When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Top marks to the author, Netgalley and the publisher, Avon, for the marketing of this book over on Netgalley! I spotted a book simply titled ‘Can You Keep A Secret?’ by the author ‘S.’… Billed as a psychological thriller and with not much more information than that – of course I was going to request it! This review copy came with STRICT instructions that all reviews (other than Netgalley) were to be embargoed until Halloween. This added to the fun!
This book is creepy. Creepy with a capital CREEP.
Focusing on Caro as she moves back to her childhood home to clear the property following the death of her Step-Mother, Elizabeth. Caro is a struggling children’s illustrator, who having recently found herself homeless and fresh out of an abusive relationship, moves home to the house she shared with her sister Steph and their emotionally abusive step-mother. Elizabeth was the typical wicked step-mother, showing no love or care to her step-daughters following the death of their father. Caro accepts an unexpected commission to illustrate a children’s book of gothic fairy-tales which, along with being back in her hometown, stirs unpleasant and long-buried memories for her.
Cuckoo gave me nightmares.
I found myself dreaming of scary, old, abandoned houses in the countryside, weird musical instruments and dead animals. If that’s not a good recommendation then I don’t know what is!
Draper has managed to weave a complex story that kept me guessing right up until very near the end of the book. When you do finally realise what’s happening – before Caro, I might add – it’s a genuine ‘NO WAY!’ moment.
A very spooky 4-stars.
Cuckoo is released on 29th November in the UK.
To pre-order your copy, please visit Amazon*
I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher, Avon/ Harper Collins in return for an honest and unbiased review. I’d like to thank Avon for accepting my Netgalley request and allowing me to review this novel before its release.
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