Under the Harrow
W & N
When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder.
Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.
A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
Intense, compelling reading- I loved it.
What a masterfully written novel- the reader will finds themselves drawn to the page, compelled to read on and on; thankfully this is a quick read, only 219 pages or else I would have been up all night finishing this. I love the unreliable narrator, this is one of my favourite dramatic devices guarantee to keep you guessing right until the end. I loved the immediate sense of real danger, the hook wasn’t subtle – more like a blow from a sledge hammer – living you dizzy with anticipation (beware animal lovers of the couple of sentences that are heartbreakingly cruel and sad). Thankfully the details are not as graphic as they could have been but again this is a device that really makes the entire scene harrowing and disturbing – and as an effect, sets the tone for the rest of the book.
The relationship between the sisters – told in retrospect, provides a few more clues and red herrings and was realistic and engaging. The ending will surprise you.
I loved this read! Another to add to the best of 2016 reading list. Another author to watch out for – hard to believe this was a debut for this author.