Louise Candlish’s Our House is being called ‘domestic suspense’ and I suppose that fits, but it doesn’t do justice to this compelling story that had Auntie M abandoning the dinner cooking because she opened the first page and started to read when it arrived in the post.

This story sucks readers in and makes them turn pages to find out how it could possibly all end.

Fiona Lawson and her husband Bram are separated after she catches him with another woman in their son’s playhouse at the bottom of the garden of the house she loves. While she is bitterly disappointed in this repeat offense, Bram is an excellent father.

Worried about her two young boys, she decides to try a parenting arrangement becoming popular in the US: bird’s nest custody, where the children stay in their home and the parents come and go. They agree to try this arrangement out for several months, with Bram arriving every Friday afternoon and staying until Sunday.

It’s an interesting way to deal with keeping young children secure and seems to be working well. Fi has even started to date a bit, an attractive man, as the months roll by.

Until the day she arrives home earlier than expected after a few days with her new beau to find a moving van pulled up outside her house and a new couple in the process of moving in.

It’s the stuff of nightmares. Surely there is a huge mistake! And where are all of her belongings and furniture? Yet the new couple claim they closed on the house that very morning and Bram was involved. But when Fi tries to reach him, she can’t find him or her sons.

Through alternating bits of the story, Bram and Fi tell their stories of what led to this betrayal. But that’s not all that happens. In cruel twists, the worst is yet to come.

This is a dark and gripping read, one that will have readers up until long after the lights should be out to find out the ending, which packs a punch that kept Auntie M thinking about it for days.
Highly recommended.