Rebecca has recently inherited a large house of the coast of Cornwall. She, her fiancé, and his fourteen year old daughter Ava, have moved down to Cornwall from Hertfordshire. They plan to ‘do up’ the old garage and convert it into a holiday let. Rebecca and Ava are often there alone because Ava’s father Daniel spends his weeks in the city for work. They are both quite pleased by this as Daniel’s presence is accompanied by tension and sometimes even fear…
Rebecca was brought up in this area and has emotional ties to the woman who bequeathed her Blackwater House. Rebecca had a traumatic childhood. Her mother was a drug addict who slept with various men to support her habit. As a result Rebecca was usually left to her own devices and had to mostly fend for herself – not always successfully. Gwen, the woman who owned Blackwater House took her in and gave her some support.
On New Year’s Eve, Ava is having a sleepover with several of her new friends in the newly renovated garage. In the middle of the night, one of these girls comes to the door and tells Rebecca that Ava is missing! Thus starts the beginning of a harrowing ordeal for Rebecca.
The policewoman assigned to be the family liaison officer is a woman who Rebecca went to school with. Kate Winters suspects that there is more going on here than just a missing child. Her gut tells her that she’s missing something.
Told via the viewpoints of Rebecca and Kate, then finally Ava, this novel contains myriad plot twists as Rebecca’s full backstory gradually comes to light.
The setting was rife with atmosphere – the imposing, isolated house overlooking the Cornish coast. The remote, insular village. The volatile, and often violent Daniel…
This is my first novel from this author and I quite enjoyed it. The winning combination of setting, characterization and twisty plot was very much to my liking. If pressed to pick a favorite character I would have to choose the policewoman, Kate Winters. I would love to see her return in future books.
Themes of traumatic childhoods, vengeance, secrecy, vigilante justice and atonement permeate the novel. Although some of the scenes might appear ‘over the top’, I recommend you just ‘go with it’, and attribute these to artistic license.
Recommended to all those who enjoy a psychological thriller that keeps you on your toes. Wondering who to trust, wondering how it will end…
Vikki Patis is the bestselling author of psychological thrillers In the Dark (2021), The Wake (2020), Girl, Lost (2020), The Girl Across the Street (2019), and The Diary (2018). Her latest psychological suspense novel, Return to Blackwater House, will be published in March 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton.
She is represented by Emily Glenister at DHH Literary Agency and also writes historical fiction as Victoria Hawthorne. Her first historical suspense novel, The House at Helygen, will be published in April 2022 by Quercus.
When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, baking gluten free cakes, or walking in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner, cat, and two dogs.