A penetrating, thoughtful, yet spine-chilling read of infatuation and obsession - just how well do you know your neighbours?
What an absolutely chilling and incredibly gripping tale this is! When Freya’s husband dies, her neighbour Mark begins to plot and plan his way into her life. The first chapter pulled me up short, it had so much power, the words in themselves so quiet, yet they hurled a storm of awareness at me. Focusing on either Freya or Mark the penetrating storyline had the ability to both draw me in and cause consternation. Stevie Davies has a beautifully twisted pen, her writing really spoke to me. The little things matter, they build to create the most unnerving picture of obsession and I almost wanted to read while hiding behind a cushion. Yet this isn’t an obvious in-your-face fright-fest, it is a thoughtfully observed piece with fully formed characters. Sliding its way rather stealthily into thoughts, The Party Wall is an intense, stimulating read. I didn’t want to put it down, and have chosen this novel as one of my Liz Picks of the Month.
How well do you know your neighbours?
Whatever I can do for Freya, I’ll gladly and honourably do, he told himself, grateful for the calm intentness of his spirit. She schooled him. She made him a better person. There was an overarching sense of forgiveness. Not that there was anything Mark should be forgiven for.
Mark lives next door to Freya. When her husband dies, he determines to be her saviour come what may. Whether that means walking the dog, minding the house or taking her out on day trips... However, her neighbours the other side keep getting in the way, as do her two lumpen brothers-in-law.
But Mark has another life, one he hasn’t told Freya about, one that increasingly impinges on his desire to make Freya his own. As he lies in his bed at night, listening to her movements the other side of the wall, the gentle sighing and creaking of bed springs, he plots his movements towards an idyllic future. A future that doesn’t feature the ex-girlfriend who still lives in his other house, or his dead wife. As Mark ingratiates himself, Freya – lost in a sea of grief – only slowly begins to realise that Mark’s motives may not be as compassionate as they seem.
|Publication date:||17th September 2020|
|Publisher:||Honno Welsh Women's Press|
|Collections:||90+ books that dare you to take a walk on the dark side., 40+ Books by Welsh Writers,|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 07/10/2021
Stevie Davies is the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Swansea University and is a novelist, historian and literary critic. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.More About Stevie Davies