Today dear reader I am on the blog tour for A Tidy Ending (Published 28 April 2022) By Joanna Cannon. A big thank you to the publishers The Borough Press for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the wonderful Anne for the invite to take part in the blog tour, you make being a part of this community amazing.
A Tidy Ending
A NICE, NORMAL HOUSE
Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.
A NICE, NORMAL HUSBAND
Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.
A NICE, NORMAL LIFE…
If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…
About The Author
Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. Her novels, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie, were both Sunday Times bestsellers and Richard and Judy picks. Her new novel, A Tidy Ending, was published in April 2022. She lives in the Peak District with her dog, Lewis.
A serial killer is on the loose, the Hexford Strangler is killing innocent young women. These murders are only a few miles away from where Linda and her husband Terry live and are all over the TV, newspapers, everywhere, wherever you go people are talking about them. There is a difference in the air, back doors are kept locked and the streets are empty. People are scared as they begin to slowly realise that a killer lives among them. But who? They have no idea how close to death they all sleep. This book will consume you dear reader as you find yourself holding your breath in antici….pation of the truth. Who is hiding in the shadows waiting to strike?
The narrative follows Linda and the events that lead up to the Now chapters. It is never clear where Linda is in the Now chapters, only hints of possibly a special hospital or a psychiatric ward. No one knows who she is or why she is there. The reader is left to their own devices to solve the riddle. It is only at the end that all is revealed and your jaw is hanging to the floor. It’s a twist you don’t see coming and leaves a chill down your spine.
The reader learns that before her Now Linda is deeply unhappy in her marriage, her life. She spends most of her free time cleaning the house and works part-time at a charity shop. She has no friends and her only family is her mother who is constantly criticising her. She loves doing her crosswords as they keep her mind sharp and makes her think about how everything else fits together because you can’t answer one clue without considering all the others. She appears to be a devoted wife to Terry by having his dinner ready when he comes home from work but watches him eat to remind herself of how miserable she is. Terry begins to work odd hours at the tyre factory as the murders start happening but Linda isn’t too bothered by this as it means less of him being in the house. She can clean and listen to loud music without the annoyance of his presence. They have been married a long time, have no children and live more like roommates than husband and wife. When he kisses her on the cheek it feels more like a handshake to Linda. There’s no passion or desire there, it’s long dead. Then one day a clothing catalogue changes everything. It is addressed to the previous owner, Rebecca Finch. Linda instantly feels a strong connection. The catalogue is filled with glamorous people she used to think she could be and looks more like the life she should be living. She loves the feel of it in her hands and imagines herself in the photos, a life with no gaps or empty seats, no room left for misery. After another two more catalogues show up she starts to become a little obsessed with who the previous owner was. Linda and Terry only moved into the house a couple of weeks ago, it was the same estate they were previously on, just a different house. Linda hoped it would be a chance for a different life and to leave anything old behind them. But alas she soon found they were having the same discussions and unspoken rituals. Only difference was it was now in front of an unfamiliar wallpaper. Linda finds herself being both parts of the conversation when she talks to Terry. Their relationship is strained as Terry never believes a word she says and often warns her about getting into one of her states calling her ‘hysterical’. Linda quickly makes it her mission to find Rebecca, to discover what her life is really like and holds high hopes of them becoming friends. She has a lot of plans for Rebecca dear reader and boy are you going to want to find out what those are.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the complexity of Linda. Cannon has created a character with a vast number of layers and peels back just enough to reel the reader in. The reader can ether relate or sympathise with Linda and instantly take pity on her unfortunate life. Linda is lonely, has no social life and dreams up scenarios where she would go for coffee with someone who she just met. She is desperate for a friend, a best friend to have imaginary chats with where she would throw her head back in laughter at a joke. There are moments when Linda is interacting with other characters you can sense the uncomfortable tension, the awkwardness. Linda doesn’t appear to see it and comes off as a little intense. There’s enough evidence to support her behaviour to others but you start to wonder what happened to her to make her this way. Linda is unlike any character I have come across and she left me bewildered, scared but intrigued.
I give A Tidy Ending By Joanna Cannon a Five out of Five paw rating
Highly addictive! You should never judge a book by its cover, the same goes for people.
I was left shouting NO! WHAT! OH MY GOD! I was in complete shock as I finished this book. My blood ran cold. I am so glad I got to read this, it has left me in a state of confusion and denial for days. You HAVE to read it to believe it! I did not see THAT coming!
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