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Safe at Home

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'Addictive, tense and pacy, Safe at Home kept me constantly guessing' B A Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Therapist What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad eve 'Addictive, tense and pacy, Safe at Home kept me constantly guessing' B A Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Therapist What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there's a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn't know where the danger is coming from? 'A wonderfully dark, addictive, intriguing and twisty read' Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend 'If you're in the mood for a dark family drama, this novel will be right up your street . . . Expect plenty of twists and turns.' Heat 'A deliciously gripping thriller; the twists blew my mind!' Emma Curtis, author of Keep Her Quiet 'Razor-sharp and shocking - a breathless thriller that never lets up the pace' Charlotte Duckworth, author of The Perfect Father 'A chilling thriller, perfect for a long weekend.' Daily Express Readers are gripped by Safe at Home: ***** 'This is psychological suspense at its very best' ***** 'Such a gripping, intense story with so many secrets being exposed' ***** 'Many characters weren't who they seemed and just when I thought it was all wrapped up, there was a twist I didn't see coming!'


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'Addictive, tense and pacy, Safe at Home kept me constantly guessing' B A Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Therapist What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad eve 'Addictive, tense and pacy, Safe at Home kept me constantly guessing' B A Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Therapist What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there's a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn't know where the danger is coming from? 'A wonderfully dark, addictive, intriguing and twisty read' Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend 'If you're in the mood for a dark family drama, this novel will be right up your street . . . Expect plenty of twists and turns.' Heat 'A deliciously gripping thriller; the twists blew my mind!' Emma Curtis, author of Keep Her Quiet 'Razor-sharp and shocking - a breathless thriller that never lets up the pace' Charlotte Duckworth, author of The Perfect Father 'A chilling thriller, perfect for a long weekend.' Daily Express Readers are gripped by Safe at Home: ***** 'This is psychological suspense at its very best' ***** 'Such a gripping, intense story with so many secrets being exposed' ***** 'Many characters weren't who they seemed and just when I thought it was all wrapped up, there was a twist I didn't see coming!'

30 review for Safe at Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I couldn’t help but get dragged fully into this one. I wasn’t lead in gently, I was pulled in hard and it didn’t let me go until the last page. This is told in three timelines and not at all confusing. I thought the author did a super job with this and tying everything in plus……keeping the momentum going for the reader. Brilliant characters with a known anxious mom who may be not be wrong on her assumptions. Loved it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    It’s Halloween in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin and Anna James is frantically searching for her daughter Harrie who is missing. Why does Anna only have herself to blame according to the ‘Village Girlies Chat Group’? Does it link to an accident a week ago that delayed her getting home? Is there a further link to Dean a missing local business man and friend of Anna’s? Beneath the surface of this pristine village lurks a toxic underbelly which is very well conveyed. I like the format of th It’s Halloween in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin and Anna James is frantically searching for her daughter Harrie who is missing. Why does Anna only have herself to blame according to the ‘Village Girlies Chat Group’? Does it link to an accident a week ago that delayed her getting home? Is there a further link to Dean a missing local business man and friend of Anna’s? Beneath the surface of this pristine village lurks a toxic underbelly which is very well conveyed. I like the format of the book which takes the narrative backwards to the night of the accident and forwards to Halloween and beyond. This allows the mystery to build well and ramps up the tension leading to a bunch of questions in your head trying to fit together the pieces of the jigsaw. Interspersed between the timelines are some interviews with local dignitaries who assume ‘eminence’ in the area and some of them cast illumination on where the power actually lies in this community allowing you a glimpse at the reality not what they choose to show. Anna’s character is well portrayed, her frantic up and down emotions and constant anxiety are well conveyed and the reasons behind some of this are revealed as the book progresses. She is a very over protective mother although understandably so and although you sympathise I do want to shout at her to be a bit more forceful at times! Harrie’s emotions and behaviour is extremely well done and feel like the authentic actions of an eleven year old and her closeness to her twin Elisa is very obvious. The ‘girlies’ chat group, a WhatsApp version of the school gate mafia, well, what can I say? You get the picture with the cringe worthy use of girlie! There are some good twists, a couple that are quite shocking and these keep you turning the pages gripped to get to the unravelling nuggets of truth. The ending is maybe a bit too neat although the clues are there and so it’s not left field. However, one aspect is predictable and you can definitely see that one coming! Overall, it’s a good, solid, easy to read mystery thriller and leaves me wanting to read more by the author. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Random House UK Transworld, Corgi for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Safe at Home was my first book by Lauren North and an absolute cracker of a read. Full of foreboding and suspense from the very moment that Anna James gets delayed, that first night she has to leave her 11 year old daughter Harrie old for just 20 minutes (or so she thought) to collect another of her children. Told from the joint perspectives of Anna and Harrie leading up to Halloween, you get the story from both sides and feel Anna’s frustration and worry that something is badly wrong. Anna is an Safe at Home was my first book by Lauren North and an absolute cracker of a read. Full of foreboding and suspense from the very moment that Anna James gets delayed, that first night she has to leave her 11 year old daughter Harrie old for just 20 minutes (or so she thought) to collect another of her children. Told from the joint perspectives of Anna and Harrie leading up to Halloween, you get the story from both sides and feel Anna’s frustration and worry that something is badly wrong. Anna is an anxious mother – perhaps too protective according to the other mums in her circle. Harrie has changed from a contented child to a secretive, fearful and angry one but she refuses to admit that anything is wrong. And then there is Harrie’s story. I really wanted to find out what had happened to her, why did she have bruises and why was there blood? With a gradual drip feed of revelations, the story of what happened that night, or part of it comes to light but what I found saddening was how Harrie tried to deal with things on her own, being too young to really realise the implications of what was happening and feeling on her own. I loved the way the story was constructed – it has a clear timeline narrative and also includes interview transcripts and WhatsApp messages to give a teasing indication of a dreadful event. My mind was in overdrive trying to work out what may have happened and to whom. There is also a background story to Anna and her family and how they came to live in Barton St Martin with its secret WhatsApp mum’s groups and gossipy and rather bitchy community. I thought this was a fantastic read and would definitely recommend it. There is a lot going on in this village and people are not always what they seem. A dark and tense storyline, great characterisation, this completely held my interest until the final page. Loved it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven year old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparkling with gossip. We have three different timelines.: 1) leading up to the event 2) the event 3) th Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven year old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparkling with gossip. We have three different timelines.: 1) leading up to the event 2) the event 3) the fallout. It's fast paced, gripping and very well written. It's also been cleverly crafted and told from Anna and Harrie's perspectives. I was pulled in from the first page and the intrigue and suspense quickly builds. This is a story you're better off going into blind. You'll be kept guessing and the ending is quite shocking. I would like to thank #NetGalley #RandomHouseUK #TransworldPublishing and the author #LaurenNorth for my ARC of #SafeAtHome in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Lynes

    I picked this up a few days ago and finished it in the early hours of this morning - 1am to be precise. The premise was brilliant - you leave your child, who is easily old enough to be left for a few minutes - and something bad happens. Add to that a mother who is anxious, perhaps rather over protective, and you have the ingredients for a tense read. This book built up layer by layer. Anna's anxiety, we realise slowly, is actually a completely appropriate response to the experiences she has alre I picked this up a few days ago and finished it in the early hours of this morning - 1am to be precise. The premise was brilliant - you leave your child, who is easily old enough to be left for a few minutes - and something bad happens. Add to that a mother who is anxious, perhaps rather over protective, and you have the ingredients for a tense read. This book built up layer by layer. Anna's anxiety, we realise slowly, is actually a completely appropriate response to the experiences she has already endured and the stress which she finds herself thrown into. With a husband working on the other side of the world, she is alone to face the dreadful dilemma of a traumatised child who won't or can't tell her what's happened in a village where she is the newcomer. I had no idea where it was going - the author had me from the opening chapter and didn't let me go until the very end. Totally gripping. Five fat stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zelda FeatzReviews

    It is always so hard for a mother to let go. To set your children free, or simply allowing them the freedom they long for. Safe At Home looks at one mother’s struggle and the horrific consequences when things go wrong. After reading this book I do not think I will be able to leave my girls alone for a while. Be warned, you are not going to be able to put this book down. It’s a gripping read guaranteed to leave your jaw on the floor as the truth of one horrible night is revealed. Lauren North is a It is always so hard for a mother to let go. To set your children free, or simply allowing them the freedom they long for. Safe At Home looks at one mother’s struggle and the horrific consequences when things go wrong. After reading this book I do not think I will be able to leave my girls alone for a while. Be warned, you are not going to be able to put this book down. It’s a gripping read guaranteed to leave your jaw on the floor as the truth of one horrible night is revealed. Lauren North is another “new to me” author and she has won me over with this book. I found myself completely engrossed, snapping at my family to leave me alone as I raced from page to page, eagerly wanting to know what happened to Harrie. The author tells this story beautifully keeping you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I cannot wait to get my hand on more of her books. (Oh boy, there goes my TBR again.) Anna is convinced by her husband and her children that it would be okay to leave Harrie home along while she drives to pick up Elise from gymnastics. It’s only a twenty-minute drive. What could possibly go wrong? Driving home, a car accident happens right in front of Anna, she and the girls are fine, but Harrie is home alone, and she is stuck on the side of the road. While waiting for emergency services to clear the road, Anna tries to call home. When Harrie doesn’t answer the phone Anna’s anxiety gets the better of her. She is convinced something is wrong. When she finally manages to get home, Harrie is fast asleep in her bed. However, the next morning Harrie is not herself. Something is clearing bugging her. Harrie’s strange mood, mud on the kitchen floor and an unlocked back door send Anna into overdrive. The harder she pushes Harrie to tell her the truth, the further Harrie pulls away. Something is very wrong, and Anna has no idea how bad it really is. A mother never gives up, and Anna is determined to find out the truth. But is Anna ready to deal with what she is about to discover? Mothers be warned, you will be chewing your nails in anticipation as you read this one. I simply could not drag myself away. The more I discovered, the more my heart broke for this little girl. This child was put in an impossible situation and still, her only concern was for her family. I loved this character. The author created an interesting group of characters. I loved the village gossips, they may have been a little extreme, but we all know a group of moms who must know everyone’s business and then loves twisting the truth just a little before spreading the gossip. The author did a wonderful job with this group. I loved the different personalities. June, the neighbour, was the sweetest old lady, I wish I had such an awesome neighbour. But the star in this story was Harrie. The author created the perfect moody pre-teen. I loved how she captured this character. Harrie’s emotions simply dripped off the page. I could picture this child standing in front of me, wanting to hug her one minute and punish her the next. This is one of my five-star reads for 2021. I loved every minute of this book. The story was gripping and well-told with just enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat as I raced through the story as fast as I could. Thriller and crime fans can expect a treat when they reach for this title. It will have you hooked from start to finish as you escape into Anna’s world trying to get at the truth. Safe At Home is a brilliant read that will not leave you disappointed, however, you might be left watching your kids just a little more closely. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, go ahead, get a copy and let me know what you think. visit the blog for more: https://featzreviews.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    My first book by this author. The time frame is set around Halloween so perfect time to be reading it. I was advised that there are a lot of characters to keep track of. So I’m armed with a note pad. It was good advice, I preferred that to the silly poem used by Anna 😂 Anna and Rob have run away from London to the quiet sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Anna is a protective mom who comes over as anxious and stressed. Anna is persuaded by her husband and The twins age 11 that they are old enough My first book by this author. The time frame is set around Halloween so perfect time to be reading it. I was advised that there are a lot of characters to keep track of. So I’m armed with a note pad. It was good advice, I preferred that to the silly poem used by Anna 😂 Anna and Rob have run away from London to the quiet sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Anna is a protective mom who comes over as anxious and stressed. Anna is persuaded by her husband and The twins age 11 that they are old enough to be left home alone for short periods of time. The first time she leaves Harrie something happens. There is a decent amount of tension from the beginning coupled with the suspense of secrets the reader isn’t privy to. Information is drip fed nicely. It has a decent pace. It kept my interest well. I liked Anna and my heart went out to her with her hectic life, struggling financially and emotionally. She is a survivor and I admired her strength. The neighbour June was lovely too, so caring and supportive I was left with an unanswered question at the end, but was happy to insert my own answer. I felt I’d got to know Anna well enough to know what she would do.

  8. 4 out of 5

    mrsbookburnee Niamh Burnett

    This is my first book by the author and I love her writing style, so this won’t be my last. This is so gripping, it couldn’t not be read in one sitting. You could really understand Anna’s dilemma and her emotions throughout. I loved that we not only saw the POV of both Harriet and her mum, but the different timelines which added to the suspense. I also felt that the ‘what’s app’ chats were a fantastic addition! And built the atmosphere. A must for any thriller fan.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    What an addictive read this is, I was hooked from the first few pages and really wasn't sure what to think at times. I mean we quite early on realise something terrible happened to Harrie the only night she was allowed stay home alone for what was meant to be 20 mins. We know there is a missing person, and there are other things being hinted at - with the various interviews we see transcripts of. But everything is revealed rather slowly, as a way to tantalise into reading further and it worked, What an addictive read this is, I was hooked from the first few pages and really wasn't sure what to think at times. I mean we quite early on realise something terrible happened to Harrie the only night she was allowed stay home alone for what was meant to be 20 mins. We know there is a missing person, and there are other things being hinted at - with the various interviews we see transcripts of. But everything is revealed rather slowly, as a way to tantalise into reading further and it worked, as while I wasn't sure what the real truth was for a large amount of the book and even then there are revelations right up to the last possible moment - I had a million and one theories running through my head at all times. I wasn't even 100% convinced if our main characters would still be alive by the end of the book - and I'm not telling you whether they are or not! The narrative is split between Anna and Harrie, as was discover just what happened in the run up to Halloween and just after it. I was terrified for Harrie even without initially knowing why, just due to the immense change in character. This had me on the edge of my seat and it was a wrench at 4am to leave the last 20% until I was awake, as I really didn't want to put it down! This is another fabulously gripping story from Lauren North, who is becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to these psychological dramas. Thank you to Transworld and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    Lauren North has taken a dilemma faced by every parent and woven a scarily realistic psychological thriller around it. It’s always a worry when you have to decide it’s the right time to leave your child home alone as it needs to happen for the first time at some point but here, that decision leads to an horrific situation both for Anna and especially her daughter, Harrie… I loved the way the narrative was written here. We have Anna, a woman I think that everyone can relate to, making the decision Lauren North has taken a dilemma faced by every parent and woven a scarily realistic psychological thriller around it. It’s always a worry when you have to decide it’s the right time to leave your child home alone as it needs to happen for the first time at some point but here, that decision leads to an horrific situation both for Anna and especially her daughter, Harrie… I loved the way the narrative was written here. We have Anna, a woman I think that everyone can relate to, making the decision to leave Harrie while she takes her youngest daughter to pick up Harrie’s twin from gymnastics. She knows that she’s seen as a worrier but her anxiety may be justified as her past is revealed and her present situation explained. And then there is Harrie. What happens to her when she’s left home alone? Why won’t she speak to her mother about it? And why is there a silver car now following her? Then finally, we meet Anna’s friends via their what’s app group. It’s here that we realise all may not be as we think as the group also has a secret “spin off” group that Anna knows nothing about! It becomes obvious when a newspaper reporter starts asking questions that the night Anna made her difficult decision has led to something quite shocking but we are kept in the dark about this till very near the end. In fact, there are so many twists, red herrings and secrets that I had absolutely no idea idea what had happened or why until everything was revealed! And that’s what I love about Lauren’s North’s books. She’s become one of those writers who is an automatic buy for me as I love the way she keeps me guessing throughout her gripping storylines. Safe At Home is one of my hot picks for September. It’s tension filled from start to finish as we become heavily invested in this family and their lives. I can highly recommend it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fariha

    Thankful to Netgalley for allowing me to receive this arc! Only a few pages in and you can already feel the anxious thoughts appearing after Harrie, Anna’s daughter is left alone at home. Anna is a very anxious mother who easily feels worried for her children, especially when she has to leave her 11 year old daughter at home by herself to drop off her other two children to their gymnastics and cooking club. Her worries are so profound and as the reader you’re feeling these uneasy and frightening Thankful to Netgalley for allowing me to receive this arc! Only a few pages in and you can already feel the anxious thoughts appearing after Harrie, Anna’s daughter is left alone at home. Anna is a very anxious mother who easily feels worried for her children, especially when she has to leave her 11 year old daughter at home by herself to drop off her other two children to their gymnastics and cooking club. Her worries are so profound and as the reader you’re feeling these uneasy and frightening thoughts with her too. She’s definitely a very protective mother who is terrified for her children’s well-being even when she knows she’s living in a very peaceful neighbourhood. But is it really as peaceful as it seems? Now that’s a question that will itch away at you. I enjoyed the back and forth between the present day and the interviews that took place after the murder. This kept the anticipation of wanting to know what happened at its peak. We also have the group chat filled with some of the women of the neighbourhood and they’re quite chatty and love a good gossip. Honestly I found them slightly annoying because they were of no help to the investigation and were of no help to Anna who was trying to fit into a new neighbourhood she knew nothing about. And also trying to keep her children happy and safe while worrying about her husband who works overseas. It was definitely a hell of a ride. I never expected the ending and I didn’t see it coming. I don’t think I could’ve guessed the real reason why Harrie was acting different after that night she was left at home. It definitely opened up a whole new problem I wasn’t aware of. Doubt is weaved into every line and hints are dropped yet it’s still a frantic, unknowing race to the finish line!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    I read this during the breaks at Bloody Scotland and although not a BookTrail book ( it's set in a fictional village and locations are not important anyway) this is a really good thriller. You have a mum who has had to move from London for some unknown reason. Her husband works away. Her three kids are her responsibility and she's anxious. Terrified something is going to happen to them. She never leaves them home alone. Until one night when she has to. Of course, this is the night that something I read this during the breaks at Bloody Scotland and although not a BookTrail book ( it's set in a fictional village and locations are not important anyway) this is a really good thriller. You have a mum who has had to move from London for some unknown reason. Her husband works away. Her three kids are her responsibility and she's anxious. Terrified something is going to happen to them. She never leaves them home alone. Until one night when she has to. Of course, this is the night that something happens. Clever plotting and sharp writing made this a treat to read and I raced through it. What DID happen that night? When something prevents the mum from returning home in one scene, I felt my heartrate go up. Lauren North has that knack of whipping out that mat from under you. The case becomes clear as the book moves on and the confusion that builds up in your head works well. It's dark and claustrophobic and fear is on the loose. I'm off for a lie down now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    Wow! This is my first read from this author and I definitely plan to seek out more of her writing in the future, The story is told from the dual viewpoint of Anna and her 11 year old daughter Harrie. Fast paced, well written, great twists and very gripping. I was drawn in from the first page and struggled to put this down reading long past bedtime. It’s hard to describe too much without giving the story away but I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and the ‘chat groups’ definitely added Wow! This is my first read from this author and I definitely plan to seek out more of her writing in the future, The story is told from the dual viewpoint of Anna and her 11 year old daughter Harrie. Fast paced, well written, great twists and very gripping. I was drawn in from the first page and struggled to put this down reading long past bedtime. It’s hard to describe too much without giving the story away but I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and the ‘chat groups’ definitely added an extra element of suspense! A solid 5/5!! Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and NetGalley from an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angie F

    I wasn't mad about this book. The plot was solid and I liked many of the characters but to be honest I found the way the story jumped from the main narrative to the chat room and then to the police interviews a bit confusing. I also wanted to give Anna a good shake. She knew there was something very wrong with Harrie but instead of sitting her down and talking to her she constantly second guessed herself and did nothing. It was ok as a read but not one I will be going back to. I wasn't mad about this book. The plot was solid and I liked many of the characters but to be honest I found the way the story jumped from the main narrative to the chat room and then to the police interviews a bit confusing. I also wanted to give Anna a good shake. She knew there was something very wrong with Harrie but instead of sitting her down and talking to her she constantly second guessed herself and did nothing. It was ok as a read but not one I will be going back to.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Collins

    Safe at Home is the type of book that can easily be read in one sitting. This is the first book by Lauren North which I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. The tension is there right from the first page, and it builds and builds as the story develops. This is one of the most gripping books I’ve read this year! There is so much intrigue in this book. The most fascinating character for me, was eleven-year-old Harrie. There is so much mystery surrounding her, and I wanted to get to the bot Safe at Home is the type of book that can easily be read in one sitting. This is the first book by Lauren North which I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. The tension is there right from the first page, and it builds and builds as the story develops. This is one of the most gripping books I’ve read this year! There is so much intrigue in this book. The most fascinating character for me, was eleven-year-old Harrie. There is so much mystery surrounding her, and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on in her life. We know something is up, right at the very start, when on Halloween, Harrie doesn’t return from trick or treating. This creates panic, but before we find out what has happened to Harrie we’re taken back to ten days earlier. Ten days before Halloween Harrie’s mother, Anna has left her at home for what should be just a few moments. But they are caught in a devastating accident and something terrible happens at home. I thought both Harrie and Anna’s voice came through very strongly in the book. You can feel the tension in Anna’s voice as she speaks, and you can see just how anxious she is. This did very well in adding to the tension. Harrie doesn’t let on at all about what is bothering her, and you can see just how scared she is. My opinion of Harrie kept changing as I was reading. One moment I was feeling sorry for her and hoping that things would get better for her, but then I couldn’t believe how she was treating her mother. I thought at times that she was being selfish. I liked this as it kept interested in Harrie and what she was going through. I really had no idea how things were going to pan out for Harrie and Anna. It’s what kept me hooked as I was reading. The plot is so well thought out and when Lauren North revealed what was really going on, I thought it was done in a very clever way. The final revelations were so shocking, and I could not believe what I was reading. This is psychological suspense at its very best. I flew through this book. Now I’m desperate to catch up on Lauren North’s previous novels. If you’re looking for a pacy, addictive thriller, then I highly recommend Safe at Home. I could not put it down!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Anna James is mum to 11-year-old twins, Harriet and Elise, and seven-year-old Molly. She has her own business developing websites. Her husband, Rob, an engineer, works at an oil rig off the coast of Nigeria and is away for three months at a time then home for two weeks. The family live in the small village of Barton St Martin. Life for Anna is hectic and the girls regularly have activities to attend – football for Harrie and gymnastics classes for Elise. One evening, after strong persuasion from Anna James is mum to 11-year-old twins, Harriet and Elise, and seven-year-old Molly. She has her own business developing websites. Her husband, Rob, an engineer, works at an oil rig off the coast of Nigeria and is away for three months at a time then home for two weeks. The family live in the small village of Barton St Martin. Life for Anna is hectic and the girls regularly have activities to attend – football for Harrie and gymnastics classes for Elise. One evening, after strong persuasion from the twins and Rob during his weekly call, Anna decides to leave Harrie home alone for 20 minutes while her and Molly pick up Elise from gymnastics. Unfortunately, there’s an accident on the A12 and they end up being stuck in traffic for hours and Anna, panicking, phones but can’t get through to Harrie, their neighbour, June, or friend, Kat. When they finally get home four hours later, just before midnight, Harrie is fine and fast asleep in bed but her behaviour in the weeks following is very erratic and it’s clear that something bad happened that night. She won’t open up to her mum or twin sister and she is very emotional and has problems at school too. Told from the viewpoints of Anna and Harrie, it’s obvious that there’s lots going on with them and they’re both hiding secrets from each other. It made for compelling reading as I was desperate to find out what they were involved in. There’s an intriguing range of characters in the village and they all seemed rather suspicious at times! The school mums were all a bit bitchy about each other and the secret group chat is really mean! They pretend they’re all friends then make sly digs at each other. The women are realistically written and so are the couples, who Anna makes rhymes up about so that she can remember who they are. This helps the reader to learn who everyone is too. I wasn’t too keen on Rob either – he had form for lying to his wife and family and just doesn’t seem very trustworthy or particularly supportive of Anna, who is rather anxious and a bit of a worrier and still struggling after their difficulties of four years ago. Overall, I really enjoyed this tense and twisty thriller. It’s well written and cleverly plotted and the entertaining story unfolded really well and I hadn’t guessed most of what was revealed! There are lots of twists and turns and I imagined all kinds of scenarios to explain Harrie’s role in events. The ending came together with a bang and lots was revealed in the final pages. There were little clues littered throughout the book and it was fascinating to think back and relate those to what had happened. Some brilliant revelations and such an intense and gripping read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Anna James lives in the quiet village of Barton St Martin with her eleven-year-old twin daughters, Harrie and Elise, her youngest, Molly and Rob, her husband. Rob works on the oil rigs off the coast of Nigeria and is regularly away. When Anna has to leave Harrie home alone one October evening to collect Elise from extra gymnastics coaching she witnesses a car crash on the road ahead of her and is delayed. When she eventually arrives home, very late, Harrie is in bed apparently asleep. As she pre Anna James lives in the quiet village of Barton St Martin with her eleven-year-old twin daughters, Harrie and Elise, her youngest, Molly and Rob, her husband. Rob works on the oil rigs off the coast of Nigeria and is regularly away. When Anna has to leave Harrie home alone one October evening to collect Elise from extra gymnastics coaching she witnesses a car crash on the road ahead of her and is delayed. When she eventually arrives home, very late, Harrie is in bed apparently asleep. As she prepares to turn in herself, Anna notices that her messages to Harrie have been listened to but not answered and a muddy footprint on the floor near the back door... This book has all of the qualities of the perfect psychological thriller. Deftly layered with emotion and suspense it starts off with plenty of intrigue, and the tension builds straightaway. The reader hears from Anna and Harrie in the lead up to Halloween and going back to the time of the road accident. Interview transcripts and WhatsApp messages give teasers of a dreadful occurrence. Safe at Home is an incredibly emotionally charged book, well written and beautifully plotted and so cleverly constructed to help maximise the tension in the natural progression of the story. From the beginning, it is an absorbing and riveting novel as well as being massively addictive. Highly recommended, this is a taut story with a shocking, brilliant finish. Lauren North’s writing is just exquisite and I will be looking out for her next offering. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Random House UK, Transworld Publishers/ Corgi via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ritu Bhathal

    I've read two of Lauren North's previous books and loved them, so was excited to get my teeth into her latest one, Safe At Home. She is a fantastic author of Psychological Suspense, and her plots keep your mind ticking over, second-guessing every thought you have, throughout the books she writes. Safe At Home is no different. Anna is bringing up her three girls alone, while her husband, Rob, works overseas. After some incident prior to the start of the book, they are living in a different area and I've read two of Lauren North's previous books and loved them, so was excited to get my teeth into her latest one, Safe At Home. She is a fantastic author of Psychological Suspense, and her plots keep your mind ticking over, second-guessing every thought you have, throughout the books she writes. Safe At Home is no different. Anna is bringing up her three girls alone, while her husband, Rob, works overseas. After some incident prior to the start of the book, they are living in a different area and living a completely different life to what they were used to. She's become an extremely protective mother, not trusting anyone, despite the local community trying to welcome her into their folds. A decision, not taken lightly, to leave one of her girls at home alone for what should have been a twenty-minute period, becomes the catalyst for an event that changes the lives of not only her family but many people around her. I was on tenterhooks throughout the whole book, I have to admit. What a fantastically told story, with so many twists, and possibilities, to make you think you know what is going on, before you get thrown off the scent, again. Loved it! Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Corgi for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Demelda Penkitty

    Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there's a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how c Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there's a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn't know where the danger is coming from? Wow! What an addictive read this one is, I was totally pulled in from the start. Initially I was a bit confused as to what the heck was going on but I know that is intentional. Events are revealed slowly to tantalise and keep us reading and boy does it work for this book. The narrative is split between mother and daughter as we discover what actually happened in the run up to Halloween and just after. I was on the edge of my seat throughout! If you like a fast moving pace and a damn good story then I highly recommend Safe At Home.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Bagshaw

    New Review 🥳 Safe at Home 🏡 Lauren North I pretty much inhaled this book, I couldn't put it down and as such read it in three days. 🏡 The story follows Anna who lives in a sleepy village with her three daughters, Molly and twins Elise and Harrie - her husband works in Nigeria on an oil rig. Anna leaves 11 year old Harrie home alone for what should be 30 minutes whilst she collects Elise from gymnastics. A car crash causes them to be several hours and it is within that time something happens to Harr New Review 🥳 Safe at Home 🏡 Lauren North I pretty much inhaled this book, I couldn't put it down and as such read it in three days. 🏡 The story follows Anna who lives in a sleepy village with her three daughters, Molly and twins Elise and Harrie - her husband works in Nigeria on an oil rig. Anna leaves 11 year old Harrie home alone for what should be 30 minutes whilst she collects Elise from gymnastics. A car crash causes them to be several hours and it is within that time something happens to Harrie - but what? Suspense!!! The flicking between time can sometimes be frustrating in a book, but within this, it was exciting each time we went back in time because you knew something new would be revealed. I particularly loved how all of the separate events were connected. I really enjoyed this and give it 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Many thanks to @netgalley for an advancedcopy of this book in exchange for an honest review. #confessionsofayorkshirereader #Safetathome #netgalley #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookreview #bookreviewer #readersofinstagram

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carly Hardwell

    I really liked this book! It was fast-paced and gripping and I was hooked from the first page. The format worked really well, there are 3 different timelines which although had the potential to get confusing, didn’t - it was always clear to me where in the story I was and those timelines really helped to give a comprehensive insight into the reasons behind certain events. Interspersed with the timelines are both press interviews with various residents of the village this story is located in and I really liked this book! It was fast-paced and gripping and I was hooked from the first page. The format worked really well, there are 3 different timelines which although had the potential to get confusing, didn’t - it was always clear to me where in the story I was and those timelines really helped to give a comprehensive insight into the reasons behind certain events. Interspersed with the timelines are both press interviews with various residents of the village this story is located in and also WhatsApp group chat extracts and I enjoyed the addition of these. The intrigue and suspense was off the charts! It built quickly from the beginning and didn’t let up until the secrets began to unravel. I wasn’t sure how I felt about main character Anna at first - she’s a very overprotective mother and is highly strung but as the story develops, the reasons behind her personality traits become clear and I ended up sympathising with her a lot. The ending was amazing, I definitely didn’t see it coming and the final twist is the best one of all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Simpson

    Thank you Net Gallery for sending me the proof copy of this ahead of its release. This book was definitely full of twists and turns. It was fast paced to begin with and I was hooked. As the story went on I felt like it was taking its time to get to the big twist, but once that big twist came it was getting really good. Brilliant thriller!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey Gilchrist

    OMG this book is addictive. I was hooked from the very start. There's so much suspense. From the get go you know that something had happened and its slowly revealed which keeps you reading which you want to do. Love that the chapters are short and taking you through the separate timelines and events. I had many theories as I progressed buy will leave my review here so as not to spoilt it. 5 stars ⭐ OMG this book is addictive. I was hooked from the very start. There's so much suspense. From the get go you know that something had happened and its slowly revealed which keeps you reading which you want to do. Love that the chapters are short and taking you through the separate timelines and events. I had many theories as I progressed buy will leave my review here so as not to spoilt it. 5 stars ⭐

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allie Reynolds

    I read this one in a single wet afternoon. It's a gripping and supremely readable domestic suspense set in a small English village with some great twists and an ending that left me with goosebumps! The main character Anna, mother of three girls, was so relatable and likeable. Such a compelling story! I read this one in a single wet afternoon. It's a gripping and supremely readable domestic suspense set in a small English village with some great twists and an ending that left me with goosebumps! The main character Anna, mother of three girls, was so relatable and likeable. Such a compelling story!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Fenton

    This is my first book by Lauren North and I read it with several other members of THE Book Club as a readalong. The book is narrated by Anna, a lovely mother of 3 girls (twins and a younger child), who is currently raising her family alone in a new village whilst her husband works overseas. She appears at first quite anxious and overly-protective and despite her gut instinct, agrees to leave one of the twins (11 year old Harrie) home alone for an hour whilst she collects the other twin. However d This is my first book by Lauren North and I read it with several other members of THE Book Club as a readalong. The book is narrated by Anna, a lovely mother of 3 girls (twins and a younger child), who is currently raising her family alone in a new village whilst her husband works overseas. She appears at first quite anxious and overly-protective and despite her gut instinct, agrees to leave one of the twins (11 year old Harrie) home alone for an hour whilst she collects the other twin. However due to a tragic car crash, she is stuck in traffic for hours, unable to contact Harrie and fearing the worst. When they eventually get home, Harrie is sound asleep, Anna is relieved but this is shortlived as in the morning Harrie has unexplained bruises and becomes sullen, withdrawn and aggressive. As a mother, the opening few chapters really grabbed my attention and I was immediately faced with what I would do in this situation. As parents it’s our responsibility to protect our children to the best of our ability and I really felt for Anna. She was confused, worried, scared, concerned and felt alone in dealing with Harrie. As the story unfolds, the sleepy village that Anna has called home for the last few years, starts to show some cracks, the school mums start to close ranks and gossip starts circulating. This book really captures the feelings of a small village with the neighbours determined to protect themselves and any guilty secrets they are hiding and a loving parent who just wants her daughter to be happy and safe. Throughout the book I was trying to work out what really did happen to Harrie during those few hours and I was constantly changing my mind the more the story unravelled. If you like twisty, fast paced and gripping thrillers, then you should definitely read Safe At Home.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    This is the third of Lauren North’s books that I’ve read and this one is just as good as the other two. In fact I’d go as far as to say probably the most tense out of all three. I really felt the continuous idea that something was very wrong. ‘A wonderfully dark, addictive, intriguing and twisty read’ says the blurb and it is indeed all of these things. It certainly kept me turning the pages and with relatively short chapters that always ended on a ‘need to know more’ basis, I flew through this This is the third of Lauren North’s books that I’ve read and this one is just as good as the other two. In fact I’d go as far as to say probably the most tense out of all three. I really felt the continuous idea that something was very wrong. ‘A wonderfully dark, addictive, intriguing and twisty read’ says the blurb and it is indeed all of these things. It certainly kept me turning the pages and with relatively short chapters that always ended on a ‘need to know more’ basis, I flew through this book. The story is related both by Anna, the mum and 11 year old Harrie (Harriet). We know early on that something quite frightening happened with Harrie on the night of the crash, when her mum only meant to leave her for half an hour after months of Harrie pestering her to let her stay home alone, just while she went to pick up her twin sister from a class. Unfortunately there was a serious crash on the way back home which Anna was caught up in for a couple of hours. After that night Anna feels that Harrie just isn’t herself any more and has become argumentative and sullen which is not like Harrie at all. Yet as much as Anna tries to find out what happened to Harrie, the more Harrie clams up refusing to tell. From Harrie’s point of view we the reader are slowly drip-fed what happened that night as well as learning of the terrible secret Harrie feels forced to keep. A fantastic thriller which keeps you constantly guessing, biting your nails and wondering where all this is going to lead. I loved it, another seriously good read from this wonderful writer of psychological suspense.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve Fenton

    Everything kicks off incredibly quickly in this story, but the psychological suspense is masterfully built around interleaved flashbacks to the night "it all happens" and future-glimpses from newspaper interviews. This will definitely get your heart-pumping and it's hard to put down once you've been drawn into the world of Barton St. Martin and its very recognisable characters. Everything kicks off incredibly quickly in this story, but the psychological suspense is masterfully built around interleaved flashbacks to the night "it all happens" and future-glimpses from newspaper interviews. This will definitely get your heart-pumping and it's hard to put down once you've been drawn into the world of Barton St. Martin and its very recognisable characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    =^.^= Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: April 17, 2021 Publication date: September 30, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the autho Date reviewed/posted: April 17, 2021 Publication date: September 30, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can't stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won't explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there's a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn't know where the danger is coming from? When you have a concussion as I do and your head is spinning on its own, and then you choose to read this book, I can assure you that your head, too, will SPIN SPIN SPIN like mine did as it was such a thrilling read. Just when you think that you have figured it out, it goes off in another direction. This book reminded me a bit of "Gone Baby Gone" in its assumption that your kid is safe, but then again, Hattie is 11 and GBG's Amanda was a toddler whose mother was doing coke at a bar for hours in a very dangerous part in a very dangerous city. And is it possible that I loved this book as much as GBG? YES!!! I WILL HIGHLY AND VOCALLY RECCOMEND this wonderfully written book to friends, family, patrons, bookclubs and strangers on the tube who are reading: I find that once they figure out that I am a Canadian and not a Trump-loving MAGA-idiot they like to discuss books. (lol!) And I think that it is safe to bet that you won't leave your kid, of any age, alone after reading this book... As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🌪️🌪️🌪️🌪️🌪️ (your mind will spin that hard!)

  29. 5 out of 5

    JL Dixon

    I’m happy to present my review as part of the Blog Tour for Safe At Home, on behalf of Random Things Tours. Thank you for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Click here to view the full blog. Synopsis She wasn’t gone for long. Her daughter should have been Safe at Home… What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughte I’m happy to present my review as part of the Blog Tour for Safe At Home, on behalf of Random Things Tours. Thank you for my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Click here to view the full blog. Synopsis She wasn’t gone for long. Her daughter should have been Safe at Home… What if you left your child alone, and something terrible happened? Anna James is an anxious mother. So when she has to leave eleven-year-old Harrie home alone one evening, she can’t stop worrying about her daughter. But nothing bad ever happens in the sleepy village of Barton St Martin. Except something goes wrong that night, and Anna returns to find Harrie with bruises she won’t explain. The next morning a local businessman is reported missing and the village is sparking with gossip. Anna is convinced there’s a connection and that Harrie is in trouble. But how can she protect her daughter if she doesn’t know where the danger is coming from? A tense and emotionally driven psychological drama from the ebook bestselling author of The Perfect Betrayal. Safe at Home examines the anxieties parents face when their children reach a more independent age by giving an unexpected answer to the blasé question ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ My Review I could not wait to get started on this book after reading the synopsis, and it was far better than I had anticipated. Anna has never left her children home alone before, until that evening when Harrie begged to stay at home. Anna is obviously not keen, but lets Harrie stay as it’s only 20 minutes. On her return, much later then planned, Harrie is safely tucked up in bed. But the back door is open, there is mud on the floor, and fresh bruises on Harrie’s neck. Such a gripping, intense story with so many secrets being exposed, I could not put it down until I had the answers that Anna had been searching for. The characters were relatable and many were likeable, although my opinions changed on some as the truth became clearer. Overall, I think this is a very well executed mystery thriller, and recommend it to any reader. I gave Safe At Home five stars. This review together with additional author info and book details, is published in my blog. (dated 15 September 2021)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Denis Wheller

    Anna James has been dumped, with her three daughters, in the small village of Barton St Martin having fled from the bailiffs homing in on their repossessed London house. Her husband, Rob, whose financial incompetence was responsible for this disastrous fall from grace, is now working six-months on one off contracts on an oil-rig off the coast of Nigeria to earn high wages and clear their debts. Over protective, unsurprisingly, of her girls (Harrie and Elise, 11 year old twins, and Molly, five) s Anna James has been dumped, with her three daughters, in the small village of Barton St Martin having fled from the bailiffs homing in on their repossessed London house. Her husband, Rob, whose financial incompetence was responsible for this disastrous fall from grace, is now working six-months on one off contracts on an oil-rig off the coast of Nigeria to earn high wages and clear their debts. Over protective, unsurprisingly, of her girls (Harrie and Elise, 11 year old twins, and Molly, five) she is reluctant to give them any freedom, even in this cosy and seemingly caring place. I say ‘seemingly’ because, behind their friendly and open personae, the other mothers are a cliquey, catty, gossipy bunch. Even her best friend, Kat, is not quite as she seems. However, one evening, as an experiment, she leaves Harrie at home while she takes the other two to after school activities. A fatal crash on the main road means it is hours before she is able to return, to find Harrie apparently asleep in bed. But why are there muddy marks on the floor and where did she get the bruised shoulder? Is this connected with the disappearance of a local businessman which happened on the same night? The book falls into the category of psychological mystery, because its rationale is driven by Anna’s trauma and Harrie’s eleven-year-old-child’s behaviour. The story is told in three time frames: the week between the above event and Halloween, the night of Halloween, the subsequent days. It is also told from four perspectives: Anna’s, Harrie’s, the mother’s chat groups’ (one open and one restricted), post-event interviews by a local reporter. This type of approach can help with the build up of tension although here it feels like it is more for obfuscation, hiding the fact that this is just a linear story with a predictable outcome. The ending does contain some surprises (or at least tidies up the motivations), but I felt it was something of a Deus ex Machina. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

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