Is the house smart enough to kill a child?
Rowan, a young nanny is engaged by Sandra and Bill Elincourt to care for their four children in a renovated “smart house” in the remote Scottish Highlands. Sandra and Bill leave Rowan home alone with the children for a few weeks while they go away for work, and in that time, she is spooked by strange noises, a mysterious locked door, “smart home” malfunctions, and a poisonous garden. A child dies, and Rowan is found guilty and imprisoned. But … she continues to claim that she didn’t kill the child. She just doesn’t know who did.
“… the way the four-square front looked so neat and untouched, while at the back it had been ripped open, exposing all the house’s insides. Like a patient who looked well enough above their clothes, but lift their shirt and you would find their wounds had been left unstitched, bleeding out.”
“The ghosts wouldn’t like it.”
“There is one thing I must make you aware of up front, in case it affects your enthusiasm for the post. Since we bought Heatherbrae we have become aware of various superstitions surrounding the house’s history. It is an old building and has had no more than the usual number of deaths and tragedies in its past, but for some reason these have resulted in some local tales of hauntings, etc. Unfortunately, this fact has upset some of our recent nannies, to the extent that four have resigned in the past fourteen months.”
“I am the nanny in the Elincourt case, Mr Wrexham. And I didn’t kill that child.”
- Guardian: “Ware tells a cracking tale and, as in her breakout novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, the house itself plays a hugely menacing part in proceedings.”
- Kirkus: “Truly terrifying! Ware perfects her ability to craft atmosphere and sustain tension with each novel.”