Alys, Always by Harriet Lane

Alys, Always

Harriet Lane

Is our unreliable narrator simply a sly, deluded social climber or a creepily unhinged stalker? The subtle slow reveal will keep you guessing to the end. A must-read for lovers of psychological suspense novels, with some delicious social satire thrown in.

Extract

'Do you know the Kytes well?' I ask innocently, coffee and then taking a sip.
Mary widens her eyes behind her expensive narrow spectacles and steps back. 'God, no. Hardly at all .... Well, of course, I've met Laurence on numerous occasions - parties, launches ... but I never met Alys.

'No ... she wasn't keen on parties. She was always better in small groups,' I say, smiling, as if she has reminded me of some little memory - something almost painfully intimate. 'She was wonderful with the Azarias and the Titovs, and she could keep her end up, but she was never particularly at home with all that. She always seemed happiest pottering around the garden at Biddenbrooke.'

Mary listens, head cocked. I can see her hoovering up the insights - details from an old diary item in the Telegraph which I'd stumbled on during my internet trawling. That's enough, I think. Just stop there .

Parallels
  • The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly
  • Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller