Leave The Lights On by Egan Hughes

Their new ‘smart home’ is Joe’s dream. A remote cottage where everything – from the lighting to the locks – is controlled through an app. It’s the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern convenience. What better place for them to escape after all Lauren’s trauma? 

Lauren desperately wants Joe to be happy after all she’s put him through, so she doesn’t tell him how much she hates being so dependent on technology. How vulnerable it makes them. 

Then ‘the incidents’ begin. 

Joe thinks Lauren is the victim of her own fevered imagination. But Lauren can’t be sure. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she also knows the past rarely stays buried. And she is haunted by one question:

Is their past finally catching up with them

A few years ago the “smart house” thriller would have been a rather futuristic glimpse into technology but nowadays it’s actually quite “normal”! Looking around my own home, we have a doorbell where we can see and talk to our visitors even if we are not in, we have an army of Alexa’s and a camera where we can keep an eye on our dog and even talk to her if she starts trying to eat the postman. We can even set our dishwasher and other household appliances to start via our smartphones so I could totally get why the characters in Leave The Lights On decided to build the best smart house they could when they renovated their dream home. But unfortunately for them, they hadn’t read any of the other recent “smarthome noirs” because if they had, then they would have known that no good ever comes from it!

Lauren and Joe are a happily married couple, living in a remote location with their dog Dora. Joe has come up with plans for a futuristic house that will be their forever home and they are both excited about the prospect. But after moving in, Lauren starts to feel that someone is watching and listening too hear even though she is reassured that this can’t be the case. Strange visitors to the property, whispers in the night and disappearing video surveillance all add up to Lauren being paranoid, but is she?

This is a creepy and intelligently crafted book that kept me guessing from start to finish! With so many suspicious characters lurking around, it was tough to work out who or what was responsible and why Lauren was being targeted. So I trusted absolutely no one! I did feel bad for Lauren as she obviously had some previous issues that affected her credibility and the author very cleverly drip fed us her backstory to keep us on our toes. Just when I thought I had worked out the truth, I realised I’d been fed another red herring! The creepy atmosphere was perfect for such a gripping storyline-I mean what could be scarier than an isolated house without neighbours (except for one very disturbing one!) that started to turn on the occupants it was supposed to be keeping safe?

Leave The Lights On is a cleverly constructed psychological thriller from an unknown author to me but one I would definitely read more from in the future. It’s one of those “just one more chapter” books that will keep you up till the early hours. I really enjoyed it!

Egan Hughes writes twisty psychological suspense novels that highlight the darker side of life. The One That Got Away is her debut novel, inspired by time she spent living on a boat in the Med. An early version was shortlisted for the Richard & Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. It is shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award for debut novels.

Follow her on Twitter as @Egan_Hughes
And on Facebook as @EganHughesWriter

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.