The House On The Cliff: A Novel by Charlotte WilliamsThe House On The Cliff: A Novel by Charlotte Williams

The House On The Cliff: A Novel

byCharlotte Williams

Paperback | June 17, 2015

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Jessica Mayhew is a sharp, successful therapist with a thriving practice and loving family. But the arrival of a new client, actor Gwydion Morgan, coincides with a turbulent moment in her life: her husband has just confessed to a one-night stand with a younger woman. The son of a famous stage director, Gwydion is good-looking and talented but mentally fragile, tormented by an intriguing phobia. When Jessica receives a frantic call warning that he is suicidal, she decides to make a house call.

The Morgans live in a grand clifftop mansion overlooking the rocky Welsh coast. It seems to be a remote paradise, but there's something sinister about it too: Jessica learns that the family's former au pair drowned in the bay under mysterious circumstances. In her quest to help Gwydion, to whom she's grown increasingly attached, Jessica becomes ensnared in the Morgan family mystery, which soon becomes an explosive public scandal—one that puts her directly in harm's way. Meanwhile, Jessica is doing her best to keep her marriage and family together, but her growing attraction to Gwydion is impossible to ignore.

Smart, stylish, and suspenseful, The House on the Cliff announces the arrival of a winning female protagonist in Jessica Mayhew and an exciting new crime writer in Charlotte Williams.

After studying philosophy in college, Charlotte Williams went on to work as an arts journalist, writing for newspapers and magazines, and making documentaries for the BBC. More recently, she also worked in radio drama, writing original plays and adaptations. Williams died in 2014 at the age of fifty-nine.
Title:The House On The Cliff: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.9 inPublished:June 17, 2015Publisher:HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062284576

ISBN - 13:9780062284570


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay... I enjoy a good crime novel, but I also really enjoy psychological thrillers. The cover copy of Charlotte Williams' debut novel, The House on the Cliff, sounded right up my alley. "A riveting psychological novel featuring Jessica Mayhew, a therapist who becomes entangled in the long-dormant murder mystery that haunts her patient's family." I was intrigued by the initial meeting of Jessica and her patient, actor Gwydion Morgan. He has a fear of buttons. (It is a real phobia! Who knew?) However as their sessions continue, the button phobia takes a backseat to a remembered dream from childhood. Gwydion dreams of hiding in a box to escape an loud argument. His father is a well known director and a serial philanderer. Could the dream be a repressed memory? Is there more for Gwydion to remember? Jessica herself is dealing with issues as well - her husband has had a brief affair and although they are still together for the sake of the children, she has not forgiven him. Here's my problem - I didn't like Jessica at all. Not as a person, wife or mother and certainly not as a therapist. She crosses way too many lines, all while justifying her actions to herself. Her daughter is involved in a potentially dangerous situation, yet she blithely lets her walk into it anyway. For me, this storyline seemed more intriguing and more 'psychologically thrilling' than the main plot. Williams has a very clinical style of writing, that perhaps suits a psychotherapist recounting a tale. But, I found it dry and somewhat tedious. Although Williams does give us a twist at the end, I wasn't overly surprised by the whodunit. Sadly, for this reader, The House on the Cliff wasn't quite what I had hoped for. The House on the Cliff is the first in a planned series featuring Mayhew.
Date published: 2014-01-17

Editorial Reviews

“This solid domestic suspense debut, nicely seasoned with gothic elements, should please Gone Girl fans and those who crave a real page-turner. . . . Readers will admire how Williams has created such believable characters and how she weaves effectively psychological theories throughout.”