There’s something in my neighbour’s attic.
Something steeped in shadows. A secret to everyone. Seen by no one…
He stands sometimes at the window. Hidden in the corner of my eye.
I know he’s there. I know he’s watching.
Now my son is dead. My neighbour is not.
And I’m going to find out why.
From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, The Dinner Guest, comes THE up-all-night thriller of 2022. For fans of Ruth Ware, Lisa Jewell and T.M. Logan.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
The Locked Attic is a psychological thriller about a woman who lost her husband and son in a tragic car accident and the many secrets they kept from each other.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
I have had mixed experiences with books by BP Walter, so I’m not sure what to expect from this latest novel. I loved The Dinner Guest but couldn’t finish The Woman on the Pier. So, my initial expectations are blank as I don’t want to preset my mind in any direction.
Actual Reading Experience:
I enjoyed the narration and pacing, which I will have more about in that specific section. Still, a whole host of other aspects presented a challenge for me, so writing my typical kind of review is also a challenge.
One reading challenge I had was that I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the story’s point except to unearth the secrets, but to what end? The knowledge of the secrets didn’t go anywhere. We learned what they were, but I didn’t find them shocking or unexpected. There are plenty of hints about the direction they will take all the way through. And the locked attic – well, I could have lived without knowing what was in there, but as I said, I already figured it was something on the line that it was.
There were also loose ends that I didn’t understand. Even if they were plot devices, I expected an explanation or tie-in to the story’s central premise. The main one was explosions going off in the neighborhood. Very little is said about them, so I had no idea why or if this is some kind of regular occurrence in that area of the world or what.
Character development was so-so. All the secrets caused a barrier for me when it came to learning more about their choices and why. The best thing in the story was the relationship between Danny, the main character’s son, and Jonathan. It was sweet to watch it develop, and it felt like a genuine depiction.
Narration & Pacing:
The narration is done in the first person through Stephanie’s eyes. She is also hiding secrets which makes the reliability of her narration questionable, and she is going through a lot that can be a bit tiring in the beginning. It calms down in that regard about halfway through. And, the narration does change POVs to Danny periodically, which also helps break things up.
The pacing is super-fast, and I enjoyed the pacing most out of all the aspects of the story.
The setting is a well-to-do neighborhood outside of London in Kent. And the timeline switches around to tell what’s going on in the present and what happened at different points in the past. This aspect also kept the pace quick, I believe.
Ultimately, I guess this book just wasn’t my cup of tea though I did enjoy certain aspects of it.
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
|‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness||8|
|Use of Setting||10|