I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I had previously read The Ice Twins by this same author, and while I hadn’t loved that novel, I still thought it had been very well-written with a very interesting plot. I was quite excited to see how this new novel by Tremayne would hold up against her debut, so I was very happy when my request for this book was accepted.
Rachel’s marriage to handsome, rich David is a dream come true. Not only has she married a wonderful man whom she loves, she now lives in beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, and has an affectionate stepson, Jamie. But soon after moving in, Jamie’s behaviour changes and Rachel’s perfect life starts to crack. Jamie begins to make disturbing predictions and claims he can see his late mother in the house. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is there something more to it? As Rachel starts digging, suspicions begin to grow in her mind. Why is her husband so reluctant to talk about his ex-wife’s untimely death two years ago? And is there any truth to Jamie’s outbursts?
I’m still struggling to figure out what the point of this story was. It started off strong, with a mysterious introduction and beautiful descriptions of the scenery in Cornwall. I always love to hear about historic and beautiful landscapes because it gives me more travel ideas, and this novel did not disappoint on that front! I enjoyed reading about the house and the mines surrounding it, along with the way the mining industry was structured. I also enjoyed how the author drew out the story and showed how the doubts and suspicions began to surface for Rachel and David. I thought we were going to be getting to the good stuff soon… but we didn’t. It just kept taking me down more twists and turns that led to nowhere. The events leading to the end were creepy and satisfying, but the actual conclusion and reveal were more than a little disappointing. It made no sense to me, and actually led me to ask “what was the point of this whole story?!” I went back and reread segments of the story to see if something would make sense and click, but when I did that, all I could see was how unrealistic the characters were, and how their deep dark secrets were quite pathetic and didn’t live up to expectations. Overall, this novel was a bit of a disappointment, especially when compared to The Ice Twins. I hope the next book by this author will be better!