Book Review: Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster
June 9, 2012 10 Comments
Number of pages: 320
First published: 2012 (June 5th)
I got this book: for review from Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, via Netgalley (ebook)
I love a good thriller and the idea of a remote village in the Yorkshire moors appeals to me. I’ve been in places like that myself, walking, cycling and driving, so I have a good idea what it looks like. This is a really nice thriller, more spooky than gruesome.
Beneath the Shadows: What it is about
Description from the publishers: “When Grace’s husband, Adam, inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave the bustle of London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter, Millie, in her stroller on the doorstep.
The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village on the untamed heath. Everyone—the police, her parents, even her best friend and younger sister—is convinced that Adam left her. But Grace, unable to let go of her memories of their love and life together, cannot accept this explanation. She is desperate for answers, but the slumbering, deeply superstitious hamlet is unwilling to give up its secrets.
As Grace hunts through forgotten corners of the cottage searching for clues, and digs deeper into the lives of the locals, strange dreams begin to haunt her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut her and Millie off from the rest of the world does Grace make a terrible discovery. She has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along, and she and her daughter will be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.”
Beneath the Shadows: What I thought
I liked the description, I liked the cover, and… I liked the book!
I mean, cottage in a remote village in Yorkshire, creaking floorboards, dark corners, a grandfather clock that stops ticking and then starts again by itself, weird neighbours, old letters, a handsome stranger? It all makes for a great story.
When Grace returns to the cottage a year after her husband goes missing, she finds some clues that suggest he didn’t just run off (not that she’d thought he had, really). But who can she trust in her investigations?
The story was built up very well. I suspected several different people to have been involved in either Adam’s disappearance or in making Grace’s life unbearable while she was cleaning out the cottage. While I couldn’t have guessed the final outcome, it wasn’t too abrupt, it fitted the story well.
I did feel a little manipulated by the author, as there were some moments where I felt the author really wanted the reader to take note of certain happenings, while I was at the same time wondering whether these would turn out to be a red herring.
I was amazed that this snowy, freezing, Christmassy book made such a good read on a warm spring day! I was able to imagine myself in wintery Yorkshire very easily.
I think lots of thriller fans will enjoy this book. If you are a fan of old, creaking cottages and dark family secrets, this is a book for you!