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The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas - Review

Thursday, November 17, 2022

I read and enjoyed The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas recently so I thought I would read other books by her, so I reserved this at the library. I liked it too so I will probably read something else by her in the future too. I do love placing holds at the library and have them conveniently arrive for me. It stops me buying so many books!

This one is about Saffy and Tom who have just moved into a house owned by Saffy's grandmother, Rose. Rose now has dementia and is living in a care home. Prior to that she lived in Bristol, so no one knew she owned this house in the Cotswolds. She passed ownership over to her daughter, Lorna, but Lorna lives in Spain with her boyfriend, so she has encouraged Saffy and Tom to move in. They are young, and pleased to be living in a house they own instead of having to pay rent. The house is a small cottage, and Saffy and Tom plan to extend to put a big kitchen on it. Saffy is also newly pregnant. Work has started on the extension when all building has to stop because a body is found. Police are called, and it turns out there are two bodies. No one has any idea who they are. 

Lorna arrives from Spain and realises that she remembers the cottage from when she was very little. She and Rose lived there for quite a few years. 

We also read Rose's point of view, told in letters to Lorna, from when she was small. She was on the run from Lorna's dad, and lived in a state of fear, hoping to avoid her past. She meets a woman called Daphne who quickly moves into the cottage with Rose and Lorna.

Meanwhile, a man called Theo falls out with his cold, unforgiving father. Theo's mother died falling down the stairs fourteen years ago when Theo was nineteen. His father is a doctor and the two have never really got on. Theo discovers a news article about the bodies found in Saffy's garden with a note saying 'find her'. But why would he know Rose or Saffy? I really liked how the two parts of the story came together. 

Rose's dementia means that she can't remember too much and she's confused and confusing in what she tells the police. I liked how this was dealt with.

Overall I'm giving this four out of five, I liked it and will get something else by the author soon!

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