The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar #Review

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 16.20.46Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start. Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream. Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will’s behaviour is severely testing the bonds of trust. Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to unbury a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she’s ever wanted at risk…

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Having spent quite a lot of time in Suffolk over the last decade or so, I was interested to see if Louise Millar would evoke the same landscape and atmosphere that I’d become accustomed to. I wasn’t disappointed! The setting is perfectly drawn, a small village cut off from civilisation by snow, with a varied mix of completely normal and friendly types, and the type of people you wish you’d never met. Then there’s Hannah and Will – a couple who are clearly battling with some issues of their own. Add to the mix: a creepy house where things go bump in the night, an over-friendly local, a stressed out Hannah, and the lure of the bright lights and carefree life that Will wishes he still had… and you’ve got a cocktail of secrets and lies, twists and turns and some genuinely unsettling moments. Made me think of The Wicker Man, Straw Dogs and at times, Fatal Attraction (I really disliked Will’s admirer. That’s all I’ll say without adding any spoilers!)

Highly Recommended.

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