I received an ARC of Shadows from the author in return for an honest review. I gave the novel 5* out of 5*
A compelling blend of mystery and family drama with a gothic twist, by the Top Ten bestselling author of A Time for Silence
Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present.
In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life.
Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip.
So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire.
It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths.
The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn.
The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian – but just how dangerous is he?
Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred…
Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.
I have long been a fan of Thorne Moore’s work and, for me, Shadows, yet again, proves what a brilliant tale teller she is.
The author’s ability to create an atmosphere is exceptional. In Shadows the descriptions of the rooms and spaces within Llys y Garn provide an eerie, dark presence and a vaguely distant, though dangerous, affluence in its history. It’s a great background for the novel. In contrast the narratives portraying the surrounding Welsh countryside underline the myths, the legends of the land, the beauty of the settings, to give a wonderful sense of place.
The characters are excellent; believable and rounded they instil either empathy, dislike, or exasperation. I loved the protagonist, Kate, and found myself willing her to make the right choices; to stay safe. In contrast, the character of her ex-husband and even sometimes, the lovable cousin, Sylvia, frustrated me. And I despised the “sadistic and manipulative son, Christian” (even though I hadn’t read the book blurb at the time) – I suppose that’s a sign of as well portrayed, multi layered character. And there is one character who was a great disappointment for me… saying no more here
The book description gives a good outline of this steadily-paced plot; what it doesn’t say, obviously, is how the reader is drawn into the story from the onset and then, piece by piece, caught up in the twists and turns of the narrative.
This is is a book I recommend, without hesitation.
Praise for Thorne Moore
‘Thorne Moore is a huge talent. Her writing is intensely unsettling and memorable.’ – Sally Spedding
Thorne Moore was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University and the Open University. She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or “domestic noir,” including A Time For Silence, Motherlove and The Unravelling.
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