Saturday, June 2, 2012

(78)Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster

Beneath the Shadows

Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Pages: 320

Grace and Adam have had a charmed life together.  They are madly in love and have a beautiful baby daughter, Millie, when they decide to move to the Yorkshire Moors and raise their daughter in an isolated cottage that Adam just inherited. Sounds idyllic, no?

They have barely unpacked when Adam turns up missing.  He had been out for a walk with Millie when he just vanished into thin air.  Millie was found unharmed in her pram (aka stroller) in the yard of the cottage, but Adam was nowhere to be found.  To say that Grace is distraught is a great understatement.  After an extensive search by the police and their new neighbors, despite Grace's protests, it was determined that Adam was a "runaway" and he just did not want to be found.  Grace knows better, though and is not about to give up on the man that she loves.

Flash forward a year.  Grace returns to the cottage determined to find out the truth about what happened to her husband.  With the grief stricken haze somewhat lifted, Grace is able to look at the cottage and her neighbors with fresh eyes.  While she wants to believe that they are all the kind and caring people they lead her to believe, she knows that one of them did something to her husband and Grace is not about to rest until she finds out what happened to Adam.

I think my favorite thing about Beneath the Shadows was the cottage.  Possibly haunted, positively ancient,  and most definitely Gothic, the authors descriptions of the cottage set the tone for me.  The rest of the story was a little more lacking for me. I wanted to like Grace but I felt the author did not give her the same kind of depth and development as she did the cottage.  The book has been called a "thrilling Gothic suspense"  - but I did not find it thrilling or suspenseful.  The story did not give me the sense of anticipation that I would have expected.  I did not feel the urgency to finish the book to find out what happened to Adam.  I almost gave up on it because it got to the point that I really just didn't care.

I did finish Beneath the Shadows, though.  The evil villain wasn't all that big of a shock to me.  The revelations about Adam's life did not really illicit the kind of response in me that I think the author was going for, but maybe that is just me.  BUT I do think fans of Gothic architecture and "haunted houses" will enjoy this book.  The house is a very important character in the book, in fact I think it was my favorite character of Beneath the Shadows. 


Sara Bell said...

Hmmm this one sounds like it could be good with a little push. It always makes me so sad when I read an amazing plot with not-so-amazing characters. It makes such a huge difference.

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