Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward - review by Suzi Feay

Suzi Feay

Summer of ’89

Looking Glass Sound


Viper 352pp £16.99

Catriona Ward’s 2021 psychological thriller The Last House on Needless Street was a commercial and critical success, likened to the work of Shirley Jackson and Sarah Waters, gaining plaudits from eminences such as Joanne Harris and Stephen King. The narrative centres on inhibited, isolated Ted, his beloved cat, Olivia, and a young girl he pretends is his daughter but whom he seems to be cruelly keeping prisoner. Another voice is that of a woman whose six-year-old sister vanished on a day out at a nearby lake. Dee is bent on investigation and revenge, since the police have got nowhere. Ward used competing first-person narratives to brilliant effect, upending all the expectations of the genre to send the reader hurtling to a conclusion filled with extraordinary insight and compassion.

Her latest novel also keeps the reader turning page after page long after the bedroom light should have been switched off. The opening is a luminous evocation, worthy of Donna Tartt, of a teenage summer in 1989 spent by the seaside in Maine. Lonely Wilder, miserable at school, meets flame-haired

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