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Kat's Review of The Secret By The Lake by Louise Douglas

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Synopsis: A FAMILY TRAGEDY

Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life. When a tragedy forces the family she works for as a nanny to retreat to a small lakeside cottage, she realises she cannot leave them now.

A SISTER’S SECRET

But Amy finds something unsettling about the cottage by the lake. This is where the children’s mother spent her childhood – and the place where her sister disappeared mysteriously at just seventeen.

A WEB OF LIES

Soon Amy becomes tangled in the missing sister’s story as dark truths begin rising to the surface. But can Amy unlock the secrets of the past before they repeat themselves?

Kat’s Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: I have to confess when I read the synopsis, I wasn’t that enthused and wondered if this would be my cup of tea. The opening is set in July 1931 and instantly my heart sunk a little. Not only was this a historical book, but one with an element of the paranormal. Thankfully, I had no clue what I was talking about and found myself captured by this book from the very first pages. Once the introduction in 1931 was out the way we fast forward 30 years to April 1961 and are introduced to Amy, the main character.

Amy has been a nanny to Viviane Laurent and is extremely close to the whole family whilst livi8ng with them in France. However, when her father becomes ill she returns to Sheffield with a heavy heart to take care of him. Amy’s own family story is quite sad and one which is immediately obvious. When Amy receives a call from Julia Laurent to say that her and her daughter have moved back to Julia’s childhood home next to Blackwater Lake she thinks no more and rushes to help them.

What Amy finds is Julia and Viviane living in a house that is falling down around them and set in a village that seems on the surface to have a dark underside. Slowly but surely it seems that past secrets within Julia’s family are unveiled, however with that comes an element of murkiness. Louise Douglas has written a magically haunting and mysterious book. The plot is revealed slowly and there are many elements to the plot which add to the intrigue.

It’s fair to say I’m not a fan of the paranormal but the elements of these in the book are done so cleverly and make the reader more engaged with the story and characters. I don’t want to reveal any more of the plot lines as this is part of the beauty of reading this book. What Louise Douglas has managed to do is literally transport me back to that time within a village and community that says nothing, especially to outsiders. The ending was unveiled and I didn’t see some elements of it coming which made it so much more enjoyable. I was so absorbed by this book and absolutely loved it. I cannot recommend it highly enough and really look forward to reading other Louise Douglas books.

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