Grace’s husband disappeared one evening leaving their baby girl in her stroller just outside their front door. The police and neighbours search for him but the general consensus is he got tired of being a grown up and split. Grace moves back to the city, leaving their new life in the country behind. But not really, because she moves back to the tiny village a year later to decide what to do with the house and possibly figure out what happened that night.
It took me two tries to get into Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster. The first time, I was cranky with it. I wasn’t liking the writing style, too much tell, and Grace has suspicious eyes for everyone without any real explanation (also some weird formatting error with my ecopy was making me crazy). I actually put this aside for a month, which was a good thing, because whatever my problem was the first time had fluttered away. I was liking it a lot. I wanted to know what was going on in that house and the gothic atmosphere was A-OK. I’m still not in love with Foster’s writing style but either she improved as the book went on or I got used to it.
About that gothic atmosphere. Grace’s house, which is actually her husband’s grandparents’ old house, is in the Yorkshire moors. Of course it is. It snows a lot, leaving her stuck in the house. She has a weird neighbour and it just wouldn’t be a gothic novel without a loony family. Then there’s the house which has a freaky clock and a creepy basement.
Although there were parts that were Nancy Drew-esque (the mysterious ticking clock), I ended up liking Beneath the Shadows. The ending wasn’t that much of a surprise but I was interested enough in what happened to Grace’s husband that any faults the book had I could overlook. I also appreciated the nods to Rebecca sprinkled here and there.
This is a nice quick read for a sultry summer night, thoughts of winter snowstorms will keep you cool.
Thanks to St Martin’s Press for the review copy via NetGalley.