The History Room

Written by Eliza Graham
Review by Marina Oliver

Almost the only history in this novel is in the title. It is a modern mystery with the origins going back to the Prague Spring in 1968, but there is little of this earlier time described, and when it is, it is rather superficial.

Meredith’s husband is badly injured in Afghanistan, and their marriage falters as he tries to come to terms with his disability. She returns to teach at her old home which has been converted into a prestigious private school by her Czech father.

Disturbing events which start in the History room puzzle everyone, and Meredith is also concerned with what she believes is a sinister influence on a vulnerable girl. Determined to solve the mysteries, Meredith risks endangering the school and her own reputation.

The mystery is intriguing, the initial puzzle at first horrific, and then apparently inexplicable. Following a well-used scenario of a closed (almost) community with a limited number of suspects, it is in the village cozy tradition. There is some physical danger, but it is not emphasised, and there is never the feeling than Meredith or anyone else is in real peril.

Nonetheless it is an enjoyable, easy read, so long as historical detail or insight is not expected.