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"Reads like a recipe for evil and may well induce a nightmare or two . . . Sly pacing and a detached narrative voice give this horror story exceptional punch."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The Mysterious Press
978-0-8021-2628-3 • $15.00 • Paperback • Jan. 2017
“Walters has established herself as Britain’s leading writer of thought-provoking and chilling psychological thrillers.”Guardian (UK), on Disordered Minds
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 house in the London suburbs.
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 familyto 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 clevererand her plans more terrifyingthan the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine.