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Friday, 10 November 2017

‘The Sixth Window’ by Rachel Abbott

Published by Black Dot Publishing Ltd,
27 April 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-957652286 (PB)

Eighteen months after the death of her husband Bernie killed in a hit and run accident, Natalie Grey and her daughter Scarlett have moved in with Bernie’s best friend Ed Cooper, who had been a great support to them both.  Natalie had known Ed as long as she had known Bernie, and she had been glad to leave their home, which felt cold and empty without Bernie.   But a chance discovery wipes away all Natalie’s sense of security and she questions if she really knows Ed. Now the seed of mistrust is planted she finds herself questioning everything that he says and does, and nothing is reassuring her.

Returning home for her forgotten laptop Natalie witnesses something that sends her into panic and she turns to her friend Alison, who supplies her with a list of lettings and Natalie takes the first one in her price range that they can move into immediately.

Removing 15-year-old Scarlett from her comfortable home where she felt secure to an uncomfortable shabby apartment in an area where she has no friends fractures the relationship between mother and daughter.   Far from making Scarlett safe this situation makes her, in her isolation, vulnerable to just what Natalie is trying to protect her from.  As the story progresses it becomes clear that the move could have placed Scarlett in even greater danger.

DCI Tom Douglas is currently investigating the suspected suicide of a teenage girl.  Whilst it looks to be suicide he is not entirely satisfied.  And whilst seeking answers, a question is raised concerning the hit-and-run that killed Bernie Grey. It looks as if the case may be re-opened. 

Moving her belongings out of Ed’s house reminds Natalie that she still hasn’t gone through Bernie’s things she had put into boxes and stored in Ed house.  Both Ed and Alison offer to go through them for her to save her the heart ache.  Do one or both have an ulterior motive? 

The Sixth Window is a complex and an intricate mystery.  Who is friend and who is foe? Who can be trusted and who most definitely cannot.  It’s edge-of-your-seat page-turner as the danger moves closer and closer to Scarlett, but from which direction? This is a compulsive reading, and highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England.   She became a systems analyst at the age of 21 in the early 1970s, and formed her own software company in the mid1980s designing computer programmes for education.   The company expanded into all forms of interactive media and became extremely successful. The sale of the company in 2000 enabled her to take early retirement and fulfil one of her lifelong ambitions - to buy and restore a property in Italy.  Once there she completely restored a ruined monastery and started a second successful business renting it out for weddings and conferences. In 2010 she embarked on her third career and wrote her first book Only the Innocent.

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