This book was a selection for my village book club. I've never read any of Hannah's books before but I am very much aware that she writes the new series of Poirot stories along with her own Culver Valley series of detective novels.
If you read this blog regularly, you'll be aware that I'm avid Agatha Christie fan and that Poirot is one of my favourite sleuths. Have I read the new Poirot books - err, no not yet. But I do have them in my kindle library and I now intend to get around to them very soon.
Haven't They Grown is listed on Amazon as a thriller. I think that is a bit of a misnomer, it's much more a mystery story than a thriller, in my humble opinion. But what a riveting read it is!
The day after I collected the book from my book club, I thought I would just check out the first couple of pages whilst I was having a cup of coffee after lunch. I was already more than half-way through another book and wanted to finish that before I properly started Haven't They Grown. Thinking I would be reading Hannah's book for no more than ten or fifteen minutes I just delved in. Two hours later, my coffee was stone cold and I was well on my way to being half-way through the story.
The novel centres around two families who were once great friends. Twelve years have passed and, at the opening of the story, the families are estranged from each other, but that doesn't stop Beth from popping round to the house to see what might be happening in the lives of the members of the other family. What she witnesses truly shocks her and puts a very interesting spin on that well-used comment from relatives about how 'children have grown' - or not, as in the scenario set out by Hannah.
I immediately warmed to Beth, her husband and their two children Zannah - a savvy teenager - and Ben. Beth is the driving force in her family and it's Beth that is the avenue through which the reader is able to follow the mystery to its conclusion. The plot twists and turns like a whirling dervish and I have to say that the conclusion, whilst very satisfying, was not quite what I expected when I first picked up the book.
I found the narrative voice easy to read and completed the book in two sittings. It's not often that a book captures my attention to that extent - but I always love it when they do! As for the book that I was originally reading, yes I have finished that one, too.
Haven't They Grown is a great read and gets a full recommendation from me.