The Couple in Number 9
A dream cottage with everything you could ever want. Two people about to become parents and their universe is about to take a dark turn. Imagine what happens when the workers are doing renovations in your backyard, and they find the remains of two bodies. How do you react? The police are all over it, you must leave for several days and when you return things take on an even more sinister turn. Your grandmother owned the house, and your mother gave you the cottage but why didn’t anyone ever find these bodies that were buried there for over 30 years.
Meet Saffy and Tom who live there and then Lorna her mother who comes to help learn more about the bodies. Rose her grandmother in a home dealing with her Alzheimer’s and memory loss. Theo another character who finds a news clipping about the bodies why does he want to learn more?
Meeting Saffy, Tom and Lorna we get different perspectives about the cottage, the hope that Rose will be able to fill in the blanks as the author flashes back to the past and we meet Rose, Lorna/aka Lolly, Melissa and a mysterious woman named Daphne.
As the story unfolds the police meet the family at the home to speak with Rose. Rose seems at times coherent and other times confused. Who are Sheila and Victor are they the ones buried? We learn that victor isa a horrible man but his son Theo who we hear from in his own voice tried to take care of his father. Secrets and lies run rampart in this novel. The story is told in many points of view. Saffy and her partner Ton live in Rose’s cottage with Sony their tog. Skeleton Place is the name of where they live, and two skeletons are found in the back yard. Rose cannot answer all their questions and talks about Sheila a d Jane and Victor who are they? Rose was protective of Lorna and a woman called Daphne wants her friendship but who is she really and what does she really want?
It gets more complicated when we learn more about Theo, his father and a man named Larry Knight and the author reflects back to Daphne living with Lorna and Rose as a child but when Lorna meets Daphne’s brother in the present what he reveals is shocking and who exactly was living with Rose?
With multiple characters and timelines the author presents information that we hope will help us learn what happened to those people buried in the backyard. Who was Sheila Watts, what about Jean and what role did Theo’s father play?
Where will this all lead and why is a private investigator following Saffy? Who is his client and what role doing the police play? What exactly happened 30 years ago as the gives us subtle hints, small clues but no final solutions. Then the author throws some twists that we never would expect as a connection is made between Sheila and Daphne but exactly who are they? Lorna realizes that there is something odd that Alan is telling her, and Rose begins to doubt her best friend Joel, and believes what Daphne implies. Lies, betrayals, deceptions and the webs get more tangled. Why is someone following Lorna and why does someone claim that Rose knows who is buried in the backyard and buried her secrets? Like the pieces of a mosaic that is so fragile and delicate so are the lives that are about to be tattered and tangled into smaller fragments. Rose and Daphne what happened to Neil and why
was he killed? Theo’s father Victor, what role
does he have in what happened to some young
girls and why the album of photos? Who is?
Daphne really? Is she someone else? Who is?
Jean and why did she kill Susan? Lives in the
past will entwine in the present as author Claire
Douglas takes us deep inside the minds of so
many but what about Rose? What is she hiding?
As the past reveals startling information about Rose and Daphne you wonder if they are the same and who is the real Rose. As Melissa renters the picture what she reveals will change how Lorna reacts to Rose and Theo will have to decide whether to help his father and exactly that for which was he arrested?
Who was Jean/Susan and Daphne? Did someone have multiple personalities? The connections are created, and author Claire Douglas intersects both the past and present as we get to understand what happened to the real Rose and how some took her place.
Interlocking the past and the present and hearing Rose in the care home you wonder just what really happened to Neil, Susan and Jean. What about Daphne and the murders? A story filled with family strife, deceptions and unholy alliances did Rose fall for Daphne’s wiles, did Rose murder anyone? Lies, betrayals, someone who was supposed to love and cherish Rose, just what happened to her? How will the truth affect both Lorna, Theo and Saffy in the present as the author creates a surprise ending that will shock you, break you hear and hopefully help Lorna understand that she is the person she is and not a product of her parents. Lessons learned, trusts broken, it all comes down to secrets, lies, fraud, an unsavory and unscrupulous man who ran a clinic and the harsh realities that will have to be faced for a long time by the Couple at Number 9.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews