A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon @RandomTTours


Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant.


Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood.


If Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue…

Joanna Cannon writes so beautifully that it’s impossible to even pick out my favourite lines in this stunningly perfect book but one stuck in my mind very early on “there are always two ways to interpret everything in life. All you need to do is pick the version that suits you better.” And in my mind that one quote serves A Tidy Ending very well indeed…

Linda lives with her husband Terry on an estate not far from her mother. Life isn’t very exciting for Linda as she struggles with social interactions and doesn’t seem able to read other people very well. She has her job in the local charity shop, visits to her mum but other than that she’s lonely especially as her husband seems to be keeping very unusual hours at work. When a glossy magazine drops on her doormat addressed to the former resident, she becomes obsessed with the life the other woman must be leading and decides to track her down. All of this takes place alongside the search for a possible serial killer as young women are being targeted locally. Linda try’s her best to understand what’s going on but she never seems to quite know how to handle her thoughts and needs. I found her a completely fascinating character, I thought I could see the struggles she faced especially as it becomes clear that something horrific has happened to her in the past-an incident that we as the reader can see more clearly than she seems able to…

A Tidy Ending led me a merry dance down the garden path delivering a beautifully packaged storyline that-once opened-wasn’t quite the gift I had been expecting, and in a very surprising way! This cleverly constructed storyline kept me riveted until that VERY tidy ending when everything was finally revealed after being swept under the carpet and concealed until those final few brilliant pages.

Highly recommended by me!

Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. Her novels, The Trouble With Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie, were both Sunday Times bestsellers and Richard and Judy picks. Her new novel, A Tidy Ending, was published in April 2022. She lives in the Peak District with her dog, Lewis.

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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.

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