ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Skylight by Louise Candlish #QuickReads

My review today is of The Skylight by Louise Candlish. This is one of this year’s Quick Reads books which are £1 for the paperback and 99p for the eBook. Read on to find out more. My thanks to Hannah Bright from Midas PR for sending me a review copy of the book.



OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE: The Baby is Mine (Atlantic)

LOUISE CANDLISH: The Skylight (Simon & Schuster)

KATIE FFORDE: Saving the Day (Arrow)

PETER JAMES: Wish You Were Dead (Macmillan)

CAITLIN MORAN: How to Be a Woman, abridged (Ebury)


27 May 2021 | £1 | #QuickReads @readingagency | Images

“Buy one, gift one: Buy a Quick Read this summer and we’ll gift a copy to help someone discover the joy of reading.”


One in six adults in the UK – approximately 9 million people – find reading difficult, and one in three people do not regularly read for pleasure. Quick Reads, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, plays a vital role in addressing these shocking statistics by inspiring emergent readers, as well as those with little time or who have fallen out of the reading habit, with entertaining and accessible writing from the very best contemporary authors.

This year’s short books include:

–          a dark domestic thriller from British Book Award winner Louise Candlish (The Skylight), who thanks reading for setting her on the right path when she was ‘young and adrift’

–          an uplifting romance by the much-loved Katie Fforde (Saving the Day), who never thought she would be able to be an author because of her struggle with dyslexia

–          the holiday from hell for Detective Roy Grace courtesy of long-time literacy campaigner and crime fiction maestro Peter James (Wish You Were Dead)

–          a specially abridged version of the feminist manifesto (How to Be a Woman) by Caitlin Moran: ‘everyone deserves to have the concept of female equality in a book they can turn to as a chatty friend.’

–          an introduction to Khurrum Rahman’s dope dealer Javid Qasim (The Motive), who previously found the idea of reading a book overwhelming and so started reading late in life, to find ‘joy, comfort and an escape’ 

–          Oyinkan Braithwaite’s follow-up to her Booker nominated debut sensation My Sister, the Serial Killer – a family drama set in lockdown Lagos (The Baby is Mine)


Over 5 million Quick Reads have been distributed since the life-changing programme launched in 2006. From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes. This year, for every book bought until 31 July 2021, another copy will be gifted to help someone discover the joy of reading. ‘Buy one, gift one’ will see thousands of free books given to organisations across the UK to reach less confident readers and those with limited access to books – bring the joy and transformative benefits of reading to new audiences.

The Skylight may be part of the Quick Reads campaign, it may be only 89 pages of fairly large text, but it is a fully formed story that really packs a punch. It’s deliciously creepy and I spent a fair bit of the time whilst reading it nervously oohing and anxiously aahing.

Simone has a two floor flat with her boyfriend above a couple who live in the downstairs flat. Through their skylight in their new kitchen extension Simone can see them at their kitchen table. No, not see them, spy on them! As an inherently nosy person I can understand how her eyes were so often drawn to the window to see what was going on down there. But nosiness can often lead to you seeing something you wish you hadn’t and that is exactly what happens to Simone. This is where the story gets even creepier and it was almost a case of me reading through my fingers.

This book is brilliant, a perfect psychological thriller, just like Louise Candlish’s full length books. I loved the way the story is set almost entirely in a domestic setting which made it seem oh so possible. I’m glad Simone isn’t my neighbour and this book definitely didn’t make me paranoid or anything…..definitely not…..! The Skylight is pacy and sinister, and very difficult to put down. It’s a fantastic little read.

Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. Our House, a #1 bestseller, won the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards, was longlisted for the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. It is soon to be a major ITV drama made by Death in Paradise producers Red Planet Pictures. Louise lives in London with her husband and daughter. Visit her at or connect with her on Twitter @Louise_Candlish.

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