Thursday, January 9, 2014

The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams

Morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Charlotte Williams's debut, The House on the Cliff.

When Gwydion Morgan hires Jessica Mayhew as his therapist, it's under the guise of treating a button phobia and insomnia he fears will hinder his burgeoning acting career. Gwydion is charming and attractive but soon confesses he's been dealing with another issue: a recurring dream that reveals itself a bit more with each session. Jessica soon learns that a young woman died while working for the family when Gwydion was just a boy. As Gwydion recalls more and more of the dream, it soon becomes clear that it's linked to the woman's death and a secret the Morgan family has tried to keep under cover for many years now. Gwydion isn't Jessica's only concern either. Her own family is in turmoil as she faces the fact that her husband has recently cheated and her teenage daughter becomes entangled with one of Jessica's former clients.

This is apparently the first in a series that will feature Jessica Mayhew. It's just been released here in the States but was previously released in the UK.

This is a tough post to put together because while I know I can't possibly love or even like every book that I read, I still expect to love or at least like every book that I read. The House on the Cliff should have had everything necessary for me to like it - a UK psychological suspense debut described as "pacey" and "intriguing" by The Guardian. The publicity material even compared it to Daphne DuMaurier. With all of that in mind I'd started Charlotte Williams's debut with pretty high expectations, not the least of which comes with the new Bourbon Street Books brand.

Unfortunately the book just doesn't deliver on any of those counts. It was not very suspenseful, though the pacing was fine. Williams's writing over all was fine as well. Fine. Not wonderful, not particularly intriguing, and sadly not what I would expect at all from a psychological suspense or as the set up for a new crime series.

Jessica Mayhew comes across as a kind of lackluster therapist as well. I hate to say it, but the way her character is set up and the way things play out I was scratching my head the whole time wondering if a real therapist would react in the same ways and seemingly miss all of the various things going on around her.

The House on the Cliff was an unfortunate miss for me.

To see more stops on the tour, visit the official TLC tour page here. For more on Charlotte Williams and her work, check out her website.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for your honest review for the tour.