Thank you to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ for organising this tour and to Katharine Johnson for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Shallow Grave meets The Secret History in this quirky psychological thriller
Bristol, 1988. Five young graduates on the threshold of their careers buy a house together in order to get a foot on the property ladder before prices spiral out of their reach. But it soon becomes the house share from hell.
After their New Year’s Eve party, they discover a body – and it’s clear they’ll be the first suspects. As each of them has a good reason from their past not to trust the police, they come up with a solution – one which forces them into a life of secrets and lies. But can they trust each other?
“The hugely talented Katharine Johnson has, again delivered a tense thriller! This is a compelling novel – up there with Erin Kelly and Sophie Hannah.”
Val Penny, author of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.
“Gripping and frighteningly realistic. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”
Jo Fenton, author of The Brotherhood.
From the very first page this book had me hooked. The story of five ‘friends’ who chose to purchase a house together instead of continuing to rent individual, poorly maintained properties. All is going seeming well until a decision has to be made that changes everyone and their relationships forever when they come across a dead body in the basement after a party in the house.
The crime aspect of this novel is just thrilling. Mainly told through the unreliable and biased eyes of Emma, we are told a story of the discovery, disposal and the cover up of the body of a random party guest. Rather than the solving of the crime, the arc mainly focuses on how these secrets affect the relationships and personal lives of those involved. Snippets of information are revealed throughout the narrative, and it cracks begin to show when we find out people are not who they have presented as, raising suspicions.
In addition to the crime aspect, deeper layers of storytelling are woven into the narrative adding extra depth. The theme of secrets and trust is a strong one throughout as we learn more about each character, we learn that nobody is totally trustworthy or reliable. There is also the discourse around friendships – how well do we know them? How much can we trust them? What mentality kicks in when we are dealing with a crisis? Can we really trust them to have our backs?
When added together, all these aspects make for a superbly told thriller without the chock or gore factor, instead relying on cleverly written characters and storytelling and the weaving of all aspects into a tight narrative. This book is fantastic!
Author Bio – Katharine Johnson
Katharine Johnson was born in Bristol and now lives in Berkshire. She’s worked as a journalist on lots of magazines and has written a history book about Windsor. When not writing you’ll usually find her with a book in one hand and a coffee in the other, restoring a house in Italy, walking her spaniel or playing netball (although not usually at the same time.)