Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
This debut novel proved a page-turner from the opening paragraphs and continued that way until the end. Even the slight wobble or two when disbelief refused to be suspended didn’t hinder the pace.
It’s relatively easy to send shivers up the spine of readers by sending characters along a dark supposedly empty street at dead of night, but far harder to achieve the shivers by putting them into everyday life, as happens in What Alice Knew.
The narrator, Alice Sheahan, is an artist, something that becomes relevant in this novel of psychological suspense, and is happily married to Ed, a high profile surgeon, and living in Bristol. When Alice drives home one night from her current assignment in Suffolk, she expects Ed to be there to greet her. Instead, their two teenage children are alone. The night passes and he is still missing. The nightmare is beginning. When she finds out the truth, she has to deal with it. But can she depend on it? How can she unravel what lies behind it – and what happens if she can’t?
What Alice Knew is a remarkable debut. Long may its author remain on stage.