I was in the mood for a good thriller and The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas hit the spot. Narrated by Kenton Thomas & Nathalie Buscombe, the story delivers a twisted murder-mystery that will keep you up listening. Check out my spoiler-free early review.
by Claire Douglas
Narrator: Kenton Thomas, Nathalie Buscombe
Length: 12 hours and 43 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups Speed: 1.35x
When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations, the last thing she expects is builders uncovering human remains. The remains of two bodies, in fact.
Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least 30 years. Saffy has nothing to worry about — until the police launch a murder inquiry and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner. Her grandmother, Rose.
Rose is in a nursing home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police, but it's 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 30 years ago? Why did no one miss the victims? What part did her grandmother play? And is Saffy now in danger?
I’ve enjoyed previous novels by Claire Douglas and dove right into this story. Our story takes place in the Cotswolds, where Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place. The home was a gift from her mother and Saffy and her boyfriend Tom Cutler, who are expecting their first child, are delighted to move in and call it home. Saffy’s grandmother Rose owned the property, and it became a rental after she was placed in a nursing home. The home needs some renovations and they begin an expansion of the kitchen, which leads to the discovery of two dead bodies in their garden.
The story is told from multiple POVs from both in the past and the present as the police begin their investigation and Saffy her own as she worries her grandmother Rose might somehow be involved. Meanwhile, in Yorkshire, Theo Carmichael visits his elderly and very difficult father, Victor. The two threads slowly weave together, but I will leave you to discover the how.
The characters are well developed and the suspense slowly built up with not only the police investigating but others. We have Rose, Saffy’s grandmother, who has dementia but when questioned says some alarming things. Then there is Lorna, Saffy’s mother who seems aloof, but whom the author allows us to connect with. Victor is a horrible man, but his son, Theo, is the opposite. Douglas fleshes them out and will have the listener rooting for, sympathising with and jeering some of them. It was twisty as clues clicked into place and facts were revealed.
Secrets, betrayals and plenty of twists unfold before us as each perspective brings us closer to the truth. The plot was well crafted and pulled me in. The author kept me guessing and the different timelines made me feel as if I were there.
Kenton Thomas & Nathalie Buscombe brilliantly gave voice to the distinct characters, set the tone and enhanced the overall suspense as this twisted tale unfolded. This audio releases in August 2022.
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Excellent Review Kimberly. I also got an early copy of the audiobook but haven’t listened to it yet. I love the sounds of the story and the narrators sound like they did a amazing job.
Oh this looks good! I love mysteries that have a past mystery angle and this sounds like just my kind of book. Thanks for sharing!
OOh this looks really good thanks Kim
Anne - Books of My Heart
I think I’d enjoy this one. Fantastic review!