The House on the Water’s edge by C E Rose – Blog Tour

On behalf of Zoe at and C E Rose, I am excited and honoured today to be reviewing The House on the Water’s Edge. Thank you to Hera Books, Netgalley and C E Rose for a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.


Ali is a new mum, struggling to cope. Starved of sleep, plagued with phantoms and fears from childhood, she is a woman on the edge, light years from the polished professional barrister she has worked so hard to become.

Then her mother dies, suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving Ali an orphan. Haunted by the loss of both her parents, Ali cannot get her mother’s last words out of her head: ‘There is something I need to tell you…’

Heading back to the Norfolk Broads to sort her mother’s things, Ali is plunged into childhood memories of her picture-perfect summers on the river. But as she starts to uncover long-buried secrets, she is drawn into a dark web that threatens to destroy all she thought she knew about her family – and her very sanity. Ali is forced to decide: how much does she really want to know?

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My Thoughts

Ali (Alison) is such a fascinating and well written character.  A former high-flying barrister, the reader first meets her as a new mum and all is not well.  Alison is struggling being a first-time mum but it seems so much more than that.  She is having vivid dreams based around a lifelong fear she has held, she seems to be detached from life and her husband Miles is pretty useless.  A strained phone call from her mother (Eve) who mentions that she has something Ali needs to know.  Unfortunately, Eve dies in a terrible accident before Alison sees her again.  This is also fuelled by an overheard conversation between her aunts at Eve’s funeral.  This turns poor Ali’s world upside down. C E Rose creates a lot of atmosphere through the character of Ali and how turbulent her mind is.  As a reader I was never sure if she was reliable or not which I love as a character trait.  It always makes me feel as though I’m not quite seeing things as they really are and gives me a sense of paranoia and inability to trust anyone.       

I loved Ali’s relationship with her sister Laura too.  At first it seemed fractured and there is definitely some unsaid business between them however when they come together at the funeral and throughout, it becomes clear how much they do think of each other. 

The plot is a slow burner but builds nicely to develop the characters and setting.  It never feels particularly slow.  When Ali goes to Norfolk to sort her mother’s things, she begins to uncover forgotten memories and meets with some friends of her mother.  There are several surprises and some tension in the mix too.

A slow but well-paced mild thriller with well written characters.  

Author Bio – C E Rose

Caroline is a psychological thriller writer living in Manchester. She likes to write multi-layered, dark and edgy domestic suspense stories that delve into complicated relationships, secrets, lies, loves and the moral grey area. She admits to a slight obsession with the human psyche, what goes on behind closed doors and beneath people’s façades. She also enjoys performing a literary sleight of hand in her novels and hopefully surprising her readers.

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