Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Our House – Louise Candlish

Psychological Thriller
5*s

Every time I see Louise Candlish has a new book out, I dance a little dance. Why? Because in the crowded psychological thriller arena she takes a sideways look at modern life to create tales that are on the edge of credulity, and yet, so believable when they flow from her pen.

Such is the story told in Our House. If you read the synopsis you would doubt how realistic it is for a woman, mother of two boys, to return home unexpectedly one afternoon to find that her house has been sold and her possessions are nowhere to be seen. Really? I thought as my eyebrows shot up way past my hairline… that simply couldn’t happen, could it?

What makes this book particularly brilliant is the detailed plotting and the structure of the book. Fiona tells us her story via a podcast called The Victim where women, it is mainly women, explain how they’ve been duped, betrayed or hurt to an audience who comment along as the show unfolds. As I said, oh so modern and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that a variety of this idea is a real thing! Fiona takes us back to the time when she split up with her husband Bram through the last few months where they settled on a ‘birds nest’ arrangement for custody of the boys. And with my finger firmly on the pulse of modern life, I already knew this is where the children of a broken partnership stay put in their own home and the parents swap in and out like weather house men and women to care for them on designated days. At other times, when they were not in the house, Fiona and Bram stayed in a small rented flat. Oh so modern but you have to wonder how practical in real life…

Bram tells us his side of the same story, where we find out everything that Fiona doesn’t know, via a letter. This is a man tormented by his mistakes and trying to put things right. And despite all that he confesses to, Louise Candlish makes him quite a likeable man. I think this is key to the plotline retaining such a sense of realism and so despite my initial reservations I had no trouble believing the events that unfold.

Along with the two versions we are grounded in the present, Friday 13 January 2017 the day Fiona discovers her house has been sold and her estranged husband and sons are missing. It is the day that the remnants of Fiona’s life that she has been clinging to disintegrates.

Of course Fiona and Bram don’t live in isolation – their house after all is worth millions, in a sought after area which has risen in value. They have neighbours who try to do the right thing following the breakdown of the couple’s marriage, keeping the links in place, if weakened by the change in status quo. The author has a brilliant eye for the way people behave and so just as I so enjoyed her previous novels set in similar upwardly mobile settings, the characters her really do make the story come alive.

If you like your domestic noir to be something out of the ordinary you really must read Our House. The unbelievable is turned on its head, the characters so lifelike you will feel you know them well all in an undeniably up-to-date setting. A fully deserved five stars from Cleopatra Loves Books.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an advance copy of Our House, this unbiased review is thanks to them and the author Louise Candlish for yet another gripping read!.

First Published UK: 5 April 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
No of Pages: 448
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Reviews of other books by Louise Candlish

The Disappearance of Emily Marr
Other People’s Secrets
The Sudden Departure of the Frasers
The Swimming Pool

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

23 thoughts on “Our House – Louise Candlish

  1. What an interesting premise for a story, Cleo! And, as you say, it’s very, very modern. Now I’m intrigued about what happened, why the house was sold, and so on. I’m very much looking forward to your review of this one.

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  2. I saw this one recently and when i read the synopsis was amazed and very, very interested. I have no problem believing this could actually happen or some version of it. I mean, these days – crazy things happen all the time. I look forward to trying it. I, too, like it when an author puts a unique spin on the ‘usual thriller’ (is there a usual thriller? LOL).

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  3. Okay Cleo, you’ve convinced me that this is a ‘must-read. It’ll be a while before I read it though. I’m putting myself on a NetGalley/Edelweiss ban starting April 1st. as my TBR is well and truly out of control. Wait… it’s not April 1st yet…

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  4. Great review! I’ve been eyeing this book for months…and happily, I now have a copy. I can’t wait to start reading it.

    The whole “birds nest” thing is so completely contemporary, and while, in theory, it sounds like the best thing for the kids, I can’t help but envision horrific events happening. Which, apparently, the author has done as well.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I do like this genre. Sadly, I have no time to read anything more than what’s currently on my list! I’ve gotten into audiobooks lately though, which gives me the chance to listen to books I might not have time to read. Keep those reviews coming!

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  6. Hello Cleopatra Loves Books!!

    We noticed that you love Louise Candlish books and gave her recent book, Our House, a great thumbs up!

    We’re a local restaurant on Louise’s home turf in South London and she has kindly agreed to read from the book, give a Q&A on her unique characterisations and sign copies of Our House and The Swimming Pool for guests on Wednesday 13th June, 7.45pm at the restaurant.

    It will be the first time that Louise has done a reading in Herne Hill, South London and Our House is so good, we think it deserves a full house to hear the reading!

    Tickets are available and tickets with food option are selling fast so get in there quick! https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/food-drink/an-evening-with-louise-candlish-celebrated-novelist-and-author-of-our-house?from=autocomplete

    Would love to have some Louise Candlish fans there!
    Best,
    Cece – Park’s Edge Bar & Kitchen

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