Fancy getting a creepy romance thriller as an assignment for book club! This is not the kind of thing I usually read (unless I’m at the beach) and let me tell you, England in November in no way resembles a beach! But cozying up with this one was no hardship, I flew through it and couldn’t put it down! It’s not great literature, but the pleasure of a haunting suspenseful page-turner sure made up for it! There are plenty of reviewers that are comparing it to Daphne DuMaurier’s classic gothic novel Rebecca, a book which I have not read but has a very similar story line. The book Rebecca even makes an appearance in Douglas’ novel, which seems a nod and a wink from the author.
Sarah, on the rebound from a failed marriage, meets a man and his 6 year old son James on vacation in Sicily. After a strange encounter and an immediate connection with the dark, brooding Alex, she is invited to join them in Somerset to care for the boy and the household, since his mother has gone away. The thought of a new life seems like just what Sarah needs. But there are secrets and unanswered questions everywhere in the tiny town of Burrington Stoke. Alex’s beautiful and charming wife Genevieve has just disappeared. Why would she walk out and why has no one heard from her? Sarah has fallen deeply in love with Alex but actually knows nothing about him. Is he hiding something? Should she be scared? Are the rumours true? Who can she trust? What has she done…?