17905463The Asylum by John Harwood

John Harwood novels are things of beauty that come only every few years and so are things to saviour. I first encountered his gripping, unputdownable, style with his second novel The Seance and quickly devoured his debut novel, The Ghostwriter. The wait for this, his third novel, has definitely been worth it…

It’s another gothic thriller. One which sees both reader and heroine doubting the identity of the narrator. Told in part through first person narrative, parts of the story are told through the re-reading of letters received (and thus, crucially, half the story) as you never get to read the the letters sent.

Brilliantly you wonder until the end if our Georgina Ferris/Lucia Ardent is ever going to regain her life, or indeed whether it is her life to reclaim. Until the very end, in a story that resolves around the machinations of lawyers, and doctors, and the intricacie of amily life, you do wonder if it all going to come to an end. Without giving anything away, what we are left with an something very satisfactory and surprising.