Nell Ballard just wants a place to call home. Doesn’t she?

Robin Wilder is just an eccentric recluse in need of a housekeeper. Isn’t he?

Carolyn, his former wife, no longer holds any power in the house. Surely?

Young Nell Ballard is homeless, running from her past and carrying a six-year-old secret she longs to set down. Responding to an advert for a live-in housekeeper, she finds herself in Starling Villas, servant to an eccentric recluse. Robin Wilder lives by an exacting set of rules, expecting the same from Nell, who fears his retribution should she let standards slip. Just as she begins to find her balance in the house, Robin’s former wife sweeps in. Beautiful, brittle and cruel, Carolyn Wilder has no intention of allowing Nell to become comfortable in her new home. But who is underestimating whom? And who truly holds the power in Starling Villas? As events overtake the household, old wounds reopen and the past rushes in to exact its own terrible price.

Disturbing, slippery and brimming with atmosphere, this is a very modern parable of human frailty told with Sarah Hilary’s signature attention to psychology.