The Swimming Pool – Louise Candlish


The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish


The Last Word Review


What does a long summer mean to you? Holidays in the sun by the beach? Ed and Natalie Steele are both teachers and are looking forward to six weeks together with their daughter Molly.

Following on from the best-selling The Sudden Departure of the Frasers this is latest thrilling novel from Louise Candlish called The Swimming pool is a dark page turning thriller that will make it very hard for you to put down so my advice, cancel that night out and set yourself up for a long night of reading, once started you will not want to put this one down.

Set in Elm Hill, London and it is a classic sweltering shimmering summer. The good news for Elm Hill is that the Lido is about to re-open after being left abandoned and closed for many years and that in no small part to the former actress and glamorous Laura Faulkner.

Natalie is now enjoying socialising with new found friends and has struck up a friendship with Laura that will have dire consequences come the summers end. The Lido is fast becoming an attraction and for Natalie the hum drum of her own life seems a world away while she is at the Lido and is fast falling under the spell of Laura Faulkner. Come August the summer holiday is in full swing and Natalie wants to forget life as a teacher and spends time swimming determined to get fit as well as tanned. Molly her teenage daughter there is a fear of being in the water after an accident some years before. Fear lurks beneath the surface.


There is a sense that Natalie is becoming intoxicated by her new friend and spends more and more time in her company to the point that her life at home starts to feel the strain. To Ed this is a worrying time as he does not like the way that Natalie is behaving but his wife seems to have become detached and now spends more and more time with the glamorous Laura and now starts to enjoy afternoon drinks at the home of Laura and her husband Miles, there is something very dark and sinister lurking here and I found that as I read through this part of the story it felt as though the walls were actually closing in around me.  The story moves on at a fast pace and now you don’t dare to put the book down the tension is mounting with every page.

We now share flashbacks to Natalie’s past and the summer of 1985 and how along with her then best friend both teenagers spent that summer something happened and the dark past is bubbling to the surface. Did this time shape Natalie into the protective mother that she is now? The dark truths are exposed secrets from the past always come back to haunt those harbouring them. The climax of this gripping thriller are tense and leaves you perspiring and on the edge of your seat. This is a dark foreboding story that will you want to take away with you on holiday and one definitely that you should not miss. This is a clever and compulsive psychological summer read.

Thank you to Penguin Books for an advanced review copy.

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish was released on 5 May by Penguin Books and is available through all branches of Waterstones and all good bookshops.