The remote location in the Forest of Dean surrounding the secluded estate of Foxcote Manor creates a sense of mystery and uncertainty which is highly atmospheric and builds tension right from the beginning. It is a constant, pervading backdrop to the events that unfold and it plays a key role in the story, its surreal, untamed quality affecting all who visit or live there.
The place conceals much and keeps secrets; the power of nature adding to the suspense in ways that are reminiscent of Thomas Hardy or D.H. Lawrence.
The plot structure is crafted in layers, having two timescales, 1970s and present day, and multiple points of view in named chapters. Interestingly we don’t see inside the head of some of the main characters, for example Jeannie Harrington, and the multiple points of view are delivered in first person, adding ambiguity and unreliability. But one thing is sure: there are forces for evil at work, notably Don, amoral and sexually voracious. These forces are all the more horrific because they are viewed through the eyes of childhood.
The style is lyrical and carries the reader into an extraordinary world of violence and mystery, ending with a satisfying resolution to the secret with which the story began.
‘The Glass House’ by prize-winning author Eve Chase is published by Penguin, a gripping mystery about a house and a family’s secrets.