Saturday 28 May 2022

The Daughters by Julia Crouch #BooksOnTour BLOG TOUR @thatjuliacrouch @bookouture #BookReview


My father said my mother killed herself. My sister says he's lying.

The day of our mother's funeral, my little sister Lucy and I clung to our father's side.

He promised he'd get us through it, and we believed him.

But then I discovered that the coffin we wept over was empty.

Dad says he was trying to protect us - that he thought it would be easier to grieve if we didn't know our mother's body was never found.

His new wife says she just wants to help us move on from the past.

Then Lucy has a flash of memory that leaves her shaking. Our father. A woman. A knife...

She insists she knows something about the day our mother died, but it's buried too deep to see clearly.

What happened to our mother? I need to find the truth. But I have no idea who I can trust. And what if the answer puts my life in danger? 

A completely gripping psychological thriller that will make your heart pound as you try to decide who is telling the truth. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn.

The Daughters by Julia Crouch was published on 26 May 2022 by Bookouture. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this #BooksOnTour Blog Tour 

I've always enjoyed Julia Crouch's books, I read and reviewed her previous novel, The New Mother in October last year. I was really happy to get a copy of The Daughters and started reading with a sense of anticipation.

Set in London, we are introduced to the two adult daughters of Bill and Alice in the opening pages. Sarah, the eldest, is living in Australia, whilst younger sister Lucy is based in London. Sarah watches via video link as her sister and father lay flowers, to remember the death of Alice.  Also present is Carys, Bill's second wife, step-mother to Sarah and Lucy and mother to Binnie; Bill's newest daughter. 

It is clear that Sarah is a unhappy, almost bitter woman. Still reeling from the unexpected death of her mother and totally against Cary's involvement in their lives. Alice was a much loved and respected family GP who took her own life. Sarah has uncovered details about the aftermath of Alice's death, things that were hidden from her Lucy, and she's going home. Determined to uncover the truth about Alice's death and find out just what really happened. 

This is a twisty psychological thriller that takes one family and slowly and carefully dissects it. Each character is flawed, from the controlling nature of Bill, to Lucy's desperate self-harming behaviour and Carys' hidden past. 

As the reader learns more about the circumstances of each character, their opinion of what may have gone on will change. The introduction of Ajay, a clinical hypnotist is really clever and explores the intricacies of the human brain, and how memories are made. As Lucy undergoes therapy, she makes some startling revelations that will rock the family to the core, but are these memories actually real? Is Lucy taking parts of different experiences and creating a whole new happening, and just how exactly is hypnotist Ajay connected to the case?

I enjoyed this story. The characters are, in the main, quite deplorable, yet are so skilfully created at the same time. It's a complex story, with many strands that are woven together cleverly, building up to the shocking conclusion. A real page turner. 

Julia Crouch spent ten years working in theatre, then, after a spell of teaching, she somehow became a graphic and website designer, a career she followed for another decade while raising her three children. An MA in sequential illustration re-awoke her love of story-telling and a couple of Open University creative writing courses brought it to the fore.

Cuckoo, her first novel, emerged as a very rough draft during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2008. A year's editing got it ready for submission to an agent and within a couple of months she had a book deal with Headline and had given up the day job.

Every Vow You Break, her second novel, was published in March 2012, Tarnished, her third, came out in 2013, followed by Every Vow You Break in 2014, Her Husband's Lover in 2017 and The New Mother in 2021. She is also published in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Brazil, China and Ukraine.

Unable to find a sub-genre of crime writing that neatly described her work, she came up with the term Domestic Noir, which is now widely accepted as the label for one of the most popular crime genres today. She has even written a foreword to a book of academic essays on the subject.

She works in a shed at the bottom of the Brighton house she shares with her husband, the actor and playwright Tim Crouch, their three children, two cats called Keith and Sandra, a dog called Uncle, and about twelve guitars (you can find #Keith, who has his own hashtag, on twitter). She is a self-confessed geek and fights a daily battle to resist tinkering with the code on her website, which can be found at

Twitter @thatjuliacrouch

Author page on Facebook

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