Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People by Louise Candlish


Publisher: Simon & Schuster 42427483._sy475_

Publishing Date: 27th June 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you! / Purchased

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 26.12.2019)





Could you hate your neighbour enough to plot to kill him?
Until Darren Booth moves in at number 1, Lowland Way, the neighbourhood is a suburban paradise. But soon after his arrival, disputes over issues like loud music and parking rights escalate all too quickly to public rows and threats of violence.
Then, early one Saturday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: Booth did it.
But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree with them.

Rating: three-stars


Lowland Way is a quiet, community – and family friendly street in South London. The neighbours are a tight – knit community and they were even awarded for a great concept “Play – Out Sunday” that allows children to play safely on the street when it’s closed to traffic on a Sunday. Until everything changes, when one day the Booths move into number 1, immediately starting with the bad neighbour things such as loud music at all hours, noisy renovations, running the illegal car dealing business from home, taking all the free parking spaces there are on the street, forcing the residents to look for a space somewhere further away. And generally, they’re unfriendly and not willing to cooperate.
The neighbours gather their strengths again the Booths but the complaints go unheeded and it seems nobody can do anything, their hands are tied. They can’t even sell the houses it they wanted because the prices radically went downhill. And then someone dies – but is it really so obvious what has happened? It turns out the list of suspects is as long as Lowland Way itself…

The characters were brilliantly drawn, however none of them were especially likeable but I guess it was intended. However, they feel like real people and I could really follow their frustrations, desperations and anger. But no matter my own feelings towards the characters, I really felt empathy for them, and I could easily imagine how the whole unfairness of the situation made them feel. What was interesting was the way the characters were portrayed – there were many of them, and it takes time to eventually get them all under control, knowing who is who and to whom they belong, and, as I have already mentioned, not likeable at all, and all of them seemed so happy with their lives on the surface, but it turned out that all of them, literally all, had murderous tendency – though, perhaps, it’s not a wonder in those circumstances. However, as much as I was a bit disgusted with them, I thoroughly enjoyed their stories. Because of the multiple points of view it takes time for the mystery to unfold, to actually begin, but the characters were honest and genuine, so we really know what they think. Louise Candlish has a great sense of observation and she really knows how to write about domestic dynamics and manipulation, and it was really sometimes shocking to see the real faces of the characters as the cracks started to appear after not everything runs as smoothly as they wish.

I liked how much interpretation there is left to us about “those people”, because I’ve found myself, more than once, wondering who’s really worse. I mean, I wouldn’t accept breaking down walls, playing loud music, parking wherever you want, not following the general rules but then, on the other hand, would I accept neighbours policing the neighbourhood, meddling everywhere, thinking they have the right to decide about what’s good and what’s wrong? Oh my, I am blessed with my neighbours, really… I also liked the pace of this book, it was fast and the changing points of view made it feel even quicker. It was great to read not only about their feelings about the new neighbours but the author also gave us a deep insight into their private lives, letting us see what’s really happening behind the closed doors.

Sadly, I enjoyed this book, but not as much as Ms Candlish’s previous novels. There were moments that made me feel wow, especially the accidental death, I couldn’t get by it, but there weren’t enough of those moments. When I finished reading, I though, and that’s all? The ending, in my opinion, felt a bit too rushed compared to the fact how long the main story was, and I don’t know, but it was not completely this what I was expecting.

“Those People” is for sure a gold standard example of domestic noir/suspense, a genre that Louise Candlish has already proven herself in. Her writing style is so vivid and descriptive, and really, I could easily imagine the horrors of the new neighbours, could hear the shrills, thrills, loud music through her words. Altogether, it was, sadly, not my personal favourite by this author. I think there was so much potential in it but the execution just missed the mark for me, this “something” that I always found in Louise Candlish’s books.

Our House by Louise Candlish

Our House by Louise Candlish


37416802Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 5th April 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover






On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.

For better, for worse.

When Fi arrives home to find a removals van outside her house, she is completely blind-sided. Trinity Avenue has been her family’s home for years. Where are all her belongings? How could this have happened? Desperately calling her ex-husband, Bram, who owns the house with her, Fi discovers he has disappeared.

For richer, for poorer.

The more Fi uncovers, the more she realises their lives have been turned upside by a nightmare of their own making. A devastating crime has been committed, but who exactly is the guilty party? What has Bram hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him?

Till death us do part.

Rating: five-stars


I am a big fan of Louise Candlish – she, like almost no – one else, can write gripping, dark and tense stories with twists that you never see coming. Her stories are clever and complex and never straightforward, and this is what I love – and this is why I was so excited for her newest release, “Our House”. This novel’s proofs are also one of the most brilliant ones, and just imagine my frustration when, deep into the story, I was trying to read and my daughter wanted to open and close the doors on the cover. If it were someone else, I’d bite their head off.

One day, Fiona Lawson arrives home to discover other people are moving in her house. Why? She has never sold it! Trinity Avenue has been her and her family’s house for years and there was no reason to sell it, so what’s happening right now? Her soon ex – husband isn’t answering his phone and he’s actually her only hope to explain things. Has he disappeared? What has Bram been hiding? Can they solve the mess?

I’ve never even heard about property – fraud to be honest, but I went into the book with an open mind, and well, after discovering what has happened, it all started to sound very plausible and, what’s worst, possible to happen! The novel was brilliantly well constructed. First we get to know Fi’s point of view, through her recorded podcast, and then Bram’s, through a word document, and so we slowly start to see what has really happened. It was all so easy to follow and there was never a moment of confusion, as everything was brilliantly sorted and logically structured. This alternating narrative works so great that soon I had a feeling I’m in the characters’ heads, living Fi’s life, being part of her world. This way of telling the story, this she said/he said, she did/he did absolutely fits the plot and the author uses it to its full potential.

The characters were proficiently and marveloussly portrayed, however they were not all so much likeable. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that Fi was too forgiving and too naive and yes, she was too whingy and self – centred, just like Toby said at the end. Nonetheless, you wanted to ask yourself what you would do in Fi’s situation, how would you react. It was so easy, thanks to the rich and descriptive writing, to feel her confusion, her fear. Bram was weak, and even the lengths he will go to to somehow solve the situation, his desperation and genuine sorrow and grudge couldn’t change my mind about him. I also couldn’t believe there was really nothing he could do about it – he probably could, he just didn’t want. All the same, nothing was of course so straightforward in this story and they both, Fi and Bram, made wrong choices, had their flaws and they just felt like normal, real people.

As much as I adored this story there were moments that it just dragged on too much, and not in a good way. It spoiled the reading for me but ultimately it didn’t affect me so much, as it is this kind of novel that you read holding your breath – you can’t believe the things that happens, you wonder how much Fi is going to still handle and the chain reactions, like the proverbial flutter of butterfly wings, quickly turns into an avalanche of lies, secrets and misunderstandings that is building up to a shocking outcomes that are going to change so many lives.

This story touches upon so many issues – property fraud, betrayal, lies and secrets, adultery, murder but it never feels too jammed, overcrowded. There were many twists and turns along the way and while some of them I guessed, the rest I haven’t seen coming, and it made the reading even more exciting. It focused mostly on the characters and their interactions. The author has so well captured all of their emotions and feelings and inner thoughts and filled this family drama full with very relatable and genuine domestic dilemmas. Dark and very detailed but I liked it – in this kind of books I just need to have everything clearly expounded.

Altogether, “Our House” was an exceptional psychological suspense, with a very unconventional end, when the author really and literally allows her readers to insert the end of this story by themselves. It was immaculately written, hooking and hard to put down. This is a story not to be missed, it’s unique, clever and brilliantly crafted and full of surprises. Highly recommended!

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Swimming Pool

by Louise Candlish


Publisher: Michael Joseph / Penguin

Publishing Date: 5th May 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 14.07.2016)



The thrilling new novel from bestselling author Louise Candlish.

It’s summer, and for teachers Ed and Natalie Steele this means six weeks off work with their young daughter Molly. Their lives are predictable and uncomplicated — or at least they were until they meet the Faulkners.

Suddenly, glamorous Lara Channing, a former actress leading an eccentrically lavish lifestyle, is taking Natalie under her wing and the stability of summer takes an exciting turn.

But are there hidden motives behind this new friendship? And when the end-of-summer party at the lido is cut short by a blackout, Natalie realizes that she’s been kept in the dark all along.

Rating: 5/5


Last year I read and loved „The Sudden Departures of the Frasers” by Louise Candlish, so much in fact that the book made it to the list of my top books in 2015. I adored the tension, the writing style, the way this story was built and keeping this all in mind I was impatiently waiting for Ms Candlish new release, „The Swimming Pool”. It is similar in tone to the previous novel, and in the end I found it absolutely gripping and compelling, and loved how the story developed – you knew something is not right from the very beginning but till almost the end you don’t know who does it involve. Molly? Natalie? Lara?

I am really not sure if the author wanted us to like the characters but you can also like the book without liking them! For me it was truly incredible how well the author captured the relationship between Lara and Natalie, this unusual friendship. It was crystal clear for me that it is a friendship with benefits, benefits for Lara. She belongs to this category of people that I personally don’t like, the Queen Bee, a person that wants to know everything and everyone, behaving like an Ice Queen and choosing people she wants to befriend, making others feel jealous and seek her friendship. She was toxic and I had a feeling that I can’t breath in her company. I could go on and on about her, as she was really brilliantly portrayed, just like the other characters, and I am truly awestruck with the author’s ability to create such complex heroes, but I don’t want to spoil the reading for you, as I’m sure that something would escape me, and I don’t want it!

Louise Candlish also develops the relationship between Natalie and Ed throughout this summer with consequences. I must admit that I had some problems with Ed, as well as with all the other characters of course. Yes, he relatively quickly read the real Lara, he had his doubts but he himself was so hard to crack. I truly didn’t know what to think about him, almost to the end, there was something that was pushing me away from him and I couldn’t trust him. Natalie… Well, Natalie, I think she was so bored of her role of a mother, wife and teacher that she just jumped on the chance to have a relatively exciting summer for once and nobody can blame her for this, right? However, the way she jumped on this chance, the way she so quickly fell under Lara’s spell was more appropriate for a teenager than for an adult woman, but yes, I know, these things happen, very often, and I couldn’t stop admire how well Louise Candlish described how Natalie was besotted with Lara and how she craved her attention, how she started to be obsessed with her, alienating everybody around her only to be with Lara and what she was prone to sacrifice to be accepted in the Channings’ friends’ circle. However, I never warmed to her. I might have fell for her and had sympathy for her but never warmed to her. Mostly I wanted to shake her, to be honest, and put some sense into her as she’d seen things that she wanted to see, and all the rest became secondary to her. But – and this is what fascinated me so much, how great the author has written this – I could also see the attraction and somehow, I understood Natalie. We all want to have our own five minutes in live, right? To feel special and important.
Also, I’ve never warmed to Lara. I had a feeling that she’s hiding something, that her interest in Natalie is not serious, that she wants to befriend her only to achieve something – so just like toxic people are, they work their way up using other people. But she also fascinated me and I wanted to see what’s hidden under the facade and what skeletons does she have in her own cupboard. She seemed so very perfect and leading perfect life, she was rich, successful, and whatever she did, turned into success, just like opening the lido. There was a moment that I started to suspect something about Lara and started to think that she might be a person from Natalie’s past, even earlier than Natalie herself started to think this way but – needless to say – I was of course wrong, the author took me by surprise.

Why is the swimming pool itself so important for the story? Well, Natalie and Ed’s daughter Molly has aquaphobia, so when they hear that the new lido in their neighbourhood is going to be re – opened, they are all a little anxious. The action mostly takes place around the lido and water and as much as I love water and swimming I have a big respect of it, just like with the whole nature, so I really could imagine how all the people involved feel. Quickly it becomes clear that the biggest drama is also going to happen with the lido in the centre, as the author touches upon some issues that I was aware of but didn’t know that you can take to such extreme, such as making a competition of keeping your breath under water as long as possible. Keeping in mind Molly’s fear of water I really felt the tension and I just could feel with my whole persona that something is going to happen at the lido.

The story must jump between past and present so that we have a chance to learn what happened in the past and to start feeling unsure about everything. There are flashbacks to a summer when Natalie was a teenager and when something happened, something that still haunts her, something that makes her afraid to visit her mother and grandmother. But there was really this overwhelming feeling that something big is still going to happen, even though we already know that san accident took place already, as the book starts with it. However, the tension is built in a crippling way and until the climax we are truly kept in the dark. Yes, of course, I was trying to guess but in the end I didn’t have a chance, as everything that I thought turned out wrong – this story was one big surprise, it was full of twists and turns and I really didn’t know what to expect when I turned the page.

Louise Candlish is a fantastic psychologist and can brilliantly dig into people’s nature and inner thoughts. I’m not sure if I would say that this story is about friendship because in the end it turned out that it wasn’t friendship at all, but nevertheless, the author in a fantastic way submerges into the complicated depths of female’s nature. She wonderfully and realistically captured a toxic relationship where one woman must sacrifice almost everything to bask in glory of other woman’s feelings, described how it is to be torn between your family and some kind of sense of loyalty to a stranger. This story has so many surfaces and layers, it’s explores a long term marriages, dullness of life and then how it can quickly change when a glamorous and exciting friendship heave into sight. It is told also in a complex way, but I didn’t have any problems to follow the sudden switches between the past and present. We know that the date of 31 August is very significant, that something very bad happened then but we must wait till the end to see what exactly happened.

What I so liked in this book was the unpredictability of it. I think nobody could foresee what’s going to happen next, neither we, readers, nor the characters. „The Swimming Pool” was really a book that took my breath away and I was totally immersed in it. There is intrigue in it, mystery, secrets and brilliantly well drawn and complex characters. The author kept us on our toes till the end that was incredibly tense and made me feel uncertain, but also very neatly tied up and I finished reading feeling very satiated and satisfied. The plot was clever, intelligent and the story was well paced. The way this story unfolds, relatively slowly but very tense, is great. Yes, there were moments that I felt the narration is much too descriptive and when it should focus on the really significant things, it wanders off the course and sometimes I struggled to keep on track with the story, but altogether the pace is right for this novel. The writing itself is so brilliant and the tension is palpable in every word and makes me question what IS there in this strange friendship between Natalie and Lara and what is future going to bring. Ms Candlish has a great talent to get into the characters’ heads, to describe their most hidden feelings and thoughts and thanks to this I was caught up in their lives so very much. She writes them with all their flaws and she doesn’t make them very likeable, but first of all she makes them authentic and true to life, sharply describing their ups and downs. She doesn’t make them straightforward and she lets you think that you know them all so well – people, as well as the dogs – even though in the end you start to question your own knowledge and start to doubt. Which is brilliant! I love such complexity! It’s demanding, it’s difficult but I LOVE it! Highly recommended!