Sunday, October 29, 2023

The Manor House

The Manor House by Gilly Macmillan
11/7/23; 336 pages
William Morrow 

The Manor House by Gilly Macmillan is a very highly recommended psychological thriller.

Loving couple Nicole and Tom won the lottery and have moved into the Glass Barn, a custom made house on the grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire. They are living a life that neither one could have imagined until tragedy strikes. Nicole returns home and finds Tom's body in the swimming pool. She runs to the neighbors in the Manor House, Sasha and Olly, for help. Olly runs to check and see if Tom is okay while Sasha gets Kitty, their housekeeper, to sit with Nicole before she rushes to Olly's side. The police arrive and start an investigation into Tom's death. And a best friend form Nicole and Tom's childhood shows up to support Nicole.

Chapters in the narrative alternate between the point-of-view of different characters and there are also journal entries included from Anna. Questions arise about what is really going on until the first major twist in the plot is revealed. Then readers are still going to scramble to try and parse together clues and facts to figure out what is really happening. It is very entertaining to ponder the facts and examine them to determine who is guilty of murder, as well as other maleficence.

This is a well-written, clever, discerning psychological thriller full of tension amid an ominous atmosphere as the questions mount during the investigation. The start feels slow, but once little tidbits of information begin to be released and clues can be put together, the pace, suspense, and suspects rise. This is a case of extreme gaslighting where the twists abound and people are playing a long-con.

The characters are fully realized and feel like real individuals. Most of the characters are not likeable and their motives are suspect. It is difficult to know who you can trust, if anyone, in this thriller, but that is part of the enjoyment.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of William Morrow via Edelweiss.

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