When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.
But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane...
That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.
She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?
As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears...
A hauntingly intelligent, addictive psychological thriller from debut author S. E. Lynes.
Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
What do people do when they get lonely? They stick to the closest person to them, no matter what kind of person is that.
Shona thinks she has everything. She works as a journalist, has the most amazing boyfriend in the world, lovely little daughter, enough money to live a normal, but not comfort life. She has a perfect family. And when Mikey suggests that they should move to the coast so he would be able to work on an oil platform, she agrees. There is perfect little cottage to live in. But with Mikey two weeks at home and two weeks on the platform, Shona becomes lonely. She tries to make some new friends but not everyone is friendly there. And then she meets Valentina. An Australian woman who has a son same age as her daughter. And they connect immediately. Valentina is a person very much alike her in the spirit. Someone to cheer her up when she feels miserable, to help her when she needs a friend. A person that she can trust, or at least she thinks so.
Shona's career as a journalist makes her curious and suspicious. And in a place where there is nothing to do, the mind starts to work in mysterious ways. Soon she starts to assume things, to notice small details, her gut is telling her that something is wrong. Very wrong!
Soon she finds herself caught in a web of lies. Can she trust the people she loves the most?
The story is told from two points of view: Shona's and Valentina's. Shona is not a naive person, but she is desperately looking for the best in people. She thinks she has everything but soon everything falls apart. And the only person she can trust is herself. Valentina is the total opposite. She seems very like Shona, but under the surface, she is like a spoiled kid who wants everything right now. And would do everything to keep her toys.
I must say that I expected a different outcome of this tensed psychological thriller, but was left with the jaw dropped. I am so glad that I didn't predict the ending, it would be such a shame for this gripping story. The ending totally blew me up! The author is a real storyteller and kept me guessing to the very last page. I loved the development of the characters, good and bad. I would love to see Valentina on the screen, I think it would be a great movie.
My opinion: 5 / 5.