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Review: House of Correction by Nicci French

by The Borrowers Book Group Kesgrave Library

The Borrowers Book Group at Kesgrave Library share their thoughts on House of Correction, written psychological thriller novelist Nicci French.

About House of Correction:

She’s a murderer.

Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed? So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.

Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.

That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important… She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.

And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself. So she must fight. Against the odds. For her life.

Borrow a copy of House of Correction from our catalogue.

Book group review:

A murder mystery, the unusual settings of prison and the court make this an enjoyable but different choice for a book group. The plot kept us guessing and we were hooked to the end wanting to know who had committed the crime.

The main character, Tabitha, is complex, very vulnerable, and with neurodivergent aspects in her personality, direct and raw in how she expresses her emotions. In the first half of the book, we found her unlikeable and some of us felt her presentation of herself was not believable, though this echoed the character’s own depressed and confused view of herself. However, we grew more sympathetic and found the second half better with the character more engaging as her loneliness, isolation and betrayals were acutely displayed in public.

There were lots of interesting bits as well as sharp exchanges and the insights into aspects of prison life, very revealing. The book stimulated discussion on how people can jump to conclusions based on appearance and demeanour. Tabitha’s vulnerability was increased by her reluctance to be part of a community or engage with others. We particularly liked the character of Michaela as well as Judge Munday and that the ending was positive.

Recommendation: A murder mystery without the gore, and an easy read which had us hooked until the end. Certainly something different for a Book Group.

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