My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 352
Publisher - Michael Joseph
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.
Hilda, Katy's mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?
Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it's too late?
Katy is always watching the house across the road, usually when ironing. Gloria is always bringing in women to her home but why, what is she doing, why the mystery? When the house burns down and bodies are found Katy can't rest, she needs to know what Gloria did and why her father is arrested.
The pace of this one is a wee bit different from the others I felt. We start off getting to know Katy, her sharp tongued mother, her relationship with her father and brother. The book splits into three main parts, the family dynamics, the murder and the investigation.
Katy's story is really involved in the whole book, we learn of the family interactions, Katy's friendships and the sheltered life and her complex relationship with her mother. Katy is such an innocent and pure character, loyal, fierce and brave if a little misguided.
The book takes a few dark turns, violence, murder, secrets and some tense scenes that kept me turning page after page. The story isn't continuous action or a thriller from the get go but Pearse has a knack of hooking you from the beginning even with the family build up scenes. If you like her previous books I think you will enjoy this one, 4/5 for me this time.