“On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.
When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.
Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.”
Bram and Fiona Lawson have recently separated and despite the circumstances, they are trying to keep things stable for their young boys. At Fi’s request, they have chosen to have a co-parenting arrangement known as ‘bird’s nest custody. What this means is that rather than one of them move out of the family home permanently, they will rent an apartment nearby and Fi and Bram will have a schedule where one of them lives at home with the boys and the other stays at the flat – then they swap over – thus sparing the boys of the upset and upheaval of leaving their home, school and area.
One day, Fi is heading for her stint in the house and she spies someone moving in further up the street. As she gets closer, she realises that it is actually her house, and someone is actually moving into it. As events unfold, we discover that Bram is uncontactable and worse, the children are missing.
There is clever use of social media, with Fi’s story being told by a podcast narrative, and the comments that it attracts on twitter. Bram’s story is told by him, and we see the staggeringly bad decisions that he makes, and, although he seems to have best intentions, continues to make. Through this narrative, we find out what has happened, how it happened, and with bated breath, await what will happen next.
Some of the scenarios and actions seem a little convenient and unlikely, but it’s easy to see how one tiny action can set a whole series of events heading towards catastrophe. Although it is a little convoluted in places, and can be hard to follow, it’s well worth the investment – and that ending!? Jaw-dropping stuff.
Thanks to Simon & Shuster & Netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.