House of Correction

by Nicci French

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Crime and Mystery Thriller and Suspense Literary Fiction Book Club Recommendations

LoveReading Expert Review of House of Correction

An exceptionally well written and plotted crime thriller offering a compelling protagonist as she fights to clear her name.

This first class modern crime novel has, take a deep breath; all the thrills of an old fashioned whodunnit, an intricate locked room (or village) mystery, sits as a feisty prison thriller and tense courtroom drama, and then is twisty and turny as heck. While that may sound like a lot to take on board, it is so wonderfully written that the story seamlessly flows through the pages. Tabitha can’t remember the day that she is accused of killing Stuart Rees, she does know that she's not capable of murder, now she has to prove it. I just want to rave about the author combination behind Nicci French, their writing partnership works so incredibly well that there are no obvious joins or junctions. Their blended focus creates a real depth in terms of characters and plot. I’ve previously read the fabulous Frieda Klein series, yet think House of Correction tops that and sits as an absolutely stunning read. Tabitha is the most captivating character, her own memory of the day means she is unreliable, yet you stand with and alongside her as she tries to work out what happened. Thought-provoking and provocative, yet dramatic and breathtaking, this tale took off and flew for me. House of Correction just had to be a Liz Pick of the Month, and will join my collection of favourite crime novels.

Liz Robinson

House of Correction Synopsis


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.

Beautifully written about prejudice, loneliness and fighting spirit, this new book by Nicci French is shocking, twisty and utterly compelling.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781471179303
Publication date: 27th May 2021
Author: Nicci French
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 528 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After House of Correction

The Couple at No 9
My Little Girl
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun
I Know What I Saw

Nicci French Press Reviews

'Clever, compelling, original and twisty. This unputdownable David-and-Goliath story has the flawed, funny, totally unforgettable Tabitha at its heart and I read until the early hours, desperate to know her fate' -- Erin Kelly

'Part ingenious locked-room mystery. Part you've-got-thewrong-person nightmare drama. Part intricate memory game. Yet all seamlessly woven together. French's best book yet' -- A J Finn

'Great writing, razor-sharp plotting, and powerful characterisation. I was 100 pages in before I even drew breath, and I defy anyone to see the ending coming' -- Cara Hunter

'A novel that blissfully plays with two genres: on the one hand an against-the-odds legal thriller a la John Grisham where the defence lawyer is even more disadvantaged than usual; and on the other a Miss Marple whodunnit set in a Devon village, where the amateur sleuth is herself the prime suspect and has to conduct her investigation from jail. Enthrallingly, the reader knows where the plot is heading, but has no idea how the great escape can be pulled off' - Sunday Times

'Engrossing... In this clever courtroom drama, Tabitha is on trial for the murder of a neighbour. The evidence against her is strong and due to the medication she takes, she has virtually no memory of what happened, but she's sure she's innocent and has to build a case to clear her name' - Good Housekeeping

'I wanted everything to stop so I could read this book, there was something that grabbed me from the opening... This is a clever, well-crafted novel with twists and turns right until the end... The courtroom scenes are especially good and strike that balance between honour and order as well as farcical at times. Definitely a favourite read of mine for 2020' - Woman's Way (Ireland)

'Describing it as a suspenseful prison thriller, or riveting courtroom drama doesn't do this meticulously written detective novel justice. There is detail to sift through, CCTV footage to analyse, behaviour of the villagers to decipher. We become Tabitha's shadow as the events surrounding that fateful day become clearer and more revealing. As well as its finely drawn characters and clever storyline, this is a novel that provokes you into pondering the workings of the wider justice system, police methods and prison life' - Bookanista

'Nicci French husband-and-wife writing team responsible for some of the UK's best psychological thrillers have created a gem of a protagonist in Tabitha, who sets out to investigate what happened to herself, from prison. Sad, small, yet gloriously tough, she summons the inhabitants of the place where the murder happened to speak to her and slowly pieces together her case... House of Correction allows the readers to puzzle out what happened alongside Tabitha, while cheering her effort' - Observer

'First-class' - Independent

'The husband-and-wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French... have taken the ingredients of the classic village mystery and transformed them into something up to date and gripping... Now that the criminal justice system is shamefully underfunded, this is a timely as well as an entertaining novel' - Literary Review

'Tabitha is in prison, charged with the murder of the teacher who once abused her. With no one convinced as she protests her innocence, she launches her own campaign to clear her name. Gritty and moving - the husband-and-wife team have scored another hit' - Best

'Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial for the murder of a man found dead in her shed. The day is such a blur, though, she can't clearly remember what happened. But she knows she's no capable of murder. The only one she can trust is herself, so she must fight against all the odds... A twisty and shocking read' - Bella

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781471179303
Publication date: 27/05/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781471179273
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Format: Hardback

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About Nicci French

Nicci French was our Guest Editor in April 2014 - click here - to see the books that inspired their writing. Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are fourteen other bestselling novels by Nicci French, all published by Penguin. Blue Monday was the first thrilling story in the Frieda Klein series, followed by Tuesday's Gone, Waiting for Wednesday, Thursday's Child, Friday on My Mind and Saturday Requiem.   Author photo © Mark Read

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