Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beneath the Shadows

When Grace and her husband, Adam, move to the moors of North Yorkshire, England, they are expecting to establish a new life with their infant daughter, Millie, and escape the hustle and bustle of London. Within a few short weeks, however, Grace finds her world turned upside down when Adam doesn’t return from a walk and the baby carriage with Millie in it shows up abandoned on their front porch. Alone in a community with a frozen landscape and cold neighbors, Grace vows to solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance. In this delightful thriller, Sara Foster crafts the story of a woman desperate for answers as she attempts to make sense after her husband vanishes. Although the novel starts off slow and has some decidedly British phrases, Beneath the Shadows emphasizes the isolation and disconnected state that can arise after a traumatic event. After one year away, Grace decides to return to the village from which Adam disappeared in order to clean out the cottage and perhaps get some answers. While trying to come to terms with her new life, Grace becomes connected with some of the residents of the village, including the local matriarch, Meredith, and her daughters, and Ben, an attractive architect. What Grace quickly learns, however, is that these individuals have deep secrets and share ghostly histories. Between trying to plan for an uncertain future and discovering the past of a missing husband, Grace gains insight into her strengths and resolves to move on for her sake, and the sake of Millie. Grace is likeable, but seems to get lost in her thoughts easily. The book does start off a bit slow, but the intensity and excitement builds as the novel nears its end. Foster is able to craft a clever and engaging story which is not fully resolved until the final page when all of the loose ends come together. This doesn’t have the excitement and adventure of a typical mystery novel, but Beneath the Shadows was enough to spook me a bit if I read it just before bed. The story is original with unexpected twists and turns and is certainly worth it, even if there were moments that were a bit slow.

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