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Book Review: Christobel Kent's 'The Crooked House'

 

  

Returning to one’s roots isn't always a good thing, though it may kindle the wave of nostalgia as sometimes defined, a disease of the mind.

Our main character is Alison, who has tried to carve out a new life for herself - as a child she was known as Esme, a little girl in a disparate family that may not have been a family. We’re given more than a hint that her mother something of ‘a way on her’ and jealousy erupted in a horrendous fashion. Siblings died. Her father was killed. She hid, was rescued and survived into a dark life of her own that may yet be her undoing, especially now as she’s Alison.

Reluctantly she’s coerced by her ‘boyfriend’ to return to her childhood haunts and this precipitates despair about her previous early associations and odd love life. The wedding that inspires the visit isn't what it seems and the future father-in-law isn't the nice guy as imagined. The law - with this old case yet incomplete - is still expressing an interest in Alison too so the story is anything but straight forward, indeed you could lose your way amongst all the twists and turns if you don’t concentrate - but it certainly can be riveting . The dour coastline of East Anglia hides crooked secrets in the shadow of a nuclear power station (P.D. James wrote a not too dissimilar story with this backdrop) - see if you can unravel them before the last page.

 

Reviewed by Bruce Edwards

 

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