A silly girl married to a man twenty years her senior, but this was her choice despite a lot of warnings that it may not turn out well. She was so taken up with the idea of marriage till she went to live in his home - an old deaf autocratic mother, near penury, terrible living conditions, maids who were dirty and who had no idea of how to keep a home clean and she herself not used to giving orders or managing a home.
A recipe for disaster. Add to that two younger sons - one retired from the Army back from India with tales to tell, a light spirit and a yen for flirting. A husband who actually wanted his younger brother to entertain and keep his wife happy. Then there was Alexander the black sheep of the family, now married to a porter's daughter and written off the family. The main character who controlled the story - Alexander's one time mistress - Anne Clarke who looked at the overall picture coolly and clinically with the idea of making Alexander heir to all and in the process murdered, got one person hanged, one person removed from the country and the downfall of the entire Ogilvie family.
Whilst the story is moving on, you know what is going to come and there is nothing to halt it to its doom. You can see it very clearly but the characters of course have no idea that anything is going to happen, till it does.
It was a different style of writing, gloom and doom, aided by the desolation of the countryside in deep winter and the general decay of the Ogilvie household.
Characterization was perfect for each of the main people in the story whilst it unfolded and the general descriptiveness of the era was spot on.
Sent by Sapere Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.