Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Couple at Number 9 by Claire Douglas
Narrator: Kenton Thomas
Published by HarperAudio on August 2, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Length: 12 hours, 43 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
The Victims.... 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.
The Investigation.... 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.
The Witness.... 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.
The Killer.... As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.
The Truth.... 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 have not read this author before but I have always been interested. The Couple at Number 9 was a great read in introduction. There is plenty of character development in this family psychological suspense. I really liked the young couple who moved into the quiet cottage which belonged to her beloved grandmother. Tom is really kind and supportive and seems a hard worker on the home improvements. Saffy is pregnant and he takes good care of her.
Saffy has always had a great relationship with her grandmother, more comfortable than with her mother. We get Saffy’s point of view as she settles into the cottage and deals with her pregnancy and home renovation and then the bodies. I really thought it was horrible how everyone bothered Saffy and Tom since they weren’t even alive when the bodies were buried. I also thought it was a bit odd how the police told them things.
Saffy’s mom, Lorna, comes from Spain to help and is helpful but also is another thing for Saffy to handle. Lorna does help with cooking and gets into the investigation. She finds some vital information. Being at the cottage, Lorna has some very old memories there but her impression is sad.
We get Saffy and Lorna’s point of view, and also Rose. Rose, being in a care home for dementia, is sort of an unreliable narrator at present. Saffy is protective of her grandmother, much more than Lorna is. Rose’s flashbacks are complete and accurate though, so we get a clear view of what happened 30 years ago.
The characters are well developed and interesting. I really liked Saffy and was sorry for all the trouble this gave her. I worried for her health and somewhat for her safety. I guessed part of the mystery but not all of it. There were some interesting twists which added to the present danger. I really enjoyed this; it kept me following the information and trying to put it together along with the suspense of worrying about Saffy. I’d definitely read more books from this author.
This narrator was new to me. I was very comfortable with the male and female voices. There was differentiation, although I think there were more female voices in the story than male. I don’t know if the regional accents were accurate but they were easy to understand. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
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