Friday, February 12, 2016
The Crooked House ~ Christobel Kent
Kent, Christobel. 2016. The Crooked House. New York: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 978-0374131821. $26.00 USD.
I was intrigued by the premise of this new novel by Christobel Kent, a prolific London born novelist who now lives in Cambridge. The main character, Alison, is a London accountant with an academic boyfriend who has been hiding her past from everyone. As a teenager, when she was known as Esme, her entire family was murdered and only she survived, along with her father, whom everyone assumes committed the atrocity. She moved away from the village of Saltleigh, assumed a new name and tried to put her past behind her. When her boyfriend is invited to a wedding in her hometown, Alison agrees to accompany him, despite severe misgivings. The novel moves back and forth between the current events and Esme’s memories of what happened to her family. Once she is back in Saltleigh, people, places and events conspire to gradually reveal more and more about the night of her family’s murder, and she comes to believe that her father is not the true mass murderer. Plenty of twists and turns, and an unsettling feeling throughout, made this book an enjoyable read. I did figure out “who done it” before the end, and the outcome left a bittersweet feel, as Alison’s life has been filled with so much tragedy. Worth the read, but I was not a fan of the ending!