Parts of Our House by Louise Candlish are chilling. Other parts, though, are a trudge.
It starts with a thrilling concept. Recently separated woman comes home one day to find that her soon-to-be ex-husband has sold the house without her knowledge. Both she and the new homeowners are gobsmacked. Where to go from here?
Into a flashback. That’s where. As we look at the past events that marked the end of the relationship, we find what brought them to the present. While the setup is promising, it seems that most of their fighting is over a speeding ticket. He gets a couple of them, she becomes angry, and the argument is interminably long.
The thriller I thought I was walking into turned into a drawn-out dissolution of a marriage, a philandering husband, and repeated arguments over speeding tickets.
While a couple of swindlers are added to the mix, their presence seems extraneous and tiresome.
But then it gets there. After driving in circles for much of the book, we finally reach the destination, discovering why his driving is such an important topic. It makes more sense at that point and the story leaves War of the Roses territory and becomes a thriller once again.
It just takes a very long time to get there.
Am I expecting too many thrills in my thrillers? I’m okay with quiet moments and build-up. Perhaps it took too long to explain why we the readers should be so upset about the speeding tickets.
Maybe it’s because I’m personally just not in a mental space where I want to spend 400 pages inside a crumbling marriage with accusations that seem, for most of the book, kind of petty. Other than the infidelity, of course.
It started off well. It ended well. But the middle…meh.
Published August 2018