The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My name is Amber Fraser. I've just moved in at Number 40, Lime Park Road. You'll come to think of me as a loving wife, a thoughtful neighbour and a trusted friend.
This is a lie.
When Christy and Joe Davenport are handed the keys to Number 40 on picture-perfect Lime Park Road, Christy knows it should be a dream come true. How strange though that the house was on the market for such a low price. That the previous owners, the Frasers, had renovated the entire property yet moved out within a year. That none of the neighbours will talk to Christy.
As her curiosity begins to give way to obsession, Christy finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery of the house's previous occupants - and the dark and shocking secret that tore the street apart . . .
This started off really promising, a mystery with lots of intrigue. The characterisation was good, each character believable and mostly very likable and then for the first part of the book I was really anxious to read on to find out what the 'secret' was. However it didn't take long before I was becoming bored as nothing much was happening and I was tempted to 'skim read' to get to the action.
The story is based around Joe and Christy Davenport who can hardly believe their luck when they buy their ideal home for a fraction of it's worth on a sought after street in London. Moving into the 'Fraser's' house however is not what they were expecting, they encounter a very hostile reception and Christy is determined to find out why the sellers moved so quickly and what secrets are keeping her neighbours from being neighbourly.
I liked the stories being run as parallels from chapter to chapter through the book of the two main characters Christy and Amber and this helped to build the plot up nicely. However with 500 pages to wade through without getting any closer to 'the secret' until at least 2/3rds into the novel I found it was a bit too long and protracted for me. When the 'secret' started to unfold I had already worked it out anyway and just kept hoping there was a curve ball at the end - there wasn't.
To be honest because I had guessed the ending it was a bit of a let down as it was very predictable. You have to invest so much reading time to get to 'the action' when really there is no 'action' to get to at the end. Although well written and good overall pacing I just felt that it fell flat at the end leaving me feeling disappointed. Such a shame but because of this I can only really give it 3 stars.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.