Friday, 14 December 2018

Book Review: Our House by Louise Candlish

On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. 

Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it. 

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she's sure there's been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird's nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanours, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona's children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram's not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

I have been a huge fan of Louise Candlish for, oh, quite some time now, In the past few years I've read quite a few of her books, including; The Swimming Pool and The Sudden Departure of The Frasers. Both of which were five star reads. So I had high hopes for her newest release, Our House, which chronicles one woman's harrowing journey as her house is sold without her knowledge and her husband disappears without a trace. 

It's pretty rare that you will love every single book an author produces. And I've learnt that the hard way with Louise Candlish. Unfortunately, Our House did not live up to my high hopes for it at all. In fact, I found it very hard-going. Reading it felt like a real slog, a real effort, a chore. The story felt incredibly disjointed. The characters were hard to get on-board with. There was very little, in fact, to like about this novel. 

It's saving grace, in fact, was it's originality. Many thrillers feature a premise that has been done to death. But Louise has a habit of coming up with a wholly unique take on a done-to-death story-line. And that's the only reason I scored this book as highly as I did. Without the unique, original story, this would have been an incredibly weak book. 

That's not to say I won't be buying or reading Louise Candlish's books again in the future. I most certainly will, as the odds are still in her favour. I've enjoyed more of her books than I haven't. I still think she's an incredibly talented author, and I'd highly recommend her previous novels. I just didn't particularly enjoy this one. And that's okay. 

Rating: ***

Have you read anything by Louise Candlish? 

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