Safe Houses by David Pryce-Jones - review by Lindy Burleigh

Lindy Burleigh

Dark Young Things

Safe Houses


Sinclair-Stevenson 186pp £12.99

Safe Houses is a novel but it is written so convincingly as a memoir, an unusually unsettling and poignant one, that it reads like thinly disguised autobiography. David Pryce-Jones, an eminent historian, novelist and commentator, keeps the reader guessing how closely the narrator's unconventional childhood, spent before and during the Second World War, resembles his own. The intermingling of imaginary and real characters, as well as the acutely observed period detail, brings a particular authenticity to the author's vivid evocation of an era.

The steely and furious contempt with which the subject of the story, Adrian Maingard, is introduced sets the tone of the novel, and when it emerges that the incriminatory narrative voice belongs to Charles Maingard, Adrian's only child, it seems, intriguingly, that this book is going to be an elegantly

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