Almost gothic, the house by the lake should be tranquil and picturesque, but it isn't.
A powerful prologue sees a woman being arrested in a crime scene containing a lot of blood. The rest of the book has the story of two females who stayed at the house ten years apart. They both have suffered from living with controlling men - one a husband and one a father - and the house at the side of a lake seems like a refuge but actually feeds the sense of isolation.
The house, like the women, has no power. No running water, gas or electricity leaves the place cold and dark. The telling of the tales is eerie, creepy, atmospheric and chilling with heightened paranoia well expressed by the first person point of view narratives.
It becomes apparent that the narrators may not be reliable. There are a number of potential hallucinations, voices, shadows and blackouts. Both characters appear to be caring and decent human beings but there are indications that this is not the case. The suspense, at times, is tense with an irritable toddler to heighten the tension.
Easy to read, this is a haunting thriller. The themes deal with taking control and how people become products of their past. The ending is a bit disappointing but it is a gripping journey to there.
Published by Penguin on 20 February 2020. Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.
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