Howling winds, hidden secrets and haunted families
The House on the Edge by Alex Cotter, Nosy Crow
This is an intriguing thriller set in an ominous old house overlooking the sea. Faith’s father is missing, her mother is suffering from nervous exhaustion and her brother is obsessed with the “sea ghosts” he believes live in the cellar. Meanwhile, Faith’s home is built on a cliff that appears to be on the verge of collapsing. Faith not only has to take care of herself, her brother and their mother, she also has to keep their circumstances a secret. Even though there are some well-meaning grown-ups and peers in Faith’s life, she alienates them to protect her mother’s reputation and keep the family intact. Faith worries that if anyone finds out what is going on at home, she and her brother will be sent to live with their sinister uncle. Faith’s uncle is more interested in getting his hands on the family home and the treasures it might be concealing than his brother’s disappearance. Faith tries to make sense of what has happened to her father while running the household and taking on far too much responsibility for a child. At night, she is haunted by memories and fears as well as the eerie noises emerging from the depths of her house. Faith’s home has been in the family for centuries – is it true there is treasure hidden within it and have her ancestors left her a clue? And are the ghosts real or just figments of her imagination? As the cliffside starts to crumble, so do the foundations of Faith’s life. The whole world seems stacked against her and even the building she lives in is unstable. When her brother vanishes, Faith finds herself in a race against time to save him and her home. With no one to trust and nowhere to turn, it’s up to Faith to piece together the puzzle before her house and family are gone forever. Will Faith realise she can’t do it all alone? Can she stop seeing other people as the enemy before it’s too late to save herself and everything she cares about? Faith is a compelling character who has to come to terms with the loss of her father, her home and an irrevocably changed family dynamic. Faith berates herself for being too hard on her brother, but she is even harder on herself. Faith is a brave and determined protagonist who never stays still for a second and neither does the plot of this book.
Everything feels precarious as the story moves quickly with plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. With howling winds, buried secrets, rumours of ghosts and hints of hidden treasure, The House on the Edge has all the ingredients for a captivating page-turner. Tense and atmospheric, you won’t be able to stop reading until you plunge to the bottom of this alluring mystery. About the author: Alex Cotter has worked hard all her life at daydreaming, while making a living from words: from bookselling at W.H.Smith and publicising The Booker Prize to copywriting and teaching creative writing. Alex lives near Bath in an ancient house, with cobwebs, creaky floorboards, one husband, two children, and a revolutionary cat called Trotsky.
The House on the Edge was published by Nosy Crow on 1st July 2021 - see this book on the publisher's website A huge thank you to the lovely people in Nosy Crow for kindly sending us a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are our own.