The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles
ISBN: 9781335652928 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781335005465 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488098611 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205170 (audiobook)
ASIN: B0781P7HWF (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Release Date: September 4, 2018
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 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 hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.
It’s 1961 and it’s been a rough year for nine-year-old Samuel Clay. His father died several months ago and then his mother reportedly left in the middle of the night to return to America and seek funding to save the family’s business. She’s been gone for more than five months and Samuel’s imagination is beginning to run wild. All he has are a few postcards from his America detailing her journeys across America. But the more Samuel reviews the postcards, the more he realizes that something isn’t quite right. His mother hasn’t even called, according to the housekeeper, Ruth. Now Ruth has had to fire the last housemaid due to limited funds. Samuel’s imagination had already been running in overdrive, then his best friend, actually his only friend, Joseph Collins, tells him a story about a German housekeeper that had murdered all of the residents of the house. When Joseph begins to question whether Samuel’s mother is really in America, Samuel begins to believe that Ruth has done the unimaginable. She has murdered his mother and hidden the body. Then he believes she’s murdered not only his mother but his father as well all to keep their wealth. The only course of action for an inquisitive young boy is to begin searching for clues, as well as listening and looking through keyholes to find out the truth. Has Ruth done the unthinkable or is Samuel the high-strung and unbalanced young boy that Ruth always accuses him of being? Whose version of the truth is based in reality?
The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles was a rather fast-paced read. Samuel is a likable character and one that evoked a lot of sympathies. It’s hard to imagine a nine-year-old bereft of friends or close family, stuck in a home with a housekeeper and no word about his mother’s whereabouts or even if she’s remotely interested in how he’s doing. It was hard feeling sympathy toward Ruth, but she’s also left in a tenuous position where she’s struggling financially to maintain a household that isn’t hers and raising a child that isn’t hers either. All she can do is the best she can to provide for this child she’s grown to care for and protect him the best way she knows how. There aren’t a lot of characters in The Boy at the Keyhole as most of the action and drama is between Samuel and Ruth and occurs in the house. The ending was dark, twisted and a definite surprise (no, I won’t tell you what happened…read the book!). For those of you into dark suspense (and by dark, I mean psychologically dark not blood-guts-and-gore dark), you’ll want to grab a copy of The Boy at the Keyhole to read. If you’re not sure about dark, twisted suspense reads but are a fan of suspense reads, then I suggest you set aside your qualms and read The Boy at the Keyhole. This may not be the perfect read for everyone, but it is, perhaps, an excellent introductory read for those new to the suspense genre.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the
Read an excerpt here.
About Stephen Giles
Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children’s series “Anyone But Ivy Pocket”, penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.
Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. The Boy at the Keyhole is Giles’ first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.
Enter to win one (1) print copy of The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles. This giveaway runs from 12:01 AM ET on September 4, 2018, through 11:59 PM ET on September 10, 2018. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on September 11, 2018. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Please note that the book will be supplied to the winner by TLC Book Tours at the conclusion of the blog tour.
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