Title: Her Dark Retreat by J.A Baker
Publisher: Bloodhound books.
The coastguard’s residence Chamber Cottage, which sits high up on the North Yorkshire cliffs overlooking The North Sea, holds many dark secrets.
Alec and Peggy are struggling to overcome their marital problems. Both damaged by problems from their childhoods, they are trying to get on with their lives. But this is hard for them to do when they both believe they are being watched. As a result, Peggy, who has terrible scars on her face, becomes more agoraphobic.
To make matters worse, Peggy discovers her estranged mother is stalking both she and Alec, claiming she has a dark secret that is putting Peggy in danger.
What caused the scars on Peggy’s face? Is Alex really the monster Peggy’s mother believes him to be? And what secrets does Chamber Cottage hold?
Peggy is a successful writer but her life is a bit of a mess. Scarred from an accident when she was younger, her marriage is falling apart. Then her estranged mother comes back into her life claiming her husband, Alec, is not who he thinks he is, he’s responsible for the disappearance of a young woman called Sheryl.
I found this book so addictive, it grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let me go!
I like the way the author gives you bits of information, but not everything, so you had to read on to unravel the mystery.
It’s told from several different viewpoints: Peggy, her husband Alec, Peggy’s estranged mum Audrey, Maude, Peggy and Alec’s elderly neighbour (who is suffering from advanced dementia) and Rachel Sheryl’s sister. I know that seems a lot but I feel each viewpoint really added to the story.
I really sympathised with all the characters, flawed in their own ways. As a mother, I really identified with Audrey, all she wants is to save her daughter and she’d do anything to do that.
I have to be honest I figured out who was responsible for the disappearance of Sheryl but I feel like sometimes it’s nice to do a bit of your own detective work (in your mind of course) and you turn out to be right.
Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.
After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.
J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/thewriterjude
My website –http://www.jabakerauthor.co.uk/