Secrets, murder, gothic
What I thought:
Karen Clarke, an unremarkable girl from Birmingham, has been living in London for the past four years while at University and living in a house with three ex-public school friends who all play tennis together and have the same hair-styles.
Enter Biba, a care-free, spirited, bohemian whirlwind who takes who has a chance meeting with Karen and not only takes her under her wing but puts her under a spell of all-night parties, free drugs and independence all spent in a delapidated and crumbling victorian manor house in Highgate one boiling hot summer. Together with Biba’s brother Rex and several other more peripheral characters, Karen and Biba’s doomed friendship ends only months later with the death of two people.
What I loved about this book is that it starts in the present and we, the readers, know that something has happened in the past and that there are secrets which still have not been revealed. Karen is now in her 30’s and has a 10 year old daughter, Alice. Although the story mainly remains in the past (the end of the 90’s – the summer that changed everything) we are privvy to snippets of the present which helps the reader fill in some of the gaps of what may have happened.
The secret was a good one! I guessed it only shortly before it was revealed but even so it was exciting to read.
Verdict: Engaging, well written and with a great twist at the end. Recommended.
Have you read this one yet? I am now looking forward to reading this authors brand new book The Sick Rose.