When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start. Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.
Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.
Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home?
I love this kind of psychological thriller. One that gets under your skin.
Stina and Jack are soon to be parents and are excited to be escaping the trappings of the city for the rural village of Avoncote. They soon become friends with their elderly neighbour, Mrs Barley.
Then Stina sees a mysterious man in their neighbours garden, she begins to hear noises at night and finds out that other people in the village don’t trust Mrs Barley. Is their new friend what she seems?
From the beginning of this book, you’re drawn into something sinister and this feeling bubbles throughout the novel. The suspense is built up so well that I couldn’t really get a grip on how the story was going to play out.
The characters are well developed and I did find Mrs Barley unsettling. I also didn’t quite know what to make of Jack. Anne Wynn Clark does a good job at driving doubt into the reader, making them feel unsure of all the characters.
I really didn’t want to put this novel down, wanting to know what was going on. Who was the mysterious man? Was Mrs Barley like the village portrayed her to be? So many questions that I NEEDED the answer to and a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.
As well as the thriller aspect, there is a lot of emotion and themes of loss in this novel and I feel it was tackled well.
There is not a lot more I can say without giving it away and I really hope it’s a book you’ll discover for yourself. It’s a great thriller with a very unexpected ending.
I am looking forward to seeing what Anne Wyn Clark does next.
(Thank you to Anne, Avon Books and Netgalley for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.)
About Anne Wyn Clark:
She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that…) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions.
She has a penchant for visiting old graveyards and speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath.
Say hello to Anne on Twitter.
Whisper Cottage was released on 2nd September by Avon Books UK. Click to view on Amazon UK.
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