A woman desperate for peace of mind looks for it in an unlikely place—the English country house where her sister was murdered.
When Chantal Frazer arrives at the luxurious Weston Lodge in Oxfordshire, it’s not to enjoy a resort getaway but to be where her sister Sabine had worked as an au pair when the Lodge was a private home. Twenty-three years earlier, the Honorable Clio Palliser, Sabine’s employer and then-owner of Weston Lodge, was arrested for stabbing her two sons and Sabine to death. Gavin Metcalfe-Vaughn, a young friend of one of the sons, managed to escape. Now, he’s also come to the Lodge in its new incarnation. While the recently widowed Chantal is seeking answers about that bloody night, she falls in love with Gavin. After his initial visit to the Lodge, Gavin wants Chantal to let the past stay past. But she can’t dismiss the persistent notion that the unhappy Clio, who disappeared after serving her sentence in a high-security mental hospital, is innocent. Both of Clio’s husbands and some valuable works of art are missing as well. In her obsessive search for answers about her sister’s death, Chantal will also encounter a secondhand lover, a determined detective and an addled neighbor, as convolution follows convolution en route to an implausible resolution of past and present secrets.
Moody (Loose Ends, 2013, etc.) knows how to build suspense, but it’s hard not to keep yelling “don’t go there” at the drippy heroine in this overwrought thriller.