It's the story that really drives this novel, though, and this is a corker: twisty, tricksy and, on occasion, seriously scary. There is a moment when it is almost impossible to keep reading, the scene Hilary has created is so upsetting, but almost impossible not to, the story is so hell-for-leather compelling. This is a rare thing, for any thriller, and extraordinary in a debut, but then this is an extraordinarily good debut, slipping under the skin of the bad things that happen every day and everywhere. "The house was quiet again, and now she remembered how, from the outside, it had looked like every other house in the street." Utterly creepy, without being gratuitous, and an exciting start to what is intended to become a series about Rome.