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The Secret By The Lake Hardcover – 18 April 2022
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When a tragedy forces the family Amy works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises they desperately need her help and support, so she agrees to go with them.
But Amy finds the cottage by the lake unsettling, even sinister. The house is where the children's mother spent her childhood - and the place where her seventeen-year-old sister disappeared mysteriously.
Before long, ominous truths begin rising to the surface, and Amy becomes bewitched by the missing sister's story. Can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?
Bestselling author of House by the SeaLouise Douglas returns with an enthralling and captivating novel, perfect for fans of Barbara O'Neal, Lucinda Riley and Rachel Hore.
'Crackles with repressed longing . . . the explosive ending took my breath away.' C.L. Taylor
Praise for Louise Douglas:
'Kept me guessing until the last few pages and the explosive ending took my breath away.' C.L. Taylor, author of The Accident on Your Beautiful Lies
'Beautifully written, chillingly atmospheric and utterly compelling, The Secret by the Lake is Louise Douglas at her brilliant best' Tammy Cohen, author of The Broken
'A master of her craft, Louise Douglas ratchets up the tension in this haunting and exquisitely written tale of buried secrets and past tragedy.' Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret
'A clammy, atmospheric and suspenseful novel, it builds in tension all the way through to the startling final pages.' Sunday Express, S Magazine
- Publisher : Boldwood Books Ltd (18 April 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 314 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1804262161
- ISBN-13 : 978-1804262160
- Dimensions : 15.2 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
- Customer reviews:
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I felt the editing was flimsy and a few storylines were not finished off, leaving me wondering what happened e.g. where did Daniel disappear to on their first date?
How did Daniel's father go from being a foul, abusive individual to a loving, kind father in a matter of days?
What a palaver over the pendant necklace - why did she not just come clean at the beginning?
Amy left the dog with her father but at the end, the dog appears back at her house - had the author forgotten she had given the dog away?
I found all the characters quite unlikeable - especially the mother.
I will call it a day with this author now.
Atmospheric, suspenseful and dark; for fans of Louise Douglas this is sure to delight. The story is set in the early 1960s, mostly in the remote village of Blackwater, with its vast and brooding lake; and Douglas does a stunning job of bringing her setting to life, capturing the lake in all its shifting moods, the location very much adding to the tense and eerie ambience of the book.
This story strays more into the supernatural than her previous, and is I think her creepiest yet; indeed it reads as more of a proper ghost story rather than her previous thrillers. That said the true underlying horrors in the book are very human and real in nature; the truth once it is exposed genuinely chilling and tragic. As with most of her books, the story is told at a gentle pace, building slowly to the tense climax as secrets are gradually unravelled. As such the book can at times feel a bit slow and repetitive, however, I felt that it fitted and added to the suspense of the book.
Douglas also has a gentle and tender romance evolving between Amy and one of the local villagers, Daniel Cummings; which makes for a pleasant contrast to the darker elements of the story, whilst at the same time Daniel is also an important character in the plot in his own right. I did hazard a guess at some aspects of the plot, though I wasn't sure that I would be right and certainly I didn't manage to put all of it together; however, Douglas does lay her clues throughout the story, which is cleverly told.
A haunting read, and definitely one of my favourites from Douglas.
My only criticism is she still uses American spellings !! That's a bugbear of mine, I have to say, especially in a really English-set story. I enjoyed the inclusion of Bess the dog, too. However, I didn't have a great deal of time for Julia. I thought she took advantage of poor Amy, even when she was helping her out voluntarily as a friend !! She needed a kick up the backside more than once. I liked Daniel and Caroline's characters a great deal along with little Vivi.
I had pre-ordered it for November but only just got around to it. I hadn't long read Kate Morton's The Lakehouse and as it sounded a little similar I waited a while......the very final sentence had me howling but that's a mark of a great story as well for me.