Book review: The Shadow Year

BOOK: The Shadow Year
AUTHOR: Hannah Richell
PUBLISHER: Hachette Aust
RRP: $29.99

HANNAH Richell's Secrets of the Tides was one of the fabulous debuts last year; her new novel The Shadow Year will engage you from the first page in a story of secrets, lies and betrayal.

The Shadow Year weaves its way beautifully between two time periods, drawing them together as the story develops.

The story begins with five friends finding a rundown old cottage beside a pristine lake. Deciding to "drop out" for the next year, living off the land, the house is an escape for Kat and her friends.

When a stranger arrives in their midst it starts a chain of events not one of them could have thought possible.

Fast forward 30 years to a young couple struggling to get over the death of their child. Lila is not coping, spiralling into depression, until she receives the gift of a key that unlocks the door to an abandoned cottage.

With her marriage falling apart Lila decides to spend time renovating the cottage, hoping it will bring salvation.

She begins to wonder about those who lived there before; why did they leave in such a hurry, why are their belongings strewn about.

And worse, why can't she shake off the feeling someone is watching her?

The Shadow Year is tense and intriguing. It is beautifully written with compelling characters.

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