Abi Holland considers herself lucky.
She’s happily married, and her oldest daughter, Eva, is all set for a place at a top university.
She just can’t help but worry about Beth.
So when foreign exchange student Corinne comes to stay, it’s a relief her lonely younger daughter finally has someone to talk to.
It’s only when Beth starts to misbehave, that Abi begins to wonder how much they really know about their guest.
Because the Holland family have lots of secrets, and Corinne is quietly listening to them all.
And once they come out, there’s no going back…
Another gripping, chilling read from my favourite writing partnership, Karen Perry.
The book follows the Holland family, about to welcome their daughter Beth’s French exchange student, Corinne, to come and stay with them. We quickly learn that something awful has happened, but we’re not sure what exactly, and we then go back in time to the ‘beginning’ as they first meet Corinne…
The book is a skilful domestic thriller and though a lot focuses on the characters, I never felt impatient for more ‘action’. I found myself completely gripped as we discovered more about Corinne’s weird ways and the way she interacts with others, and as her and Beth’s relationship grows. Beth’s sister Eva, seemingly on the sidelines of the plot to start with, becomes more and more important, and parents Abi and Mark’s struggling marriage creates a perfect storm of tension which I enjoyed (if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word…) every minute of!
There are some dramatic moments that perhaps require a small amount of suspending your disbelief, but to me, it didn’t feel too over the top or ridiculous, just entertaining and gripping.
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph UK, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.