I am not exaggerating when I say I loved everything about The Murder of Graham Catton! This book is a masterclass in murder mystery writing, with a very contemporary twist on the genre that made it even more enjoyable. It balances just the right amount of back story with a fast pace, duplicitous characters and highly satisfying ending.
Opening sentence: It’s the sound of my husband’s blood on the floorboards that wakes me.
Do you like true crime podcasts?
Well, you’re in luck. Conviction is the fictional true crime podcast, hosted by Anna Byers, that features in this book. Anna explores old cases she thinks might have miscarriages of justice and speaks to people involved. Season four opens a case from 10 years ago all about, yes… The Murder of Graham Catton.
Graham’s wife, Hannah, is our narrator and was a suspect at the time of the murder. Graham was found in his own bed, stabbed through the neck while his wife and young daughter were in the house. A man was arrested and charged but Conviction is on a mission to prove his innocence and Hannah isn’t happy about it…
Once the series begins, I know there’ll be no escaping the past. The things I might have done. The things I know I’ve done.
Did Hannah do it?
Hannah has rebuilt her life since the trauma of her husband’s murder. She has a new partner, Dan, a now teenage daughter, Evie and a career as a psychologist at an eating disorder clinic. But, for several reasons, she is terrified of her past and of certain things about it becoming public knowledge.
Thanks to the popularity of the podcast, Hannah, Dan and Evie’s lives are turned upside down – not in a good way.
By the time you add in Hannah’s somewhat unhealthy obsession with Hawkwood House, a now derelict asylum where her grandmother was once a patient, the trauma of a former patient’s accidental death and the fact her decreasing mental stability means Hannah is not only hiding and repressing things from us, but from herself to – until the vital moment of revelation – means the suspense levels are high.
To sum up – The Murder of Graham Catton is SUCH a enjoyable read: the twists, the layers and the way it wasn’t overly complex but still so clever. Importantly, all loose ends were tied up and it left me totally surprised with the final outcome of the story. Definitely one to add to your TBR!
If you like the true crime podcast angle here, then you must also give Matt Wesolowski’s books a read. His Six Stories series takes the form of a podcast transcript and are all scarily good.
- Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC;
- Get your copy of The Murder of Graham Catton here;
- Published by HarperCollins 10th June 2021;
- 353 pages;
- My rating: