Jacket for 'The Crooked House'


UK - Little Brown

The Crooked House

By Christobel Kent

Published Jan 2015

Her life is a lie. The truth is hidden within…

Esme has spent her life as someone else. The terrible trauma of her childhood – the night everyone believes that her father murdered her entire family, before turning the gun on himself in a failed suicide attempt – is the event that dominated the country’s media for a decade. Esme survived the night, hidden in the attic, but surviving beyond that has meant she’s had to change her identity and sever all ties with the small community of her childhood.

Now, she’s Alison, accountant for a small publishing firm in London, a quiet, introspective woman with few friends. When Paul enters her life, she feels safe: he’s older than the men she’s dated previously; he’s confident and charismatic; but most importantly, he respects her privacy. Until one day a wedding invitation arrives, with the ceremony to take place in the very home of Alison’s nightmares. She is brave enough to face the journey to her past, but the longer they stay in the small town, the more it becomes clear that Paul has not disclosed the extent of his knowledge about Alison/Esme.

Is she being paranoid, or is there a more sinister agenda behind the scenes? As the locals come to recognise their town’s returned daughter, and events about what really happened that night come to light, Alison finds there is a much larger story to that fateful night. And there are those who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried.

…A spooky, gripping and affecting story.
Louise Doughty