I’ve always thought of a writer’s retreat as a serene oasis in the middle of nowhere where authors sit quietly tapping away on laptop keyboards, sipping whiskey on the rocks and thoughtfully rubbing their chins occasionally. Mark Edwards has created a decidedly unrelaxing destination in his small town in Wales, the setting for this particular retreat.
Two years ago Julia lost her family in a dreadful accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter Lily in a river. Even after all this time Lily’s body has never been found and Julia still carries a spark of hope that somewhere Lily is still alive. Needing to make ends meet she decides to turn her remote country house into a writer’s retreat. The remote location is beautiful and she hopes it will prove inspiring.
One of her first guests is Lucas, a horror writer. A tragedy in his personal life has left him struggling with his latest book. Up against a deadline from his publisher it is time for him to leave London and find the book inside him that he is struggling to get to grips with.
When Lucas learns about Julia’s past he becomes obsessed with Lily and the search to find out what really happened to her. In the dark woods by the house he discovers a deadly secret, one beyond even his ghoulish imagination.
A superb mix of urban legends, folklore and the supernatural fuel this fascinating and engaging thriller. Another masterpiece from Edwards and one that you won’t be able to put down once you start reading.
Supplied by Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication date: May 10 2018. 356 pages.