Title: House of Glass
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Published: Harlequin MIRA February 2014
Status: Read from February 23 to 25, 2014 — I own a copy
A fast paced, gripping novel, House of Glass is the story of a family taken hostage in their own home. Locked in the basement by two gun wielding thugs, Jen Glass, her husband, Ted, teenage daughter, Livvy, and young son, Teddy, can only hope the men will take the money they want and leave but when things begin to go wrong for the hostage takers, the terrifying situation begins to spiral out of control.
Despite outward appearances the Glass family is already a fractured reflection of perfection. Ted is unemployed and Jen suspects him of indulging in an affair, Livvy has become a surly teenager and five year old Teddy is a selective mute, refusing to speak to anyone outside of the immediate family. These stressors, added to the recent death of her estranged father, has Jen feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment when ‘Dan’ and ‘Ryan’ storm into their home. She can’t help but wonder exactly why, and how, these strange men came to target her family and who may have betrayed so many personal details about them. Though determined to keep her family safe, she feels powerless as the crisis worsens and she has to consider they may not survive.
The pace is compelling and the tension is high from the first moment the men appear in the doorway of Jen and Ted’s bedroom. It continues to increase as things begin to go wrong and the Glass’s grow ever more desperate to escape the clutches of their hostage-takers. While I admired the intensity of the story I didn’t feel that the characters were developed as they could have been. The family dynamics were a little superficial and in particular I felt I didn’t know Jen well enough to understand her thoughts and actions, aside from her base motivation to protect her family.
House of Glass is a story of betrayal, of desperation and ultimately of survival. Inspired by a reported home invasion that took place in Connecticut in 2007, Littlefield dramatises a horrifying event that every family fears, creating a page turning thriller.