You Let Me In
PublisherHarperCollins
Date Published07 February 2019
 
 
ISBN-100008262578
ISBN-13978-0008262570
Formatpaperback
Pages416
Price£ 7.99

You Let Me In

by Lucy Clarke

Elle is a successful author who lives in a beautiful house on a Cornish cliff. She is convinced that someone has access to her house and to her secrets.


Review

Elle returns from a week in France at a writer’s retreat to her beautiful rebuilt house on a Cornish clifftop overlooking the sea. Something is not right. She does not know if it is the thought of the Airbnb guests in her house or whether someone else is stalking her.

She is supported by her sister Fiona, with her husband Bill and son Drake. Elle’s estranged husband is still in contact. Her neighbours, once friends, now dislike her for building the new house which blocks their view. Their son is staying, and he seems to have antipathy towards Elle.

Elle wrote a bestseller which became an international hit and now she has to write a second book – but the advance on her new book depends on her meeting a deadline and that time is ominously short. Her growing concerns for her own safety preoccupy her and cause crippling insomnia. She continues to find unsettling clues, ghosts of words written in condensation on windows, words outlined in red in her books.
 
Behind all Elle’s fears it is apparent that there are secrets, things from her past of which she is not proud, but the reader does not know what they are.

This book is really very well written. Elle, the main protagonist, is the voice of the story, and yet, despite hearing the story from her perspective, it is hard to feel unconditional sympathy or empathy with her. It is clear that something in her past is not as it should be – something that she seems to have difficulty in owning herself.

The book is populated with a range of interesting other characters, all deftly described with a blend of stereotype and surprise. It is difficult to assess who is actually for and who against Elle, and why this should be so.

The house is almost a protagonist itself, lovingly described, clearly stunningly beautiful and yet the cause of so many of the problems that are taking place.

The plot itself is handled consummately. I wanted to know what was going on, but I also was enjoying the pace and style of the narrative. I wanted to finish the book to find out what was actually happening, but I was enjoying reading too much to want it to end.

Reviewed 10 August 2019 by John Barnbrook