The Hidden Room
by Stella Duffy
Virago

The hidden room that gives Stella Duffy’s 15th novel its title is both real and metaphorical. Laurie, Duffy’s protagonist, discovers a secret space in the attic of the house she shares with wife Martha and their three children. It’s also a psychological manifestation of an unsettling past.

This private “place” is really a time: Laurie was raised in “a community”, a euphemism for a cult. She has shared some of those experiences with Martha, but keeps one part of it secret: her intense relationship with the magnetic Samuel, and the tragedy that results. One day, Laurie collects her mercurial daughter Hope from a dance class and discovers the teacher is none other than Samuel. Duffy, an award-winning crime writer, resists sensationalism, however, to deliver a genuinely chilling portrait of love, family and devotion.