'The House on the Edge' is a thrilling, atmospheric and mysterious children's story. It's a beautifully written debut (out in July) by Alex Cotter with a powerful, authentic voice that is completely compelling to read.
Faith's house is on the edge: physically and emotionally for her family. The historic building is teetering on the edge of a cliff and a dangerous looking crack is growing. Faith's dad is missing and her mum won't leave her bedroom. So when her brother, Noah, talks about hearing ghosts and lost treasure, and runs away, everything for Faith feels like it might just all come crashing down…
What I enjoyed most about this is Faith's first person narration, which can flit between mentioning commonplace things to describing the eerie and the worrying. There's something about it that perfectly encapsulates that sense of doom you can experience as a child, when the unknown can rise up from the cracks - here almost quite literally. Alex Cotter builds atmosphere and suspense a bit like a Hitchcock film. I really wanted to know how everything connected and how Faith would respond. Faith, by the way, being a strong, independent girl but reeling from her dad's disappearance and the dangers that face her. I loved the relationship between her and Noah - this being the beating heart of the book.
There are great, surprising twists and by the end everything reaches a thrilling climax with the answers slotting together like bricks. This is unusually different - in all the best ways. Alex Cotter: a great new suspense writer for middle grade fiction! Pre-order it!
Thank you to the wonderful Nosy Crow for my proof copy to review.