Una Richardson’s heart is broken after the death of her mother. Seeking a place to heal, she responds to an advertisement and steps into the rich, comforting world of Elspeth McKenzie.
But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.
Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. But more disturbing is the realization that two girls had lived here before. Two girls who ended up dead.
Why won’t the McKenzies talk about them? What other secrets are locked inside this house? As the walls close in around her, Una starts to fear that she will end up just like the other girls…
I’m a big fan of Claire Douglas’ books and know I’m in for a treat when she has a new release. Just Like The Other Girls has plenty of secrets, twists and dark moments, as Una starts a new job in Bristol as a live in companion for a very wealthy lady. Both her and her daughter seem strange (in different ways) and it’s not long before things start getting a bit odd…
I really liked the sense of atmosphere in this book. You’re never quite sure if some characters mean well or have a really dark streak. We definitely find out a lot more about them when we are thrown into each of their points of view. Take Kathleen, for example – she’s not at all likable in the way she interacts and treats Una, but when we see things from her perspective we see she has a lot to deal with too. And she definitely has a secret that is subtly referred to – but just how big and bad a secret is it?
Una is also very relatable; we start the book with her starting her job and experience the same sense of confusion about what the household she’s entering into is really like. We also learn, through Una’s research and other staff’s stories, about previous live in carers and the mysterious things that have happened to them.
The plot completely drew me in and I enjoyed the surprises along the way and at the conclusion, which confronts the reader with a final, really good twist that I didn’t see coming until right at the end. It’s thrilling without needing to be ‘action-packed’, and I don’t want to give too much away about the plot but would say I’d definitely recommend it.
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.