Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Shadows by Thorne Moore
Release Date: 14th June 2017
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Genres: Domestic Noir / Psychological Crime / Paranormal /Women's Lit

Kate Lawrence can sense the shadow of violent death, past and present. In her struggle to cope with her unwelcome gift, she has frozen people out of her life. Her marriage is on the rocks, her career is in chaos and she urgently needs to get a grip. 

So she decides to start again, by joining her effervescent cousin Sylvia and partner Michael in their mission to restore and revitalise Llys y Garn, an old mansion in the wilds of North Pembrokeshire. 

It is certainly a new start, as she takes on Sylvia’s grandiose schemes, but it brings Kate to a place that is thick with the shadows of past deaths. The house and grounds are full of mysteries that only she can sense, but she is determined to face them down – so determined that she fails to notice that ancient energies are not the only shadows threatening the seemingly idyllic world of Llys y Garn. 
The happy equilibrium is disrupted by the arrival of Sylvia’s sadistic and manipulative son, Christian - but just how dangerous is he? 
Then, once more, Kate senses that a violent death has occurred… 
Set in the majestic and magical Welsh countryside, Shadows is a haunting exploration of the dark side of people and landscape.
‘Is it haunted, Kate?’ Sylvia clapped her hands, like a child wanting ice-cream. ‘Oh please, please say there’s a ghost down here.’
‘There’s a ghost down here.’
‘No seriously, please tell me. You’d sense one, I know.’
What the hell. I closed my eyes solemnly. ‘I detect – a definite shiver of fear.’
‘Is that all? I was hoping for a white lady. If only we had battlements. I’m sure we’d have had a white lady, walking in the moonlight.’
‘Perhaps we can persuade one to move in.’
‘Yes!’ Sylvia gripped my arm. ‘A ghost hotel! We could get a licence to serve spirits!’
We were still laughing as we climbed back to the buttery. To finish, she led me on into the second small room, under the upper chamber.
As before, a low square room. One tiny window, two doors, stained walls, stone floor, just another empty room. ‘Not sure what to call this one,’ babbled my cousin. ‘Think of a good name. The armoury! I wonder if we could get a suit of armour.’ She was already opening the far door, into a panelled arch through deep masonry back into the Great Hall.
Just a doorway to Sylvia.
But not to me. Oh God, not to me.
‘Come on,’ she sang. ‘Where next?’
I watched her pass through, amazed that she could sense nothing. Rigid in my determination to conquer, I followed her, trying to block out the shadow, to refuse it entry into my brain.
    I couldn’t. It overwhelmed my defences, enveloping me in a black cloud. Huge atavistic fear, searing thirst, gut-wrenching despair. I could feel the interweaving strands of emotion like filaments of rot, tightening around me, meshing in my lungs, my veins, my bones. How could Sylvia possibly not feel this?

I became an instant Thorne Moore fan when I read her book The Unravelling (check out my review HERE ) and Shadows delivered another instant hit for me. This is another one of those books that as you read it you instantly think how wonderful it would be to have it made into a TV drama. It has all those important elements - mystery, brilliantly crafted characters and a villain!

Kate Lawrence can sense death. She can't actually see ghosts or foretell that someone is about to die but can sense their passing. She senses their pain and their anguish in their final moments. A huge burden and one that has affected her every day life. Something she certainly does not view as a gift. These Shadows of death almost haunt her. For Kate, its a definite curse and has turned her into a cool and aloof person who keeps her thoughts and feelings firmly under wraps. Life is easier that way than having to explain what she senses. The book opens with Kate, under police interrogation, sensing the death of her boss. This proves the final straw for Kate and she decides to take up her cousin Sylvia's offer of going into partnership to move to the countryside and redevelop and old mansion with is surrounding outbuildings alongside Sylvia's partner Michael who has a bit of a mysterious past.  Kate wants to prove herself and face her demons head on move into a place steeped in mystery, murder and for Kate, sensing very strongly the deaths that took place within its walls.

Kate soon settled into her new lifestyle despite being overwhelmed by the horrors of the past and still licking her wounds from her failed marriage. She even becomes quite friendly with the local builder Al who is brought in to help with the restoration work. He and his band of co-workers and friends are travellers who the police are desperate to catch out. Al however is not who he seems and I was quite surprised when we finally find out his background. He was an interesting character with lots going on in the background. He's fiercely protective of his sister Kim and with good reason. Sometimes however, this affects his common sense and he approaches things like a bull in a china shop.

However, things soon turn sour very quickly for Kate when her cousin's son Christian, who is a horrible and despicable young man, turns up and creates merry havoc for everyone. He is a bit of a shady character and I love how well Thorne Moore has written him. He is the type of character we all love to hate. I adore a well written villain! Things begin to feel very uncertain for Kate now and life at Llys y Garn starts to unravel.

I don't want to give too much more away about the story, suffice to say its got lots of mystery, lots of villainy and the odd body or two! I found it to be a gripping book. My only criticism would be that I couldn't get my head around the relationship between Kate and her ex husband Peter. That aside, this is a book I'd highly recommend. I was glued to it and you will be too! 


Thorne was born in Luton and graduated from Aberystwyth University (history) and from the Open University (Law). She set up a restaurant with her sister but now spends her time writing and making miniature furniture for collectors. She lives in Pembrokeshire, which forms a background for much of her writing, as does Luton. She writes psychological mysteries, or "domestic noir," and her first novel, A Time For Silence, was published by Honno in 2012. Her second Motherlove, was published in 2015 and her third, The Unravelling, came out in 2016. A collection of short stories, Moments of Consequence, came out the same year. She's a member of the Crime Writers Association.

One Response so far.

  1. Thank you so much for this.

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