Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Title:  Beneath the Shadows
Author:  Sara Foster
Rating: 4/5

Summary:  A year after her husband, Adam, vanishes outside their Yorkshire moor cottage, Grace returns with her infant daughter Millie.  However, when the weather turns nasty and the winter storms threaten to cut her off from the rest of the world Grace makes a discovery and now must attempt to get her daughter back from the one person intent on taking her away, praying she can get to them on time.

Review:  North Yorkshire has been setting to some of my favorite stories throughout my reading career Dracla, Wuthering Heights, and that in and of itself gives this story brownie points in my book.  After Adam’s mother dies of cancer, he moves in with his grandparents, after attending University and meeting Grace, he marries her, their daughter born within their first year of marriage.  Adam’s grandparents die, and leave him the cottage, so they move from London to the cottage in North Yorkshire.  After they move into the cottage, Adam takes Millie for a walk – Millie is returned, Adam however is not found. 
The tiny village near the cottage is pretty much deserted; however, there is still an old schoolhouse where Meredith and her daughter Claire live. Claire is fine, however, there is something being masked by Meredith’s perfectly polite demeanor.  Ben, the handyman/contractor Grace hires to renovate the cottage is also hiding something…and no one is willing to divulge their secrets.  Winter’s approaching, and this often means snowstorms that keep drivers from being able to see the road, along with a grandfather clock that stops and starts at 3am, and we can’t forget the stories in Ghosts of the Moors – all of these things are slowly doing their best to drive Grace slightly mad. 
The sense of menace is real in this story, and the setting only adds to it and brings it more into being.  The mysteries surrounding Adam’s disappearance, Ben’s secret, and Meredith’s less than honest welcoming attitude are all eventually revealed.  My only disappoint me is that it didn’t have a bit more touch on Wicker Man/Harvest Home theme to it.  My only complaint that dropped this down from a five star review was the constant use of “tears streaming down her face” in reference to Grace when she was crying (which happened frequently).

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