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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

The new heart-pounding novel from Sunday Times best-selling author Claire Douglas.

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found....

Bodies found under patio.

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations, the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body - two bodies, in fact.

Police investigate.

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least 30 years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage's former owner - her grandmother, Rose.

Owner questioned.

Rose is in a care home, and Alzheimer's means her memory is increasingly confused. She can't help the police, but it is clear she remembers something.

A killer at large?

As Rose's fragmented memories resurface and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened 30 years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

©2021 Claire Douglas (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Couple at No. 9

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Claire Douglas back on breathtaking top form again

Claire Douglas has always been a hit and miss author for me - I started off with "Local Girl Missing" brilliantly narrated by Emelia Fox and adored it - so I tried the earlier written "Sisters" which I did not care for and could not finish.
Then came "Last Seen Alive" which I enjoyed thoroughly ... next up was "Then She Vanishes" - another winner which I found really gripping and well plotted.
I was so disappointed then by "Do Not Disturb" , which was so unlike the great writing in my other favourites, it felt like it was written by someone different - a swing and a miss and followed by "Just like all the other girls" which I just could not get into.
So it was not with great hopes that I started "The Couple at No 9" but it started off well and I tentatively continued and I was gripped and more and more impressed as the story unfolded.
Although these days I prefer exotic location thrillers for a bit of escapism to fill the holiday void and this is set in the Cotswolds and Bristol it was very evocatively written, cleverly constructed and thrilled, shocked and intrigued with every twist, turn and shocking reveal.
In some ways it felt more like it was set in the 50's or 60's rather than 70's/80's and present day - but it was very atmospheric and the writing really took you there with wonderful immersive imagery.
I am so delighted that I took a chance on this well crafted thriller and although it is primarily about families it was very far from a dreary kitchen sink drama and I loved the way the story kept unfurling secret after secret right up to the fabulous finish.
I was not too keen on the narrator for Theo who seemed to jar with the character but 5 stars for Nathalie Buscombe who made all the characters come to life in such a vivid and individual way.
All in all it was a lovely feelgood treat, enthralling, mysterious, romantic and unique.
I am really looking forward to the next Claire Douglas book!

53 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stick with it!!

I nearly returned this book as I wasn't keen on the narration initially. However, after turning up the speed slightly and the story took off, it turned out to be one of the best books I've listened to in a long time!

So if like me you came looking for a review to see if it's worth getting past the rocky beginning, I hope you read this, stick with it and enjoy as much as I did 😊

44 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Turgid

‘They opened their eyes, they turned around, they took one step to the left, and yawned.’
Describes too many details. Decent storyline though could have been told in half the word count.

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Really boring, predictable and slow.

I honestly don’t understand the good reviews. This is probably the worst book I’ve listened to this year. I didn’t care about any of the characters. The narrators, especially the guy, were just annoying, which was probably partly due to their delivery and partly due to the author writing annoying characters. I listen to books while falling asleep and often have to rewind to make sure I don’t miss anything. With this one, I missed several parts and still found it extremely predictable. I also think it is way too long for the little amount that actually even happens. Hard pass on this one. Wish I had…

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An easy listen.

Well narrated, slightly far fetched book. It kept me wanting to listen but didn't blow me away.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible book

I finished this on Audible today and it was amazing. This is by far the best book I've listened to this year. The storyline was so cleverly crafted and I loved the way you heard the telephone calls; it was really clever and the plot was beautifully portrayed x

10 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

Didn't think I was going to enjoy this at first, but stayed with it and I am glad I did.

Best book I have listened to in a long time, I wouldn't class it as a thriller, but definitely lots of twists and worth a listen

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story but there are inconsistencies

I listened to the audiobook and I really couldn't wait to listen to the next chapters until the end. The writing was great and it really made you feel like everything was happening in front of your eyes!

SPOILER ALERT

Towards the end when the author reveals that Daphne was pretending to be Rose it didn't add up. Its Melissa who used to live in the village and had a shop who said that when she was shown the photos by Rose's daughter that Daphne was Rose and Rose was Daphne. How? Rose was the one who was pregnant with Lona and came to the village when she was pregnant (Melissa said she met her when she arrived in the village pregnant and scared). How could she be Daphne? Daphne was not pregnant. Rose meets Daphne AFTER a few months of living in the village who also arrives in the village scared and invites her to be her lodger. The villagers knew how Rose looked, if Daphne stole Rose's identity it makes sense to have done so afterwards when she left the village with Rose's daughter Lona but it makes no sense that Daphne was ALWAYS known as Rose something that its revealed to us towards the end of the story. So for me this ruined the whole story.

Lastly I would agree with other reviews that it was too far fetched and the last part of the book was disappointing.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow, badly narrated and unimaginative. A stinker!

First, the sloppy writing. Typical example: “I’ve made you a lasagne.” He holds up a carrier bag to illustrate his point. The cumbersome and unnecessary’to illustrate his point’ a typical example of many. Stodgy and literal every step of the way.
The female narrator is slow and dispassionate. The male narrator speaks in a dissonant south London accent, staccato, flat, the final ‘t’ of every word dropped, ruining any flow. Finally we have things like this: A gruff-voiced detective came on the line. Then we hear the light tenor voice of a teenaged acting student reading lines in his natural tones.
I don’t know where the laudatory reviews came from. This is a stinker!

4 people found this helpful

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Average

It was an okay story line but was predictable. The narration was rather ridiculous in place when a woman is putting on a man’s voice which was comical, a stark contrast to the serious content.
Overall it was good enough to stick with it but without any emotion on my part which was what I hoped for

2 people found this helpful