, accurately portrayed. I found them all believable and could easily imagine Sophie in her 20s, Edie in her 40s and her family’s neighbour Lena, being older still. Their mannerisms and way of talking fitted with the environment they had grown up and in and their ages. The descriptions of the square and other locations, including inside people’s homes were also well-written but the stand out one there has to be Edie’s aunts home. I could almost feel that damp, decaying and oppressive atmosphere of the house and there were some parts that were so creepy that I almost couldn’t read them, the equivalent of watching TV and hiding behind the sofa!
The story has been written in a way that the reader gets a chance to figure some of it out without it being spelled out for them. I had some parts worked out correctly by about half way through the book and was wondering what the rest of the book was about but I was being hasty, there are so many layers to this story and they unpeel slowly and while I worked out or had fairly accurate ideas about most of it there were some excellent surprises in store, some of which I definitely did not see coming. These reveals were artfully written and tied up the loose ends brilliantly, but again without spelling it out too much for the reader. This is a story where you need to pay attention and think while reading otherwise the various endings to the different aspects of it would be completely confusing. The only bit I’m not sure I liked was that while the story was tied up for the readers, for some of the characters there were loose ends that they knew nothing about. I can’t decide if I would rather they knew or not but that is me and other people may not agree with me.
This was an excellent book and one I would highly recommend for anyone looking for a gripping and intriguing story. Definitely an author to watch.
About Ann Troup: Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.
Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.
She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.
In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).