Life is not quite what it seems to be at the Heenan house on Claverly Row where two children have become the masters of the house . . . World-renowned mystery writer Robert Barnard, acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic, returns to oneMoreLife is not quite what it seems to be at the Heenan house on Claverly Row where two children have become the masters of the house . . . World-renowned mystery writer Robert Barnard, acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic, returns to one of his most powerful themes - the extraordinary inner strength of children in times of crisis.
When Ellen Heenan dies tragically during childbirth, leaving behind four children and an out-of-work husband, concerned friends and neighbors expect that the family will endure great hardship. What they dont know is that the two older children, thirteen-year-old Matthew and his sister Annie, will take control of their house, their siblings, and their father. As soon as the bereaved Mr. Heenan returns from his wifes hospital deathbed, Annie and Matthew realize that their lives as carefree children have come to an abrupt and premature end.
Dad isnt just mourning. Hes insane, muttering about sin and punishment, and retreating to a little upstairs bedroom, hardly ever to emerge. If the authorities discover Mr. Heenans true condition, the children will be separated and taken into care. Anything is preferable, so instead of playing with their classmates after school, Annie and Matthew learn to cook and clean and watch out for the little ones. And they learn how to lie.
The charade cant continue forever, and soon the townspeople begin to wonder why Mr. Heenan never visits his usual haunts. But the real trouble starts when Annie and Matthew find a body in their backyard. Now the police will discover the true situation at the house - unless the children can dispose of the bloodied corpse. Gripping and poignant, The Masters of the House affirms Robert Barnards extraordinary and versatile talent. It is vintage Barnard from beginning to shocking end.