#Blogtout The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas @Dougieclaire @MichaelJBooks #TheCoupleAtNo9

The Couple at No 9
Michael Joseph August 19th 2021

The Blurb

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

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.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

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.

OWNER QUESTIONED

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

A KILLER AT LARGE?

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? . . .

My Review

Oh my word, there were more twist and turns within Douglas’s pages than the twisty of twisty rollercoasters. Just when you thought you and indeed Saffy and Lorna had worked it out, Douglas changed her mind and threw us back into confusion and questions.

There was no preamble just straight into the core of the novel as two bodies were dug up in Saffy’s garden. Who were they and how did they end up there?

That was a question Saffy and her Mum desperately wanted to know but what if it meant hurtling back into the past, to events and emotions that had long lain suppressed.

This was definitely the strength of Douglas’s novel, little interaction from the police but more of the human, emotional side of an investigation. Told in the alternate voices of Saffy, Lorna and more importantly Saffy s beloved grandmother Rose it felt all that more personal and intimate. Rose’s narrative in particular stood out, elderly, resident of a care home, dementia slowly eating away at her memory and recollections. Yet it didn’t feel frustrating to myself or indeed Lorna and Saffy. In fact it made them even more determined to discover the truth and this is where Douglas’s rollercoaster came into effect. The myriad of avenues explored led to dead ends but also to a mending of relationships, of new acquaintances and finally the answers were all wanted to know.

The answers were disturbing, shocking, the motives complex, profound and the one thing you hoped for above all else was justice for the wronged.

I loved that Douglas included an epilogue as so often you are left wondering what happened to the characters left behind, the victims and if they found peace and closure.

I would like to thank Michael Joseph for a copy of The Couple At No9 to read and review and for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

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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, which was followed by Local Girl Missing, Last Seen Alive, Do Not Disturb, Then She Vanishes and Just Like the Other Girls. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children.

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