Cuckoo by Sophie Draper #bookreview #thriller

Title: Cuckoo

Author: Sophie Draper

Publisher: Avon

Publication Date: November 29, 2018

Page Count: 297

My rating: 2 stars

About the book:

There’s a stranger in your house…

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.


Cuckoo by Sophie Draper is the thriller that started off as Can You Keep a Secret? for early reviewers with a bit of a twist to the marketing campaign. It also seems to now be listed under Cuckoo and The Stranger in Our Home so I’m not totally sure what the final title for this one will be, perhaps the differences are for different locations.

Anyway, the story centers around Caro who was raised by her stepmother, Elizabeth, in Derbyshire but left home as soon as she could. Caro hadn’t really kept in touch with her stepmother and her relationship with her sister had also grown apart so when their stepmother passes the girls are left the inheritance and the decision of what to do.

When Caro’s sister claims to not want anything to do with their stepmother’s things or any part of the inheritance Caro chooses to move back home to sort things out while fleeing a bad relationship. After arriving back in town however Caro begins to find things aren’t as she remembered and the secrets of the past begin to surface.

As one might be able to guess from my rating I didn’t exactly go cuckoo for Cuckoo and found this one really not to be my cup of tea. The story is another incredibly slow paced read which I can sum up pretty easily with spend a bunch of time making sure the reader knows it’s a unreliable narrative then wrap up with a twist that I saw coming. It does have that creepy, atmospheric vibe to it that some will love but I personally just felt it had all been done before.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Sophie Draper won the Bath Novel Award 2017 with this novel. She has also won the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing 2017. She lives in Derbyshire, where the book is set, and under the name Sophie Snell she works as a traditional oral storyteller.

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