“Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.” —William S. Burroughs

What stops us from all being murderers? Morally killing is wrong (I’d hope we can all agree on that), legally it will promptly land an individual in a prison cell and spiritually it's a sin. And yet, murder still happens everyday. Our latest read takes us to a jail cell where the occupant quickly realizes just how many motivations there are to commit a murder.

House of Correction by Nicci French

Admittedly when I first read the premise for Nicci French’s latest thriller ‘House of Correction” I was concerned that reading a novel that primarily takes place in a jail cell would become dull and tedious rather quickly. However the Nicci French writing team (consisting of the married duo Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) crafted a blisteringly intense thriller about a woman trying to prove her innocence from the confines of prison.

Tabitha cannot believe that she is in prison for a murder she didn’t commit, she thinks that its all one big mistake, a clerical error that will fix itself. Well...until she realizes that everyone thinks she did it. When Tabitha is faced with proving her innocence to regain her freedom she’s alarmed when she realizes that she had a motive to kill and she’s shocked when she discovers she’s not the only person in her village with a grudge against the deceased. As Tabitha digs deeper into the case she can’t help but wonder if she did commit the murder, after all she doesn’t remember much from that day and all the evidence points to her. Tabitha is a doggedly stubborn protagonist determined to discover the killer’s identity even if it means spending the rest of her life in jail.

“House of Correction” is a gripping drama that will leave thriller lovers rapidly turning the page as twist after twist unfurls. As the novel progresses and the village’s dirty secrets are aired in court, some readers might begin to wonder about what their own neighbors are capable of. This compelling read will keep readers riveted until the final page as they wonder who the killer could be. Readers be warned this novel does include details of child abuse and sexual assault.

From the book jacket..

Tabitha is not a murderer.

When a body is discovered in Okeham, England, Tabitha is shocked to find herself being placed in handcuffs. It must be a mistake. She’d only recently moved back to her childhood hometown, not even getting a chance to reacquaint herself with the neighbors. How could she possibly be a murder suspect?

She knows she’s not.

As Tabitha is shepherded through the system, her entire life is picked apart and scrutinized —her history of depression and medications, her decision to move back to a town she supposedly hated . . . and of course, her past relationship with the victim, her former teacher. But most unsettling, Tabitha’s own memories of that day are a complete blur.

She thinks she’s not.

From the isolation of the correctional facility, Tabitha dissects every piece of evidence, every testimony she can get her hands on, matching them against her own recollections. But as dark, long-buried memories from her childhood come to light, Tabatha begins to question if she knows what kind of person she is after all. The world is convinced she’s a killer. Tabatha needs to prove them all wrong.

But what if she’s only lying to herself?

If you enjoy..

Readers looking for more thrilling reads will find themselves gripped in the chilling “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn. The story follows an unreliable narrator as she tries to get the police to investigate a murder she witnessed, without having any evidence that a crime was committed.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com