Title: House of Correction by Nicci French
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery Suspense
Length: 487 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
In this heart-pounding standalone thriller from bestselling author Nicci French, a woman accused of murder attempts to solve her own case from the confines of prison—but as she unravels the truth, everything is called into question, including her own certainty that she is innocent.
Tabitha is not a murderer.
When a body is discovered in Okeham, England, Tabitha is shocked to find herself being placed in handcuffs. It must be a mistake. She’d only recently moved back to her childhood hometown, not even getting a chance to reacquaint herself with the neighbors. How could she possibly be a murder suspect?
She knows she’s not.
As Tabitha is shepherded through the system, her entire life is picked apart and scrutinized —her history of depression and medications, her decision to move back to a town she supposedly hated . . . and of course, her past relationship with the victim, her former teacher. But most unsettling, Tabitha’s own memories of that day are a complete blur.
She thinks she’s not.
From the isolation of the correctional facility, Tabitha dissects every piece of evidence, every testimony she can get her hands on, matching them against her own recollections. But as dark, long-buried memories from her childhood come to light, Tabatha begins to question if she knows what kind of person she is after all. The world is convinced she’s a killer. Tabatha needs to prove them all wrong.
But what if she’s only lying to herself?
House of Correction by Nicci French is a clever mystery.
Tabitha Hardy has been charged with murder and is currently in prison while awaiting her upcoming hearings. She finds it difficult to drag herself out of her cell but her cellmate Michaela insists she take care of herself. Tabitha unrealistically expects her lawyer Mora Piozza to secure her release from prison. Needless to say, she is shocked to discover she will be remanded until her trial. Despite her lack of memories of the day her former teacher Stuart Rees died, Tabitha is convinced she did not murder him. Realizing no one is going to find the real killer, Tabitha takes her case into her own hands in effort to free herself and hopefully, unmask a murderer in her small village.
After years away, Tabitha has recently returned to her hometown where she is renovating the house she recently purchased. She has good days and bad days as continues to battle the depression that has plagued her throughout most of her life. Tabitha mainly keeps to herself but she does enjoy working alongside Andy Kane as they fix up her house. Although she spends little time in town, Tabitha does force herself to adhere to her daily schedule.
As Tabitha digs into the evidence against her, she makes very startling discoveries about Stuart and some of the townspeople. She also continues trying to unlock her memories of what she did and whom she interacted with the day of the murder. Tabitha has always been a bit offbeat and socially awkward so she few friends in her life. She does believe she can count on a former school mate and she becomes friends with another inmate. During the course of her investigation, Tabitha allows long repressed memories to surface and these painful remembrances become part of the case against her. As the months pass by, Tabitha is not at all prepared for her trial. Way out of her depth, Tabitha hopes to save herself from going to prison for a murder she is certain she did not commit.
House of Correction is a tightly-plotted mystery that is completely riveting. Tabitha is an intriguing narrator who does not always act in her own best interest. Despite her outbursts and coarse language, she proves quite adept during her trail and she remains committed to finding out who murdered Stuart. With a few stunning twists and devious turns, Nicci French brings this captivating mystery to a satisfying yet somewhat unexpected conclusion. Fans of the genre do not want to miss this incredibly perplexing mystery.