Corinne’s life might look perfect on the outside, but after three failed IVF attempts it’s her last chance to have a baby. And when she finds a tiny part of a doll house outside her flat, it feels as if it’s a sign.
But as more pieces begin to turn up, Corinne realises that they are far too familiar. Someone knows about the miniature rocking horse and the little doll with its red velvet dress. Someone has been inside her house…
How does the stranger know so much about her life? How long have they been watching? And what are they waiting for…?
Review: There seems to be a bit of a trend with books about sisters recently – kinda like 6 months ago where every Thriller that was released was about a missing child. But whereby that trend was so overdone and bored me to tears, the sister trend I am totally on board with and I’m so drawn to books about families, especially siblings. I didn’t actually know this had those themes in but I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and saw it did. The sisters in The Doll House are Corinne, who is going through IVF with her boyfriend Dominic and desperately wants to have a child. and Ashley, who has 3 kids including a stroppy teenager and a baby and is currently having problems with her husband and suspects she’s having an affair.
It’s coming up to the 1 year anniversary of Corinne and Ashley’s dad’s death. It’s still very raw and emotional for them – as well and their mum – and weird things have started to happen. Ashley has started to receive phone calls, were there’s never anybody on the other end of the line. Could it be a girlfriend of her husband’s trying to get into her head? And Corinne starts to receive replicas of parts of the doll house the girls had as a child. The doll house they both adored that their architect dad took lots of time and care into making for them. Are they replicas or the real thing? And who is leaving them for her to find? Things turn very sinister and it becomes apparent that someone is watching them, someone that knows them very, very well. Is their dad involved?
Okay to put it bluntly, I bloody loved this book. Right from the get go I was like YES this is written exactly how I like and YES the writing is really easy to read and flows really nicely and YES I really like the characters straight away. Basically, everything was there that I personally look for in a good Thriller / Mystery. It’s such an easy to read book that sweeps you up and carries you nicely through the story; it’s well paced and Phoebe drip feeds you little bits of extra information, written by an anonymous person (until the end when you find out who) and the weird, sinister things that happen slowly get worse and worse. Kind of like in a good horror film when they save the worst till last.
Looking back at the book now, after having finished it I can see the antagonist may have been a little predictable to some. However, it only hit me who it might have been about 2 thirds through. There’s a few potential suspects and I had my eye set on one for a long time whilst the actual villain was kinda right there, in front of my face. The predictability doesn’t in any way put you off from the story however because Phoebe hits you with even more surprises right up until the last page. Oh… that’s another thing… the last page. It’s one of those that leaves you thinking, “no! You can’t end there!” but it does, so unless there’s a sequel, which I doubt there will be, she kind of leaves it up it you to decide what happens after the book is finished.
This is a solid debut which doesn’t read like a debut at all. If I didn’t know it was, I wouldn’t assume it was. It’s enticing and exceptionally gripping and written in a way which makes you need to read just one more chapter. The characters are all very likeable and the book covers some real, family based issues such as IVF, suspicion, rebellious teenagers and the struggles of having a baby. I loved how both sisters; Corinne and Ashley had their own problems but had a solid relationship between them. Which is sometimes rare in family based books because sibling rivalry is often present and can cause a good story but fortunately, The Doll House was a storming novel without that. And I love seeing strong relationships, especially between women in novels which aren’t compromised by anything. Bloody brilliant; it has all the components of a cracking Thriller and that’s what you get with The Doll House.