This is the story of two sisters, Isabel (Izzy) and Jessica. One dead, and one very much alive.
Jessica is still mourning the loss of Isabel who died when she fell from a balcony in her home five years ago. Since she was drinking and had drugs in her system, the death was ruled an accident. Isabel was always the prettiest one, the smartest one, the one with so much going for her… Jessica had always felt to be in the shadow of her older, more beautiful sister.
Now Jessica is married to Will, and the mother of ten-year-old Felix and four-year-old Olivia. The family live in the London suburb of Beckenham with their aging golden retriever, Caspar.
Since Izzy died just weeks after Jessica told her of her pregnancy with Olivia, her young daughter had never had the opportunity to meet her aunt Isabel. Yet lately, Olivia has seemed obsessed with the auntie she never knew… She suddenly seems to intuit things that only Isabel would have known. She seems…. possessed. Jessica wonders if her little daughter has chosen Isabel as an imaginary friend. Can she credit all that is going on to the overactive imagination of a four-year-old? But would that explain all the weird coincidences and Olivia’s disturbing behaviour? Olivia seems to predict certain dire events. The death of the school’s dinner lady, the burning down of another school, the illness of a goat, etc. How CAN she know this stuff??? There seemed no rational explanation… Olivia is acting out at school. Her room looks as if it had been ransacked and her soft toys have their eyes gouged out.
Jessica has always leaned toward belief in spirits. Could Izzy be trying to tell her that she didn’t fall from the balcony five years ago? Could she have been pushed??? Is Isabel using her young daughter as a conduit to communicate?
Also, Jessica has felt that she is being watched. Several times she spotted a grey Hyundai following her or parked up outside her house.
Could Jessica’s entire family be in the shadow of her late sister?
Once again, Mark Edwards has served a cunning cocktail of genres to his readers. At any one time you are uncertain if this is a mystery? a thriller? domestic noir? or, as is easily assumed, a paranormal thriller. Though I would never spoil it for future readers so you’ll have to discover the truth for yourself.
What I do know is that the author has a way of keeping the reader engaged. His devious plotting and very real characters make for an enjoyable read. His use of short chapters moves the narrative along.
The story is told mostly from Jessica’s point of view with a few chapters told by Isabel in the weeks leading up to her untimely death.
Having just read another of his novels “Follow you home” I feel I am well versed in his writing technique and can recommend his work to others. Others who, like me, enjoy a good fast-paced thriller.
I received a digital copy of this novel from Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing UK) via NetGalley. I was pleased to be asked to be part of this blog tour by Eleanor Hemming of MidasPR.
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.
His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK and has sold 300,000 copies to date. This was followed by What You Wish For(2014), Because She Loves Me (2014; also a No.1 bestseller in the UK) and Follow You Home (2015).
He also co-writes with Louise Voss. Their novels are: Killing Cupid (2011); Catch Your Death (2011); All Fall Down (2012); Forward Slash and a series featuring Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon, starting with From the Cradle(2014) and The Blissfully Dead (2015). Read more about Voss & Edwards.
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. He now writes full-time and lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat, Billie, who was named after an actress from Doctor Who.
When he’s not writing or looking after children, Mark reads a lot, devours TV box sets and spends far too much time on Twitter and Facebook, where he loves chatting with readers. He also wishes he had more time to do the activity he loves most: karaoke.