Thursday, 24 October 2013

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar

This is a second novel by a local North London writer, Louise Millar which I've read and loved. Her first, The Playdate, was a story of a mother's very modern nightmare - who can you trust to look after your children? Scary to say the least.

Accidents Happen is an equally disturbing tale about Kate, who after the sudden death of her parents, followed by the loss of her husband in a violent attack, believes she is cursed.

After being widowed Kate and her son Jack move away from London and settle in Oxford, to be near Kate's in-laws. But her late husband's parents see Kate as an overreacting, paranoid mother who can't look after their grandson. Even Saskia, Kate's sister-in-law and former confidante, is turning into an enemy rather than a friend.

While Kate spends her days studying statistics of bike accidents or disasters occurring to children at school, she meets a handsome American professor, Jago, who takes upon himself to 'cure' Kate of her paranoia. Slowly Kate begins to relax and believes that she and Jack may be normal and safe after all.

But why do things keep moving around in Jack's bedroom at night?

And why is the Nordic neighbour, Magnus, taking such and interest in Kate and Jack?

This tightly knit tale of a single mother's struggle to survive, to keep her son safe from the dangers lurking in the outside world, is very well executed. Kate is a likeable, strong character, while also being vulnerable - a combination which keeps the reader's interest piqued all through the story.

If you haven't yet read Louise Millar, the new dame of the domestic thriller genre, I urge you to try The Playdate and Accidents Happen.

Accidents Happen
by Louise Millar
Pan Books

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