A hollow creaky house, a haunting melody from the pear drum, a hurl from the bannister, and a hallucinating main character make this book a vortex of swirling visions. Here realities are dreams, and dreams are illusions.
The images painted have their base in stories, and these stories prey on the mind till the canvas is a moving, colorful landscape. Are these real or are these just hallucinations of a damaged mind? Such are the thoughts which run through the protagonist Caro.
After the death of the stepmother Elizabeth, Caro comes to stay at her home in Derbyshire wanting to start a new life. But soon things start to happen, her visions become real, the noises in the house trigger her paronia. The people of the village are mean and rude, some downright threatening. Till the neighbor Craig comes to her help like a knight in shining armor. Her long lost sister Steph too wants to mend fences.
Caro begins to dare
Caro begins to remember
Caro begins to investigate
Secrets come to light darkening her life
Sophie Draper, in her début, has created such an aura of intrigue and mystery that I began to see shadows on every page. Her writing kept me gripped to the story. I had my doubts and my suspicions, but the fast pace did not allow me to revel in them. I love books which do that to me.
Then there are my niggles, I found the protagonist slightly naive and needy. Certain parts felt they were stretching the truth a wee bit.
A dark mystery, an intriguing atmosphere, and a swift pace make this story a riveting and engrossing thriller!!
I received this ARC from NetGalley and publisher Avon Books UK, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Sophie Draper won the Bath Novel Award 2017 with this novel. She has also won the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing 2017. She lives in Derbyshire, where the book is set, and under the name Sophie Snell she works as a traditional oral storyteller.
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Publication date : 30th October, 2018
Publisher : Avon Books UK