The story centres mainly around Helen. Pregnant with her longed-for baby, she goes to an antenatal class in a warm and muggy room above a bar. She’s alone (her husband, Daniel, and her brother and sister-in-law, Rory and Serena, have stood her up) and so when Rachel, also alone, gravitates towards her, Helen finds herself with a brand new friend.
I’m sharing my thoughts today about Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner which is already available in ebook format and will be published in hardcover on 15th April. My thanks to the team at Raven Books for the proof copy of the book for review purposes.
Katherine wrote her debut novel while on maternity leave, juggling a newborn with completing the Faber Academy novel-writing course. She lives in Hackney, where she grew up, with her husband and two daughters.
Katherine Faulkner studied History at Cambridge then completed a postgraduate diploma in Newspaper Journalism. After working as an investigative reporter, during which time she won the Cudlipp Award for public interest journalism, and as an editor, she is now joint Head of News at The Times.
Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen’s friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret.
This is a brilliant story and an impressive debut. It’s a psychological thriller and a really well-drawn example of the genre, but it’s also about women and that time running up to the birth of a baby, a kind of limbo-land when you’re just waiting and potentially quite vulnerable. It’s full of tension and suspense and I was hooked all the way through. For me the pace never let up and the underlying sense of foreboding was ever-present. I really enjoyed my thrilling visit to Greenwich Park.
When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel.
We know from the synopsis that Rachel turns out to be a nightmare but the reasons why are only revealed gradually as the story unfolds. I thought Katherine Faulkner did an amazing job plotting this book and as Rachel insinuates herself deeper into Helen’s life and we also hear from Serena and Katie, a friend of both couples, I honestly didn’t know who to trust. It’s clear that something isn’t right but I was left guessing all the way through, via a few good twists and turns.
And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare.
Greenwich Park has been on my radar for quite a while now and I was so excited to dive between the pages. I can tell you now that I was not disappointed. It is a thrilling and fast-paced read that had me gripped from beginning to end.
Helen has it all…
Masterfully plotted and utterly addictive, Greenwich Park is a dark, compelling look at motherhood, friendships, privilege and the secrets we keep to protect ourselves.