Read of the Week

When I Was Ten

Fiona Cummins

Pan Macmillan

Review: Karen Watkins

This is a gripping thriller that can easily be devoured in one sitting.

It begins with a child running through rain to Saltbox Hill.

People in the nearby village are hunkered down in preparation against an imminent storm. The air vibrates with thunder. The child has told a lie. A whopper. There’s no way back. And then she’s struck by lightning.

The next day the village wakes to hear the parents are dead. One of the children is covered in blood. It’s cut and dried who the murderer is, or is it?

To the outside world sisters Sara and Shannon Carter have an idyllic childhood.

They live in a beautiful house on Saltbox Hill with their parents, a respectable doctor and a housewife.

But inside the house their parents are abusive and evil, making their daughters’ lives miserable.

The characters set the scene of this gripping read that will have you guessing until the final pages. I certainly didn’t see the final one coming.

Catherine Allen’s husband Edward is acting strangely as is their 13-year-old daughter Honor who is hiding something.

Her life stops when she watches her sister on the news talking about when their parents were brutally stabbed with scissors and killed.

Brinley Booth lived next door to the sisters and was their best friend. She grows up to become a journalist and is hoping for a breaking news story.

Fiona Cummins writes with empathy in this, her fourth novel. She lives in Essex with her family and dog.

We received 72 entries in last week’s competition for the book Reggie & Me. The winner was Emelda Africa of Lotus River.