Welcome to the first in what I hope will be a regular series of book reviews.
In the past, I’ve posted book recommendations on this site, recommending books you’ll enjoy if you’ve read my own books. But I thought it would be interesting to go into more depth for those books that really capture my attention.
So today I’m reviewing Our House by Louise Candlish, a psychological thriller that’s been described as ‘Gone Girl for the property-obsessed’ but is really much, much more.
I first spotted this book on the dealers’ table at the York Festival of Writing, but resisted the temptation, as I’m supposed to be on a book buying ban until I’ve got through my To Be Read pile. But last weekend in my local Waterstones, I gave in to temptation and I’m very glad I did – this book had me hooked from the first page.
It opens with the protagonist, Fi, arriving home on a Friday lunchtime to find a removal van outside her house. At first she thinks she’s mistaken: one of the neighbours has had their house up for sale so maybe they’re finally moving.
But as she approaches the house, she realises that the worst is true. Someone is moving into her house. She knocks on the door to find a stranger treating her home as her own, and claiming she and her husband have legitimately bought the house that day.
Fi attempts to contact her ex-husband Bram, to find that he’s not answering his phone. She panics: has he gone missing, and could that have something to do with the house? Then her panic turns to white-hot fear when she discovers her two boys aren’t at school. Have they gone missing? Has Bram taken them? Or worse?
As the book unfolds, we learn the story leading up to this day from both Fi and Bram’s perspectives. Bram has done something terrible, yes, but its not as simple as Fi thinks. In fact, it’s much, much worse…
This book had me utterly hooked. It was full of twists and turns, including one I genuinely didn’t see coming and which made me gasp. And the final line had me shouting ‘Nooo!’ at the wall.
If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, this is for you. And you don’t have to be property-obsessed in the slightest!
Five out of five.