The House on the Cliff by Charlotte Williams
Release Date - January 2014
Book Review by Bob Walch
Psychotherapist Jessica Mayhew should know better than to get personally involved with her patients, but her personal life hasn’t been going well recently so Jessica crosses the line. Now, hopefully, she will live long enough to untangle the mess she has stumbled into.
TV soap star Gwydion Morgan has an odd fear of buttons, of all things, and he’s sought Jessica help in dealing with this phobia. In their talk about the problem Gwydion mentions a strange dream he keeps having. Believing the dream holds the key to her patient’s bizarre button aversion, Jessica agrees to visit Gwydion’s family home and meet his parents.
While this encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Morgan is enlightening, Jessica finds that the story Mrs. Morgan shares about the long-ago death of the family’s au pair far more revealing. Sensing a link between the girl’s death and her client’s present problems, Jessica decides to play detective and do some digging into the girl’s past.
This psychological thriller with its flawed characters and foreboding, moody setting is a throwback to the Gothic novels of yesteryear. Charlotte Williams has been mentioned in the same breath as Daphne DuMaurier and Jessica Mayhew is, in many ways, reminiscent of someone who would perhaps be more comfortable in an earlier time period.
The cliffside setting of Craigfa House is the ideal backdrop for this British thriller. Readers who have a hankering for a solid Gothic thriller/romance won’t be disappointed by The House on the Cliff.