Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas (400 pages)
In Do Not Disturb, Kirsty shows us just how far some mothers will go to protect their child
In Do Not Disturb, we’re given a snippet of the story on the very first page – a scream, the well-placed hook that compels you to keep on reading – with pace. Skip forward a page, and we’re transported to a car journey with Kirsty, her husband Adrian, and their two girls, Amelia and Evie. The family is leaving London in the hope of finding a calmer, less stressful life. They are moving to Wales, the place of Kirsty’s happy childhood, where they will renovate and run a guest house; a long-held dream for Kirsty. What wasn’t part of the plan: having her difficult mother as her business partner, the arrival of Selena, Kirsty’s estranged cousin, or her sick daughter Ruby who uses a wheelchair. The story picks up the pace from that point on, and the suspense rockets.
An excellent insight into how our thoughts and actions can be clouded by past experiences
We’re given more than a hint of something significant happening between Kirsty and Selena in the past, bringing more drama and intrigue. All the characters are well defined and their personal situations are expertly woven into the story in a way that leaves you accusing one after the other until the truth is told. As the drama is unpicked, tensions begin to rise and lives begin to unravel, and Kirsty becomes fiercely protective of her children. After all, a mother will do all they can to protect their child, won’t they? Anything?
I had not read any of the author’s other books, but many things attracted me to this one: when I’m in the UK, my home is in London, my Mum’s family is from Wales, and it is no secret that I am nurturing the dream of running a guest house one day. If that is not an example of the universe calling, then I don’t know what is. How could I not be attracted to this book?
My radar was sound. I was hooked from the scream on page one, and I consumed the remaining 399 pages in two days. I was tempted to pull an ‘all-nighter,’ but sense took hold of me, and I finally decided to head to bed at 2 a.m. and savour the conclusion for the next day. As with all good books, I then felt the void and sadness of it being over. As I closed the back cover and placed it on my knee, I was tempted to start rereading it – I hope that someday I will.
Do Not Disturb is a book to see you through the long winter months. Grab yourself a drink and a snack, snuggle down in your reading corner and lose yourself for an afternoon.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
Do Not Disturb is an all-consuming and engaging page-turner that had me hooked from page one to page 400. With so many subjects covered, from domestic violence to mental health issues, to IVF, all culminating in a violent climax, there is a constant twist and turn of information and potential plot lines. With a few red herrings thrown in, it is the ultimate psychological thriller.
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With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.
A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for industry publications.
Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli