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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: The Crooked House by Christobel Kent

The Crooked House - Christobel Kent

Alison used to be Esme … before her world fell apart.  She was thirteen then.  Now it’s thirteen years later.  She didn’t really come back to Saltleigh, an Essex Estuary, by choice.  Her boyfriend and ‘guest’ have been invited to a wedding.  It happens to be very near the old crooked house where she lived with her father, mother, brother and twin sisters.  The only survivors of that night were Esme and her father.  After what the police considered a failed attempt at suicide after murdering his family, her father is little more than a vegetable.

 

The only reason Esme is alive is because the killer didn’t know she was home that night.  She was spending the night with a friend, but they had teen issues over something minor and she was in her room.  She heard the shots and hid herself in the back of her closet until the house got quiet.  She was the first person to see her bloodied and motionless family members.  Her aunt whisked her away as soon as police were done questioning.  She buried those memories as deep as possible until now.  Welcome back, Esme.

 

The suspense is tense, the premise gripping, and the characters exceptional.  After the captivating beginning, the flow of the story became somewhat slow and awkward with scenes switched rather erratically.  That night is something that Alison doesn’t try to recall, but when she does, she doesn’t believe her father killed her family.  She goes back to the police detective who investigated.  She wants to see the records.  She encounters many people from her past, including the friend she was supposed to have spent the night with, and she visits her father.  She talks; he can’t.  Does he even understand?  Rating: 3.5 out of 5.