Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Cellar, by Minette Walters

From the internationally bestselling, award-winning crime writer Minette Walters, The Cellar is a harrowing, compulsively readable novel about a family of African immigrants, the Songolis, and the dark secret they keep hidden in the depths of their seemingly respectable British home.

On the day Mr. and Mrs. Songoli’s young son fails to come home from school, fourteen-year-old Muna’s fortunes change for the better. Until then, her bedroom was a dank windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. Over the years, she had grown used to being abused by the Songoli family—to being their slave.

Now that Scotland Yard has swarmed the Songoli house to investigate the disappearance of the son, Muna is given a real bedroom, real clothing, and treated, at least nominally, as a daughter. But her world remains confined. She is not allowed to go outside, doesn’t know how to read or write, and cannot speak English. At least that’s what the Songolis believe. Before long it becomes clear that young Muna is far cleverer—and her plans more terrifying—than the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine.

 So... I thought I would take a little break from reviewing romance books and throw myself into a mystery/thriller book, and I am very happy I did! This is my first Minette Walters book, and I can assure you it wont be my last! Minette Walters style of writing captured me from the very start, and she was able to draw me in with the picture she painted with her words.

The characters were also well delivered. Muna came across very smart, she always had quick answers to such important questions. She always knew how to cover her tracks, I guess observing everything all the those years while being held captive came in handy.

Yetunde (The "Mother") was the most awful character I've come across so far. She is so hateful, ignorant, and just an all around horrible person. The things she says and does makes me want to hurt her myself.

When it came to the two sons, Abiola & Olubayo, I thought the same thing of both... You are how you're raised. Seeing how their parents treat Muna made them feel it was okay to do the same. You don't find out much about Abiola, however the parts you do get made me have little to no sympathy for him. You get to know Olubayo throughout the book, which made me hate him that much more as the book progresses. I guess you cant blame the kids when they see their parents doing the same actions.

And finally Ebuka, the "father"... I had mixed feelings about him. At first I hated him just as much as the other characters, but I guess I'm a big softie because after seeing the way his wife spoke of/to him after his "accident" made me feel bad for him... but only slightly. Even the way he spoke to Muna in the last few chapters made my heart thaw towards him, but then again he really needed Muna so he said whatever he had to.

This book always kept me guessing, and wanting more. Especially the ending which leaves you with a poem... I mean poems are great and all but I wanted to know what was going to happen! Maybe that's just me being greedy. 4 star review from me, the poor ending is the only reason this book didn't get a higher rating from me. Its a must read if you like mystery/thriller type books and I look forward to reading more from Minette Walters in the future!


  1. I love it when I try a new author and love their writing. This sounds like quite the thriller. Great cover art too.

    1. It was a really great read! The cover is one of the reasons I pick this book up.


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