09 September 2021

The Couple at No. 9


By Claire Douglas
Psychological Thriller

My Review

Pregnant Saffy and partner Tom are gifted a cottage in the Cotswolds by Saffy's mother who now lives in Spain. During groundwork for an extension, builders unearth the remains of two bodies buried in the garden. Forensics confirm they've been in the ground for at least 30 years. The police focus their attention on Saffy's elderly grandmother Rose, who owned the cottage around the time the bodies were buried. However, there's a problem — Rose is in a care home and has dementia. With her memory now severely impacted, is it possible this kind and gentle woman committed a double murder all those years ago?

Having read several of Claire Douglas' previous novels I was excited to get my hands on this new one, The Couple at No. 9. Her ability to weave a tangled web of lies and deceit never fails to surprise. Characters are fully developed, with some more likeable than others. The plot is suspenseful and I genuinely didn't see the fantastic twist coming. 

Told through different viewpoints, the timeline moves back and forth between the past and present. This format won't suit everyone but in its defence it's very easy to follow. The plot starts off a little slowly but soon picks up pace. There are plenty of secrets and revelations along the way and I thought it was a very entertaining and enjoyable read.

Book Source: Review copy from the publisher
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Penguin (19th Aug 2021)

The Blurb


When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations, the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body. Two bodies, in fact.


Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years, which leads the police to question the cottage's former owner - Saffy's grandmother, Rose.


Rose's Alzheimer's means her memory is increasingly confused. She can't help the police - but it is clear she remembers something.


As Rose's fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched . . .

What happened thirty years ago?
What part did her grandmother play?
And is Saffy now in danger? . . .

The Author

Claire Douglas has worked as a journalist for fifteen years writing features for women's magazines and national newspapers, but she's dreamed of being a novelist since the age of seven. She finally got her wish after winning the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award, with her first novel, The Sisters. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children.

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