Five people arrive at Wolfheather House, a bed and breakfast on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Each has been lured there under false pretences. They all knew each other back in their university days, in 1995 when they shared a house in Caldwell street, and are united by a terrible secret. Callum, their sixth housemate, died in what was at the time ruled to be a tragic accident. One of the five knows the truth about what really happened back at Caldwell street, and none of them will be allowed to leave until the person responsible is unmasked.
They Did Bad Things is a page-turning thriller by Lauren A. Forry, author of The Compulsion and Abigale Hall. It has been likened to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which is unfortunate since while it has the same basic premise it lacks Christie's cleverness.
Most of the characters are deeply unlikeable, which would not necessarily be a problem, except that the only one I was invested in was bumped off quite early on, which made it a little harder to care what happened to the rest. I found aspects of the plot pretty unbelievable, and the ending was a bit "the butler did it". However, I was intrigued enough by the flashback sequences to keep reading and find out the reasoning behind the modern-day events.
While I know you are, proverbially, not supposed to judge books by them, I really like the cover. It's visually striking, vaguely ominous, and for a change it actually has something to do with the story. Kudos for that, Skyhorse Publishing. They Did Bad Things is a readable thriller about ordinary people tempted by circumstance to do terrible things.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Skyhorse Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.