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‘In My House’ by Alex Hourston

71fiqfvoc-LMaggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’

Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.

But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.

Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.

As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end.

Written in the first person the reader is often thrown off somewhat and is made to feel uneasy especially about some aspects of another’s life and decisions. It is like being a voyeur at a party but not everything is going to the plan you expect and there are plenty of surprises as you read on. In
My House is a compelling debut which shows a bright future for the author Alex Hourston and I am sure there is something of Maggie in all of us.

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You can see Alex Hourston speak about ‘In My House’ at the forthcoming Crickhowell Literary Festival on 10th October from 11am-12pm at the Dragon Inn, Crickhowell. Tickets are available online from www.cricklitfest.co.uk

Emma Corfield

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