The Book Cellar
An electrifying debut in the vein of Shirley Jackson's work and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca about a British boy who, after his mother is abruptly called away to America, begins to suspect that perhaps she did not leave but was murdered-by the housekeeper who cares for him in the family's isolated country estate
Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once great estate in Surrey with the family's housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for five months, purportedly tending to her late husband's faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye.
Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel's life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.
As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered-by Ruth.
Artful, haunting, and deliciously claustrophobic, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur amid tightly knit quarters.