Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

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.

There were nice moments of suspense in this book, but overall, it didn’t live up to the potential the storyline really had.

The book has an almost gothic feel to it with a good build up of atmosphere. The creepiness in the small town and the people living in it really establish a good momentum that is, unfortunately, not taken advantage of in the main plot line.

The main character, Grace, is a woman whose husband disappeared one day after heading out for a walk with their daughter. So we expect Grace to be distraught and a bit paranoid, but she is not nearly as traumatized as we’d imagine. I would have like to have read a bit more about Adam, since he is hardly described or filled out for us. It would have made everything much more suspenseful if we’d had flashbacks or something to show a bit more about him.

  But really, the biggest problem is that it wasn’t a very original twist at the end. I won’t reveal it, but the reader can see it coming about half way through the book. That’s the most disappointing thing, especially when the author did such a nice job of setting a particular mood for us.

  If you like mysteries, this one is probably not for you because you’ve most likely read very similar stories.


Susan Oloier said...

That's so unfortunate because the blurb made it sound like a wonderful read.

Unknown said...

Well, that's a shame! the summary looked pretty good. I hate when books don't live up to their potential. =/ The cover is beautiful, too. I'll remember not to pick this one up!