I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards. My thanks go to publishers Thomas and Mercer for providing an advance copy for review and to Eleanor Hemming for inviting me to join the tour. Here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
Isabel’s life seemed perfect. Successful business, beautiful house, adoring husband. And then she was dead.
For four years Jessica has never doubted that her sister Isabel’s death was an accident. But when Jessica’s young daughter seems to know long-forgotten details about her aunt’s past, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that there’s a more sinister truth behind the tragedy.
As Jessica unearths disturbing revelations about her sister, and about the people she loved and trusted most, it becomes clear Isabel’s life was less than perfect and that Jessica’s might also be at risk.
Did someone murder Isabel? Are they now after Jessica and her family? The key seems to lie in the hands of a child. Can Isabel reveal the truth from beyond the grave, or is the answer closer to home?
In Her Shadow is a gripping tale of family secrets, lies and obsession from the two million copy bestselling author Mark Edwards.
Did she fall or was she pushed? That is the question underlining the whole of In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards. Jessica was devoted to her sister and her death hit her hard. She has always believed it was nothing more than a tragic accident although her mother has always insisted there was more to Isabel’s death than that. When Jessica’s daughter Olivia starts telling Jessica all about things that happened to the aunt she has never met, the line between what is thought to be known and what is suspected start to blur.
It is fair to say that this book is quite creepy. Not in an obvious ‘oh look there’s a ghost’ kind of way but in the slow building sense of unease that you get as you progress through the chapters. At first it is easy to dismiss Olivia’s behaviour as the actions of a child with an imaginary friend. Would it be so unbelievable for that friend to be her aunt given how much Jessica adored her sister? Probably not. But when she starts to say things that she cannot possibly have known, sing songs that she has never heard and even foretell of tragedies which are soon to occur … well you have to wonder if the child might just be haunted.
There are no all out spook moments in this novel. It’s not that kind of book. But Mark Edwards has created an unsettling atmosphere even in the most routine of actions, the simplest of conversations. It is always hard to tell with young children as they often say things in the most innocent of ways without understanding what they are saying or the impact it has, but the story is written in such a way that you always feel there is something just a little bit more than that.
Although largely written from Jessica’s point of view the book is littered with chapters filling in Isabel’s life in the months leading up to her death. Explaining the reasons whey she turned to drink, the very thing that made it so easy to believe her death was an accident. These passages are quite telling and lead you to a whole host of suspects if, in fact, it does turn out that her death wasn’t quite so straight forward. And then there is Jessica’s own investigation, her determination to get to the truth of how Olivia can know so much about a person she never met. This is a book full of secrets, slowly uncovered the more you read, with nobody being as trustworthy as they first appear.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, elements that you may or may not see coming. Certainly I was suspicious of one or two characters quite early on. Perhaps not in the way they were written but there was enough to get my senses tingling and not to trust them completely. You will definitely be led up quite a few garden paths until you find the right door to go knocking on, and the person it reveals may well surprise you. And then there’s that killer ending. Just when you think that everything is sorted, that you know what really happened … Well, it wouldn’t be a Mark Edwards book if he didn’t deliver that last moment of uncertainty now would it?
As you would expect, the story flows smoothly, the tension ramping up and dying down as the action dictates. You now you re in for a great read when you pick up a Mark Edwards novel, and while the pacing may not have felt as fast as some of the other books I have read, the story is truly compelling and I still found myself at the end of the book really quickly. Now I’m a gal who loves ghost stories, the spookier the better, and this wasn’t perhaps as skin crawlingly creepy as I like, but it did make me wonder, with enough suspense to keep me on edge until the very last page.
If you would like a copy of In Her Shadow it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.
His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK and has sold 300,000 copies to date. This was followed by What You Wish For(2014), Because She Loves Me (2014; also a No.1 bestseller in the UK) and Follow You Home (2015).
He also co-writes with Louise Voss. Their novels are: Killing Cupid (2011); Catch Your Death (2011); All Fall Down (2012); Forward Slash and a series featuring Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon, starting with From the Cradle(2014) and The Blissfully Dead (2015). Read more about Voss & Edwards.
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. He now writes full-time and lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat, Billie, who was named after an actress from Doctor Who.
When he’s not writing or looking after children, Mark reads a lot, devours TV box sets and spends far too much time on Twitter and Facebook, where he loves chatting with readers. He also wishes he had more time to do the activity he loves most: karaoke. Website.
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