Hester leads a solitary life. Living alone with only her little dog for company she always finds herself on the side-lines looking in. She has no real friends and keeps her distance from the others in her adult learning class. Her only real friend was Melissa who lives next door, and over the years that relationship has become more strained. She finds herself watching the deliveryman who brings Melissa’s high end food shopping and analysing the contents to pass the time of day.
Melissa is married to Mark, a fertility doctor, who in recent years has become a bit of a television personality after a documentary he was in became very successful. Daughter Tilly has just finished her GCSE exams and is lounging around the house just being a teenager. Melissa has a very comfortable life and has everything that money can buy but she can’t shift the feeling that she is being watched.
In many ways this is quite an odd tale. The ordinary old lady next door that you don’t think twice about; suddenly she’s an accessory to a crime and masterminding the disposal of a body. It is interesting the way the dynamic changes between the two women but ultimately I found it hard to really like either of them. Hester clearly had mental health issues from the psychological abuse she had suffered at the hands of her husband and Melissa was never going to recover from living with an addict for a mother who left her to run wild and fend for herself.
This book isn’t going to suit everyone. It feels like quite a dark and desperate story and there are several points where I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and shout “REALLY? Why would you write that!”. It seems to be on offer in the UK Amazon store at the moment if you fancy something a bit different for your holiday reading.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication date: 22 July 2016. 270 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.