When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.
But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?
As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:
‘You will be dead by Christmas.’
So I may be the only person on the plant who hasn’t read S. K. Tremayne’s Ice Twins (though it is sat on my kindle) but I had heard so many good things about that book that I couldn’t resist requesting a copy of this one. Plus it sounded right up my street, perfect in fact – just like Rachel, her husband, and her new home.
Of course, with this type of book, you know nothing is quite how it seems and so is the case here. David and his son, eight year old Jamie, have plenty of secrets that stop that happening – many linked to the death of David’s first wife/Jamie’s mom. Rachel isn’t much better herself and one secret she is keeping is a biggie, threatening her marriage and her and Jamie’s safety. As if this wasn’t complicated enough, Jamie seems to be seeing the future, telling Rachel she will be dead by Christmas.
It’s this that really adds the tension to the book, as the countdown begins and each chapter opens with how many days are left before Christmas Day. It also makes it that little bit different – which is hard to do in what is a crowded market for this style of books – and definitely helped keep me interested. I really wanted to know if Jamie’s predictions were real or the result of a troubled child’s mind. Just how much danger was Rachel really in? And from whom?
These are the questions that I kept asking myself as I turned the pages – and I turned them at quite a pace, finishing the book in just over a day. This despite not actually being sure I liked any of the characters other than Jamie (and that might have been because he was a child). They were both pretty shallow, David especially – marrying for looks vs. love at the end of the day and obsessed with his family name – it was hard to connect with either.
I did connect with book though, which was well written and had a good pace. I really couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t and whose version of events to believe pretty much right till the end. You really can’t get better than that…meaning I liked this book a lot. A recommended read!
Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.