Many thanks to the publishers who sent me an early copy. This review forms my honest opinion.
Welcome to Willow Close, where everyone is a suspect . . .
Nina and Conrad best thought they’d discovered their dream home.
But on the day they move in, a body is found – the victim attacked and killed in the woods.
As police start to question the residents, they discover that they all have their own secrets.
Behind each door, strange and even dark things are happening . . .
Now everyone is a suspect. And no one is safe.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am a huge Lesley Pearse fan. I find her writing wonderfully engaging and her characters are always so vibrantly realistic. Her earlier novels remain my most re-read books and I always know when I open her novels that I’m going to enjoy a good read.
For this reason, I was very excited to receive a copy of her latest novel, Suspects, and saved it to read on holiday last week.
The novel follows Nina and Conrad, who on the day they move to Willow Close discover that a young girl from the Close has been murdered. With their neighbours all being suspects, secrets soon start to tumble out.
As a writer, I feel that Lesley Pearse’s main strength is character creation, and her novels usually focus in the main on the POV of a single female protagonist. And this is where Suspects differs. I cannot recall another novel by the author which has such a splintered narrative in terms of POV, and whilst this had its benefits; as the reader I was able to delve into the murky lives of the residents of Willow Close – and let’s just say it’s not going to make my wish list of places to live! On the whole, however I did feel as if the multiple points of view detracted from my being able to connect with Conrad and Nina in the way I normally would, which then filtered down to my ability to get into the book in the obsessive way I ordinarily would.
Having said this, it’s still a really good read and by the latter half I was fully invested and really enjoying the twists and turns the story took. It’s definitely on the more gentle side of the genre however, and I wouldn’t class it as a rip roaring page turner – but for me, for the purpose of chilling and relaxing on holiday, it was perfect.
Whilst I applaud Lesley Pearse for changing up and taking risks, I do hope that the more focused character POV returns in her next novel. Her novels are a form of escape for me, and I’ve not come across any other author to date who can so successfully transport me into the mind of her character.
Whilst not one of my favourites, I did enjoy Suspects, it’s perfect if you too are looking for a gentle, but engaging read to relax with.
If you’re interested in purchasing this novel, please consider supporting the local independent bookshop I work for through Bookshop.org: The Rabbit Hole Bookshop UK