Many thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Fremantle Press for the opportunity to read and review Zoe Deleuil’s first novel, The Night Village.
The Night Village falls under the genre Domestic Noir, a subgenre of psychological suspense that focuses on suspense within the domestic or home scenario.
If this is a genre that you are not familiar with and wanting to test your interest, then The Night Village would be a reasonable starting point. The suspense and tension, the questioning by the main character of whether what they are experiencing is real, the feeling of disquiet and twists are all there, but at a much ‘gentler’ level than others of this genre that I have read.
This doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book, I very much did, but I had worked it out long before the ending, I felt the suspense wasn’t there until the climactic and surprising ending I have come to expect from this genre.
Australian ex-pat Simone moves to London from Perth. Discovering that money in London doesn’t stretch quite as far as in Australia, she finds herself renting a one-bedroom townhouse in Finsbury Park, where the landlord lives next door and puts the hearing on for exactly one hour each morning and night. Anyone who has ever been to London, in probably any season other than mid-summer, will know how cold it gets, and that level of heating is never going to cut it!
So when her boyfriend Paul suggests she moves into his apartment, with its long white tub, endless running hot water and underfloor heating in the heart of the financial district she can’t really think of a good reason not to, even if it does seem a bit soon in their relationship.
When Simone discovers she is pregnant she fully expects Paul to suggest a ‘good clinic he knows of.’ To her surprise Paul seems pleased, stating he wants her to have the baby, he’s wanted children for years.
Then when the baby, now named Thomas, is three weeks old, and Paul is due to return to work after taking parental leave, he gets a phone call and disappears into a room to take it.
When he returns he tells Simone that the call was from his cousin Rachel, she was going to be looking for work in London and wondered if she could come and stay with them while she found a job and place to live. When Simone questioned why anyone would want to come and live in the chaos that was home with a newborn, Paul answered simply “She said she wants to help you”.
And so Rachel moves into their lives.
Right from the beginning, Simone feels uncomfortable with Rachel there; something about her is not quite right. And there’s something very strange about the relationship between Paul and Rachel.
As she battles sleep deprivation, and the normal worries of being a new mum in a country far from her own family, Simone finds herself increasingly concerned about Rachel’s motives, and what it means for her, and Thomas.
Copy courtesy of Fremantle Press
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Night Village by Zoe Deleuil. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, for many years my passion has been science fantasy but recently I’ve discovered many fabulous Australian women authors and am devouring all the new genres I am being exposed to.
In addition to reading and reviewing books I enjoy photography, spending time with my husband, daughter, grandson, 2 dogs and a cat and am an aspiring author.