Author – Louise Millar
Published – May 2014
Genre – Psychological thriller
Louise Millar isn’t an author that I have come across before, a journalist for publications such as Marie Claire and Red, this is her third psychological thriller.
The story centres around Will and Hannah, a young couple who have left London to make a new start in a rundown house in a remote area of Suffolk. Pretty standard fare for a thriller.
The couple have underlying relationship problems, some are the reason for their move and some seem to be caused by it. The situation isn’t helped when Will is stuck back at his work in London leaving Hannah to stress about the house on her own. The forced separation has a divisive effect and leads Hannah to rely on some of the locals for support.
Hannah has had an unusual and demanding job but seems to crumble when faced with a more domestic setting. Part of the plot, which is only alluded to in the early part of the book, explains the importance of the move to her and is the explanation for this sudden loss of confidence. She seems unable to make the right decision for any and every situation, despite having a well-developed sense of right and wrong.
There are mysterious goings on and I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say that there are some recognisable scenes – mobile phones with no signal, inexplicable footprints in the snow and sinister locals. The plot built to quite an action packed climax and it did keep me guessing.
For me the thriller aspect didn’t really work and the tension never quite ramped up in the way that I thought it would. This left the book feeling more like a story about the couple and their relationship where the mystery was less central to the plot.
Millar’s background shows through in her writing style which is easy to read and on the popular rather than literary end of the scale, and in some places it made me think of chick-lit but without the laughs (which is meant to be in no way derogatory!).
Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy.