Wednesday 3 April 2024

The Intruders by Louise Jensen #TheIntruders @Fab_fiction @HQstories #BookReview


The perfect opportunity…

A manor house available rent-free to house-sitters is an offer too good to miss for Cass and James, who have been saving for a deposit on their own home for so long.

Although it had been abandoned for almost thirty years, after a home invasion left almost all the inhabitants dead, it is an amazing chance for them to build their future.

But is it worth the price?

Shortly after moving in things take a sinister turn. Objects disappear and turn up in odd places, the clock always stops at the same time, the house is strangely oppressive and sometimes it feels like Cass and James are not alone.

Newington House may have bad energy, and a dark reputation. But surely there’s no reason for history to repeat itself, is there?

The Intruders by Louise Jensen is published on 11 April 2024 by HQ. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review. 

Well, this took a very unexpected and very dark turn! I'm a huge fan of novels that deal with the darkest of issues and Louise Jensen has delved deep into the subject, producing a novel that kept me gripped throughout. 

I am also a big fan of dual timeline novels and this one is done exceedingly well. Told from voices now, and thirty years ago, it's incredibly well executed, with breadcrumbs dropped along the way that eventually join up to create a fine psychological thriller. 

Cass and James are a young couple in love, they seem like soulmates, their lives have had many similarities over the years, not least, the fact that they have both lost their mother. James' mother died recently and he is grieving her loss, she is much missed by him. His father is distant, and cold and doesn't show the affection that he craves. Cass has never known her mother, she died many years ago, when Cass was a baby and she has no recollection of her at all. Brought up by her GP father, she's been plagued by nightmares for all of her life.  Cass and James want to be together and when they are offered the opportunity to live rent-free in an old house that is about to be developed, James jumps at the chance. Cass is not so sure, having to move far away from her father worries her, her journey to her new home is plagued with trouble and then she finds out that a family were murdered in the house. 

James works away a great deal, and Cass is left alone in the house. Her only real contact is from Fran, who works for the developer and keeps an eye on her, and the house. Cass is uneasy in the house, she hears things, can smell lemons and is shaken by how the clock keeps stopping at 8.30, a window appear to open on its own and a swing in the garden moves, but there's nobody there. 

The reader also learns about the events of thirty years ago, and for me, this was the cleverest part of the novel. We assume so much, we are led to believe one thing, but all is not as it seems. It's spooky, and frightening and urges the reader to carry on with just one more chapter, and then another, and another. 

The pace and tension increases ten fold in the second half of the book as both the reader, and Cass and James discover so much more about their past, and how they are linked. The events that are revealed and utterly shocking, totally unexpected and really quite grim. One of the most heinous of crimes, something that is rarely mentioned, yet is handled very well by the author. 

As the pieces of this intricate jigsaw fit together and the real back story slowly emerges, I found myself holding my breath, not really knowing where this would end.  

Characters that are cleverly created, in a setting that is atmospheric and a little bit gothic and an ending that will totally astound, this is a clever thriller. Highly recommended.

Louise Jensen is a global No.1 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. 

Louise has sold over a million copies of her books and her novels have been sold for translation in twenty-five countries, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers’ lists. 

Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award and the Guardian’s Not the Booker 2018. 

Louise’s thrillers have been optioned for TV and film.

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