‘The Cursed Girls’ is the latest book by Caro Ramsay.
Megan Melvick has spent years avoiding her inheritance, the dark and disquieting family estate Benbrae, now home only to her distant, aristocratic father, and her sister Melissa, dying quietly in an upstairs bedroom. Trapped behind her unreliable hearing aids and vulnerable to what others want her to see, Megan is unable to find the answers she wants: why is there a new woman on her father’s arm? And why has their absent mother not returned to say a final goodbye to Melissa? Benbrae has always been a place of loss and misfortune for Megan, but as the Melvick family diminishes still further, she must ask one final question. If there is a curse on the house, will she be its next victim?
How do you like your psychological thrillers? If you like them set against the bleak backdrop of rural Scotland riddled with family tragedy and lies, then ‘The Cursed Girls’ is just for you.
The story is seen through the narrative of Megan who’s returned home just as her eldest sister called Melissa died from an eating disorder. Megan is the black sheep of the Melvicks family, she’s deaf and is always there in the background whilst Melissa was the beautiful and outspoken one of the family. On the day of Melissa’s wedding day, their mother Beth disappears and there’s a terrible fire that results in the death of Megan’s best friend Cara. Cara is a troubled character who’s had a hard life, suffering abuse from her mother various boyfriends and run ins with the police but she takes quiet Megan under her wing and they become an unlikely duo. Five years on from that Melissa is now also dead and people are trying to piece together disappearances and deaths.
The story is set in an old historical mansion called ‘The Italian House’, an ancestral home and has been said to the cause of generations of bad luck to the Melvicks, suicides and mental health. Megan has been witness to this curse, seeing people take their own lives as well as questioning her own mental health at times.
The story makes for interesting reading and I found myself undecided about Megan, occasionally I found her to be a likeable character and was sympathetic to her plight and other times, I found her unreliable and questioned her own innocence in the story. There was also a perspective from Cara, now dead she was written like a ghost in the story narrating her own demise and troubled past.
The story is cleverly crafted and written in such a twisty style that it was impossible to decide who was genuine and who was lying. All the characters are suspicious and all with ulterior motives and this all made for gripping reading, as I raced through the book and tried to piece together the unlucky fate of this troubled family.
Dark and atmospheric from the first page, ‘The Cursed Girls’ is a psychological thriller at its finest, packed with lies, secrets and troubled characters, this book made for haunting and gripping reading.
You can buy ‘The Cursed Girls’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.