Title: The House Across the Street
Author: Lesley Pearse
Publisher: Penguin UK
Is there a murderer across the street?
It’s 1964 and twenty-three-year-old Katy Speed is fascinated by Gloria and the goings-on at the house over the road. Who are the mysterious women arriving in a black car most Saturdays?
Then one night, Gloria’s house burns to the ground. In the wreckage, bodies are found. And Katy’s horror turns to disbelief when her father is arrested and charged with murder.
Determined to prove his innocence, Katy sets out to uncover the truth about the mysterious house across the street. But that means uncovering the real murderer – and risking her own life .
This is a sweet, entertaining story set in a decade I love reading about – the 1960’s. Katy’s neighbour across the road dies in a house fire and her lovely father is arrested for her murder, so Katy sets out to try and prove his innocence – but things don’t quite go to plan.
I really enjoyed reading about the post-war time period of the 1960’s, with lots of references to society and popular culture at that time. Things were so different then, and Lesley Pearse does a great job of subtling highlighting this. The different time period is also reflected in the way the characters deal with certain situations, and the fact that many of the characters feel a bit dampened down at times, where I expected them to react more strongly but they didn’t. Katy, despite not being alive during WW2, certainly felt a little childish at times, but I think that was part of her innocent, eager personality. When things got really difficult, she certainly stepped up though!
The story felt, to me, fairly gentle really, despite dealing with some very serious and important themes (which I won’t list here so as not to spoil any of the story). It’s a nice, easy read and will definitely appeal to anyone who likes novels set in this time period, or historical fiction in general. I tend to read novels with a bit more ‘bite’ and grit to them, so this made a nice change for me.
Many thanks to Penguin UK for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.