On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest psychological thriller by Claire Douglas, Just Like the Other Girls.
After the death of her mother, Una Richardson hopes for a fresh start when she takes on a job as a carer for the rich and elderly Mrs Elspeth McKenzie.
But Elspeth’s home is not as safe as it seems.
Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is the evidence suggesting two girls lived here before.
What happened to the girls?
Why will the McKenzies not talk about them?
As the walls close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls . . .
It feels like it’s been a long time since I read a book by Claire Douglas. I finally got round to reading Just Like the Other Girls a few days ago, and I can see what I’ve been missing out on. This is a really creepy read, and it is so addictive.
We first meet Una who has just undertaken a position at a stately home as a companion to its elderly occupant, Elspeth. The job may seem old fashioned, but Una has recently lost her mother and has just separated from her boyfriend. There are certainly perks to the job. The pay is very generous, and Una has plans to travel the world. She hopes that with the money she earns, that in a year or so, she’ll be able to fulfil her dream. But as she becomes accustomed to living under Elspeth’s roof, Una hears stories about the previous girls who filled her position. They all look remarkably like her, but they all left in very suspicious circumstances. Is she safe in Elspeth’s employment? What happened to the previous girls? Una is determined to find out.
The role of companion seemed to me like a role someone would apply for several decades earlier. I could see the attraction though that Una did. But I also felt that if I were in Una’s position, I would feel guilty about quitting the role after a few months. You can see that Elspeth is desperate to have someone by her side, who won’t let her down. I did feel sorry for Elspeth, but I also wanted to know why she didn’t want to see more of her own daughter and her daughter’s family. Why did she want to employ someone to be her companion, when her daughter was willing to spend time with her for free?
A sinister atmosphere creeps into the plot as Una begins to understand what has previously happened at the house. I was screaming at her to leave as she begins to investigate further. I felt that she was drawing closer and closer to danger. Claire Douglas also tells parts of the story thought the voice of an unknown character, and we can see just how much they resent what is happening at Elspeth’s home.
I thought I had everything all worked out as I was reading, but Claire managed to throw in a few, well thought out twists that made me think out everything again. There is a devastating twist which made my jaw drop open as I was reading it.
This is definitely a book you can lose a few hours to. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Just Like the Other Girls is an excellent psychological thriller. Now I just need to catch up on Claire’s previous books which I’ve missed.
Publication date: 6th August 2020
Print length: 388 pages
Just Like the Other Girls is available to buy: