Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Crooked House / Christobel Kent / 357 pages

"In the Southern Alps, there was a settlement in a high valley cut off, inbred since the Middle Ages...the same four or five families for a thousand years.  In the war, a German jeep went up there five soldiers looking for entertainment."  None came back and the seventeen soldiers sent to investigate their disappearance were likewise never heard from again.  "The community absorbs what is sees as evil, even if sometimes it's only foreign..."  Esme Grace's entire family was brutally murdered when she was thirteen.  She was in the house having returned unexpectedly from her friend's house.  Her father was accused of the crimes but was left in a vegetative state in the same brutal massacre.  Esme spent four years with her Aunt Polly, then changed her name to Allison in an attempt to escape the past.  When her boyfriend, Paul Bartlett asks her to accompany him to a wedding in Saltleith, the scene of the murders, she knew this would be a bad idea...  What follows is an emotional roller coaster ride of fear, duplicity, and a community holding its secrets for thirteen years coming to terms with reality.  This is a spine-tingling, darkly atmospheric, psychological thriller, rife with twists and turns that highlight the pitfalls and weaknesses inherent in investigative police work.

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