Peg is a library assistant, living in London with her partner Loz who is a chef in a wholefood restaurant. Every week she visits Tankerton near Whitstable to visit her Nan, who now suffers from Alzheimers, in her bungalow, where her obese Auntie Jean lives in the extension and hasn’t moved from her bed for ten years. Peg was brought up by her Nan and grandfather after her mother died of cancer when she was six: she has few memories of her early life, and yearns to know what happened to her father. So she starts to dig – armed with a notebook and voice recorder – and soon finds herself wishing she’d never started.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked Peg’s gentle character – not the wimp others have called her – and I thought her relationship with the more feisty Loz was particularly well drawn. And as for Auntie Jean – with her Guinness, nightly fish and chip supper and malevolent cat – well, she is a real monster in more ways than one. The plotting – with its slow reveal – is taut and gripping, and I found the ending a real surprise. The writing is excellent, with its touches of humour shot through with horror. Highly recommended to fans of Sophie Hannah and Elizabeth Haynes, or anyone who enjoys a well written psychological thriller.