When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.
But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?
As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:
‘You will be dead by Christmas.’
I like this atmospheric tale, which uses its mystical Cornwall setting cleverly to enhance the suspense. The plot is twisty and spine chilling, building up to the most devastating secret. The characters and events are vividly written and the first person point of view makes the story frightening real. In contrast to the mystery and thrills, there is a poignant story of loss and abuse, which gives the story its authenticity.
Rachel has an ideal life; love, an enchanting stepson and a beautiful house but not surprisingly everything is not what it seems. Strange happenings and dangerous confidences mar Rachel’s idyll and force her to face her painful past and secrets she has kept hidden. David is a slave to his family heritage and keeping up appearances. Grief stricken Jamie struggles between reality and imagination or is it all in Rachel’s mind?
An interesting psychological thriller, with plenty of emotion and flawed characters to keep it believable.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins via NetGalley in return for an honest review.