A Step So Grave

out now!

HOUSE.TREE.PERSON (US) 8th Sept
THE WEIGHT OF ANGELS (UK) 24th August

The body found in a muddy grave across the street is just the latest horror threatening to tear apart Ali McGovern’s life seam by seam. She knows Angelo, her brooding teenage son, is keeping secrets. She fears he's in danger too. But her new job at the psychiatric hospital, the job her husband pushed her into, is using up everything she's got every day.  She can try to ignore the sounds that surely can't really be there. And she can try to trust the doctors who can't be as dark as they seem. But can Ali hold herself, her life and her family together without getting blood on her hands?

 

Book Group Discussion Points (no spoilers):

  1. We meet Ali after she has been humbled by experience. How do you think the losses she suffered before the start of the book changed her?
  2. A very frequent comment I hear is that it’s surprising for a woman who has no children to write believable mother-child relationships. (I’ve never been mixed up in a murder either, by the way.)  Why do you think that leap of imagination strikes readers as more remarkable than others?
  3. Did you have sympathy for Ali when she decides to scam her way into her job? Did you lose sympathy for her at any point? How about respect?
  4. Would you say HOUSE TREE PERSON / WEIGHT OF ANGELS has a happy ending?
  5. Which reminds me, how much difference do you think a title makes to a book? Which of these two titles do you prefer? Or can you think of a better one?
  6. Do you think Ali’s love for and loyalty to Marco are typically female? Are they healthy?
  7. The HTP test is almost universally discredited and the “sociopathy triad” is increasingly controversial too but they still turn up in popular culture. What do you think gives them their enduring appeal?
  8. Do you think this book is responsible in its depiction of mental illness?

Just for fun . . . draw a house, a tree and a person and let the members of the book group “analyse” it. (I’ve uploaded the three doodles I usually put in the book when I’m signing. Feel free!)

Buy it

'An unnerving and suspenseful novel. House.Tree.Person is McPherson's best yet" KARIN SLAUGHTER

'McPherson is a master at creating psychological tension ... a one-sitting read." KIRKUS (starred)

'riveting ... every factor, every character, every movement is pivotal" DRU ANN LOVE

"McPherson knows how to lay on the creep and keep it building for maximum effect, and her talent for domestic suspense is second to none. ... Get a hold of this one ASAP. "                     CRIMINAL ELEMENT

"McPherson continues to impress ... House. Tree. Person may just be here best yet ... one of those books where saying too much will ruin the reader experience, so my lips are sealed. Just know that you need to buy this book!"                                BOLO BOOKS

"a complex story whose characters have layer upon layer of hidden motives, which award-winning writer Catriona McPherson deftly peels away. I found the smoky darkness of this slow-paced but relentless Scottish mystery very appealing."                     MYSTERY SCENE

"Beautiful writing, engaging soulful characters, and a wonderful plot. McPherson teases the reader with exquisite delicacy, dotting tiny bread crumbs of suspense literally from page 1."
ELLEN KIRSCHMAN, PhD