After years abroad, Joey returns to England with her husband Alfie. In lack of alternatives, they move in with her brother Jack and his pregnant wife. The neighbourhood is full of strange people, first of all this woman who seems to have mental issues and is convinced that people are following and watching her. Then Tom Fitzwilliam’s family, he a charming teacher who immediately starts to flirt with Joey, his wife, a somehow excessive runner who only seems to live for her husband and their teenage son who closely observes everything that is going on in their street. It is all but a peaceful suburb of Bristol, it is soon to become a crime scene – but who killed whom and for which reason?
Lisa Jewell opens her sixteenth novel actually with the crime scene. You know from the start that somebody has been murdered, but the victim’s identity isn’t given, only one clue to lead you in a certain direction and to keep your attention fixed on one character throughout the novel. I really liked that because the author so cleverly puts you on a track that – even if you are careful and know how crime novels sometimes play with you – you eagerly follow into the trap.
It is not easy to talk about the novel without revealing too much and spoiling the fun for other readers. I especially appreciated the wrong leads, the assumptions you have about what might have happened, who the murderer could be and the reasons for his deed, that all turn out to be completely wrong. The style of writing and the artfully dropped hints keep you read on excited to come to the end and see the full picture. Carefully orchestrated, a brilliant psychological crime novel that could hardly be surpassed.