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Jessica Mayhew is a sharp successful therapist with a thriving practice and loving family But the arrival of a new client actor Gwydion Morgan coincides with a turbulent moment in her life her husband has just confessed to a one night stand with a younger woman The son of a famous stage director Gwydion is good looking and talented but mentally fragile tormented by an intriguing phobia When Jessica receives a frantic call warning that he is suicidal she decides to make a house callThe Morgans live in a grand clifftop mansion overlooking the rocky Welsh coast It seems to be a remote paradise but there's something sinister about it too Jessica learns that the family's former au pair drowned in the bay under mysterious circumstances In her uest to help Gwydion to whom she's grown increasingly attached Jessica becomes ensnared in the Morgan family mystery which soon becomes an explosive public scandal—one that puts her directly in harm's way Meanwhile Jessica is doing her best to keep her marriage and family together but her growing attraction to Gwydion is impossible to ignoreSmart stylish and suspenseful The House on the Cliff announces the arrival of a winning female protagonist in Jessica Mayhew and an exciting new crime writer in Charlotte Williams

10 thoughts on “The House On The Cliff

  1. says:

    This assured debut from Charlotte Williams is perfect for fans of the psychological thriller very much on a par with Erin Kelly Sophie Hannah et al Focusing on the professional and personal life of psychologist Jessica Mayhew balancing the demands of a difficult family including a wilful teenage daughter and a snake in the grass husband Jessica’s life is further complicated by the arrival of a troubled new patient Gwydion Morgan Morgan places many demands on Mayhew emotionally and professionally as events from his childhood reveal a dark tale of jealousy and murder Williams skilfully interweaves this two disparate areas of Jessica’s life into a fluid and engaging narrative and although for me personally the guilty party was uite evident in the murder plot I was carried along uite nicely by the dilemmas facing Jessica There was a good intergration within the book of psychological detail and the professional treatment of psychological disorders which made for an interesting curve in the central plot as Jessica’s professional life plays such a central role Her family life focusing on the demands of a difficult teenage daughter and the rebuilding of trust with her husband after his sexual indiscretion also had an extremely authentic feel leading the reader to feel great empathy with Jessica’s woes Her relationship with Gwydion Morgan also makes for an interesting dynamic professionally and personally and likewise her interaction with other members of the Morgan clan a family steeped in jealousy and untruths One aspect of the book I felt was particularly good was William’s depiction of place and atmosphere especially in relation to the central setting of the rugged west coast of Wales She captured perfectly the wild beauty of the area and there was also a nice little sojourn in Sweden as Jessica attempts to untangle the complicated threads of Morgan’s troubled family history All in all a good thriller and certainly an author I would read again

  2. says:

    This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read I didn't offer it to a friend didn't put it in the Goodwill box but threw it away Now to someone who has never approached the mental health profession in any way sense or form this may have had some redeeming features but as someone who has a lot of ties to the world of psycoanalysis this book is not only inaccurate ind insulting but would make those who are in therapy run for the hills Therapists are tightly bound by rules of confidentiality They do not run all over two countries telling your problems to all concerned they do not have any kind of relationships with their parents and if any of this occursthey should promptly have their licsence revoked There are also many story lines going every which way that are so unessecary Perhaps if Jessica had been a detective the story might have been palatable Also if you love REBECCA this story is a poor excuse so it might be for youI read between 80 100 books a year and this was the very worst I have read in a while STAY AWAY

  3. says:

    This book should have been called A Therapist's Career On The Edge Of A Cliff Holy hell Where to startOK our main character is a psychotherapist named Jessica Mayhew who lives in Wales with her husband Bob and two daughters 16 year old Nella and 10 or 11 year old Rose We come into this book learning that Bob has had an affair with a younger woman while on a business trip and Jessica is left to deal with whether or not she feels like salvaging her marriage as a result Meanwhile she has a new client named Gwydion Morgan coming to see her who has a button phobia and a whole heap of straight from a soap opera set of therapy issues that are the stuff psychologist's wet dreams are made of As many reviews have stated it is very clear that the person who wrote this is not in fact a psycho therapists That's fine I've read plenty of perfectly enjoyable sci fi by people who aren't astronauts and urban fantasy from writer's I'm pretty sure aren't vampires Unfortunately however this book revels in pscyho babble involving dream interpretation repressed memories and Freudian theories which even I know are not really taken seriously at this point any Simply put Jessica is a terrible doctor and an even annoying mother She simultaneously is not dealing with the emotional repercussions of her husband's one night stand and almost instantly starts having sexual thoughts about her new client Gwydion We are almost immediately told with great description IN THEIR FIRST SESSION about how sexually attracted she is to him and she tries to rationalize it with pheromones Yes you read that right PHEROMONES Then when that excuse isn't enough she decides to blame it on transference of the anger she has at her husband's affair and wanting to take spiteful revenge by having an affair with a younger man Despite the obvious fact that she should immediately stop seeing this individual as a client she instead gets ridiculously embroiled in his family situation by making a house call when he is bed ridden learning of an unsolved death from Gwydion's mother and Googling her client and his father a rather famous figure in the movie industry and a well known womanizer At the same time Jessica's 16 year old daughter Nella is growing up into the kind of awful teenager that a good smack upside the head tends to fix in short order There's teenage angst and then there's just flat out being a disrespectful brat Nella falls into the second category but hey Jessica is mom of the year and tries to give Nella her space and understand how hard it is to be a teenager After a school concert she discovers her daughter has uite a good voice that she's been keeping under wraps and on the way out of the recital sees a former client of hers entering the school This client mind you had lost his job for alleged indecency with a minor It had never been proven but he was disgraced in the teaching world for his actions and even Jessica has misgivings about the guy He comes up to her and flatly announces he's working with talent recruitment for new young artists He specifically indicates he has interest in representing her daughter Jessica says NO OF COURSE NOT THAT'S TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE No I'm sorry that's what ANY OTHER MOTHER IN THE WORLD would have said Jessica takes his business card and trusts her otherwise neanderthalish 16 year old daughter to have the right instincts and not do anything stupid and LEAVES THE SCHOOL The book continues to unveil an unsolved murder that took place on the Morgan estate of a young au pair that worked for the family when Gwydion was very young Gwydion decides to take his father to court based on memories he has recovered from a dream Jessica decides that fool proof evidence like that is a good reason she should testify in court Her husband Bob who is a lawyer and conveniently an old friend of Gwydion's father Evan Morgan decides it's not at all a conflict of interest to represent his old buddy convinced the man's being set up There are so many WTF's in that last paragraph that I don't know how it even got past an editor's desk But here we are The rest of the book is entirely predictable and full of lots of other entirely inappropriate and unbelievable moments including the ending which is so ridiculous in its reveals that I was practically laughing I'll tell you what if this is what your average psychotherapist is like in Wales than by all means I do not recommend having any nervous breakdowns while visiting The things I liked about this book was the author's clearly skilled use of vocabulary and setting moods and locations Her descriptions of environments pull you in and each character is visible in the mind's eye In fact her ability to write these situations is the only thing that saved this book from one star I think Charlotte Williams would do her talents a better service by writing a book involving mild supernatural elements or perhaps a gritty detective story where you can take liberties with rule breaking This entire book seemed torn between wanting to be a romance novel and a thriller and never could manage to uite do either There are so many times it could have become extremely creepy but pulled back as if shy Other places it could have been uite erotic and similarly pulled back Supposedly this is the first in a series of books that will feature Jessica Mayhew but I certainly won't be reading any It's a book that will uickly be forgotten

  4. says:

    My Description Dr Jessica Mayhew really didn't know what she was getting into when Gwydion Morgan comes in for sessions to cure his phobia At the beginning Gwydion tells Jessica about a dream or is it a memory? he's having Through different sessions of the dream memory?? unfolds It draws you inside Is Gwydion's dream really a past memory?Gwydion's parents house draws Jessica inGwydion's mother tells Jessica she thinks her son is depressed and contemplating suicide Jessica makes a house call There is something about that house and the waterWhat is it trying to tell her? Jessica is also trying to fight off the growing attraction she is having to Gwydion It's not easy to do especially considering her husband had a one night stand with another woman This leads Jessica to be than a little peeved and than a little curious She is also having to protect her daughter from a former clientDid I mention someone is watching Jessica?Poor Jessica She might have to have doctor care for herself after it's all over with My Review This book had so much going on inside but it wasn't confusing at all Everything came together in the end Loved it What a page turner I recommend it

  5. says:

    35A lot better than i thought considering the reviews i read Don't cross it off your list

  6. says:

    Forty something psychotherapist Jessica Mayhew has a successful practice in Cardiff Wales; a handsome husband Bob; and two beautiful daughters Nella and Rose But appearances can be deceiving At fifteen Nella is at a difficult age and Jessica is finding it hard to keep the lines of communication open between them And she's still trying to recover from learning that Bob had a one night stand with a much younger woman while on a business trip in Europe a month agoOn the day Jess's story starts she meets a potential new client on his first appointment Gwydion Morgan is a young and extremely handsome local actor whose best known for his on going role in a popular Welsh TV soap His father is the renowned stage director Evan Morgan who is eually famous for his numerous affairs and dalliances with other women while his wife Arianrhod once a beautiful actress wastes away at the family home a forbidding stone mansion on the rocky Welsh coast Gwydion has no love for his father but is close to his mother and no other siblingsGwydion comes to Jessica with a fairly typical button phobia which is a concern now that he's been picked to star in a new costume drama the costume he'll have to wear will have numerous buttons Then he opens up to her about a recurring nightmare he's been having in which he's a terrified little boy trapped in a dark box Each time he returns to her office he recounts the dream as it progresses and each time Jessica is sure she thinks she knows where it is goingAs much as she tries she can't uite keep her own very human sense of curiosity out of Gwydion's case Her friend an actress called Mari once had an affair with Evan and imparts some random bits of gossip about the family And when Jess agrees against her own rules to visit the Morgan home in person when Gwydion falls into a deep depression she is taken on a tour of the cliff top garden by Arianrhod At the edge of the cliff at the top of a steep flight of stairs cut into the rockface she sees a plaue written in Swedish memorialising the death of a young pretty Swedish backpacker who drowned thereAs the Morgan family's secrets come bubbling to the surface Jess gets and deeply involved in uncovering the truth in the hope of helping Gwydion recover and move on But all is not as it seems with the Morgans and Jess is not as in control of the case as she believesI'm a bit torn over this one While it had many ualities of good writing swift smooth consistent pacing a well developed protagonist some atmosphere and enough details to keep me interested it was a bit predictable and a bit thin plot wise The setting the Welsh coast in particular was a good one and lively for the imagination There was some atmosphere but not as much as I would have liked; not as much as would have added tension and real suspense to the storyJessica was an interesting character intelligent and honourable but flawed in the sense that she's a bit over confident in her own analytical abilities and her own sense of righteousness and she makes mistakes She can be a bit unlikeable at times which actually made me like her because it made her feel human She could be surprisingly slow on the uptake at times despite being intelligent overall and she came across as rather cold and unfriendly The reasons why Bob had a brief affair are hinted at and as much as it doesn't excuse it Jess has something to do with it Her analysis of her own marital difficulties is patchy and no wonder it's all very well to look deep into someone else's problems while they sit on your couch and discreetly guide them to the answers buried in their own minds but uite another thing to accurately and honestly reflect on yourself It takes Jess uite a while to realise that and in the meantime I can hardly believe it I actually felt slightly sorry for Bob Sorry for him in that he's a bit of a pathetic figure anytime a 50 year old man shags a 20 something woman it's a bit sad really Mid life crisis and all that but also sorry for him because he could use a therapist himself no doubtI am always very fascinated by the descriptions of therapy Never having attended any kind of therapy session myself I feel like a real voyeur peeping in on someone else's And it speaks to our all too human curiosity as to what's going on in other people's lives partly to see what we can learn about coping techniues for ourselves I studied some Freud at uni in a couple of English courses and was not impressed but while his ideas were a bit ludicrous at times I can see the merit in the principals of psychotherapy for some people at least in the way Jessica works with her clients As in Liane Moriarty's excellent novel The Hypnotist’s Love Story I love getting that intimate access to a therapist's room and hearing about the processes behind itBut the plot oh dear the plot It really was rather predictable and Jessica's family drama with Nella was interesting to me than the murder mystery It just felt a bit too contrived a bit too convenient and a bit too flawed The concept for the set up which I don't want to explain as it would spoil the story and I don't like giving spoilers if I can help it seemed flimsy to me and too obvious After all Jessica's dealing with a whole family of actors here which she notes in the beginning and then forgets so dazzled is she by Gwydion's beautiful face Was it just me or was the flirtation between them just plain creepy?As far as a uick mystery read goes this was certainly uick As far as a satisfying suspenseful thriller goes it was decidedly lacking I didn't wholly dislike it for the reasons mentioned above but by the time I got to the ending I had rather lost interest in the whole family secret murder mystery plot and just wanted to hear about human nature and Jessica's internal analysis My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via TLC Book Tours

  7. says:

    Some of the best mysterythrillers that I have read have belonged to the genre of psychological thriller so when I read the synopsis for Charlotte Williams' debut novel The House on the Cliff I was immediately intrigued Therapist Jessica Mayhew has just met her new client the brooding Gwydion Morgan As an aspiring actor Gwydion has just been offered the role of a lifetime but he suffers from an unlikely phobia that could end his ability to handle the part As Jessica tries to help him overcome the phobia she becomes aware of another problem that threatens not only Gwydion but her life as wellIf I had to categorize The House on the Cliff I would have a hard time choosing the type of thriller it is There were definitely elements of the psychological thriller in the book but at times it almost had a Gothic feel to it You have a young women hired to help a brooding dark man under whose spell she increasingly falls a domineering mother a forbidding house on windswept cliff above the sea and a decades old unsolved death At times it reminded me of the books of either Victoria Holt or Georgette Heyer only this one was set in the current time period In fact I thought the book worked much as a Gothic than as a psychological thriller I loved that the author included the uniuely Welsh spelling of the names also It gave the book a real feel to me And although I was able to figure out the ultimate resolution to the murder early on in a Gothic story that is not necessarily a drawback There were a few things though that kept the book from being a 4 or 5 star read for me For one thing the original phobia that Gwydion is trying to overcome has really nothing to do with the rest of the book After using it to introduce the main two characters the author lets it fall in the cracks Unfortunately for me I found myself wondering why the phobia developed and whether it could have played a integral part of the story There were a couple of other plot disconnects similar to that that I found myself wondering about and wishing were either left out of the story altogether or were integrated in the story successfully All in all I enjoyed this debut novel I believe Charlotte Williams definitely has a future as an author of thrillers and look forward to reading from her in the futureI would like to thank the publisher for making a copy of this eARC available through Eidelweiss in exchange for a review

  8. says:

    Therapist Jessica Mayhew's professional life is good but her personal life is in turmoil Her husband cheated on her with a younger woman Although he said it was a one time thing Jessica can not help easily forgive and forget That is why when her newest client Gwydion has a freak out moment and needs Jessica's help she decides to pay Gwydion a house visit and stay for a while To give herself space from her husband When Jessica arrives at the house she learns a secret about Gwydion's family One that drags Jessica into the mix and into danger I was really looking forward to reading this book It sounded a little like it might be a gothic psychological thriller or maybe it had to do with the book cover Sadly I was not feeling this book as much as I had hoped to Don't get me wrong as it is alright but none of the characters reached out and connected with me on an emotional level In addition I found them to be somewhat dull I know if I had connected with the characters better then I would have liked this book The story line was fine as I did read this book really fast The mystery surrounding Gwydion and his family was not really a big secret The author tried to make the secret dark but it did not come off that way Finally the ending was a little of a let down I was like really this is how it is going to end regarding Jessica and Gwydion?

  9. says:

    received a copy from the goodreads giveaway a well written story that I found myself really getting lost in not sure how it would end very pleasantly surprised with the ending she left where there is hope for the future but not everything is neatly tied up in an automatically happily ever after even the ending keeps her characters seeming real

  10. says:

    It was good a ez listen I didn’t guess the ending so that’s always good not a super thriller But I like the story 35 stars