Book Review – The Girl On The Stairs

by Louise Welsh (John Murray) ISBN: 9781848546608

Jane is pregnant. She is living in a strange city, she cannot speak the language and feels isolated whilst her partner, Petra, works.

Unable to sleep at night, she hears screams from the next-door apartment. The next morning she sees Anna Mann, the neighbour’s teenage daughter, with bruises on her face. Jane is convinced that her father is abusing her. The problem is that no-one believes her. Herr Mann is a respectable doctor. People tell her that she is neurotic. Petra warns her not to interfere in other people’s lives; that she should focus on her health and the birth of her baby. But how can Jane ignore abuse? And where is Anna’s mother?

Jane is determined to prove that her suspicions are true. She finds herself uncovering secrets and discovers that Anna is not as innocent as she appears. It seems that Berlin hides many ghosts. Or is Jane merely paranoid, her imagination a result of boredom and her loss of independence?

I felt the beginning was a little slow but then found myself unable to put book down. The characters were intriguing. The ending tied everything into a neat bundle with a little surprise attached. Welsh’s thriller kept me guessing until the very last page.

Ulrike Hill
Posted on: 31st December 2012