Lucas has come to stay at a cottage in Wales where he joins fellow writers for a writing retreat.
Lucas is a horror writer and he’s searching for inspiration for this next best seller.
The other guests at the house are a mixed bag with their own worries and emotional baggage. The host of the retreat centre is Julia. Julia lost her eight year old daughter, two years ago. The girl was presumed to have drowned in the local river, along with her father who dived in trying to save her. The body of the father was found but not that of the daughter, and, against all the evidence, Julia has clung to the belief that her daughter, Lily, is still alive.
Lucas is attracted to Julia and a romance blossoms. He also becomes obsessed with Lily and he hires a private detective to dig around and find out more. He begins to question the police findings. He becomes suspicious of several members of the close-knit, local community, of which his own mother and father were a part. Lucas has suffered a loss himself, and this gets thrown into the mix.
Strange things start to happen at the house – noises in the night, sounds of someone coming and going, ghostly singing. A couple of the other guests start cracking up. Lucas doesn’t believe in ghosts but the horror writer in him is hooked on the incidents and he begins to wonder what is real and what is imaginary.
It’s all pretty spooking stuff. I thought the author did the supernatural element extremely well and we see how each guest is weakened by the weird events. (I think that’s all I can say about the story – if you want to find out more you’ll have to read it.)
My favourite parts of the book were the first third, when we are getting to know the retreat group and the villagers, and the middle part where the spooky events really ratchet up.
In summary – this book is a great mystery, supernatural suspense and the author has a lovely, fluid writing style. A highly enjoyable read.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This is my honest review.
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