Friday, November 22, 2013

THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF by Charlotte Williams

Publisher:  Harper Collins
Date published:   January 7, 2014
: 978-0062284570
Genre:   Suspense, Mystery
Format: Electronic ARC
Obtained via:  Publisher / Above the Treeline
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Four Hearts

Psychologist Jessica Mayhew has a fairly stable and uncomplicated life.  An attentive attorney husband, two daughters who are doing fairly well and a secure practice.  She conducts therapy by the book and has a comfortable home life.

At least on the surface.

Not long ago her husband, Bob, admitted to an affair.

While one daughter is content to grow up according to her parents’ wishes, the other is determined to become an actress/singer at all costs including lying to Jessica about where she is and what she is doing.

And her clients? Well one in particular, Jean, hasn’t had much movement and quite frankly has begun to bore Jessica because she dithers and goes on and one about the simplest things—like having a curtain rod hung.  It’s come to where Jessica isn’t sure she can help Jean any further. And then one day Gwydion Morgan walks into her office.

Tall, dark, handsome and far too young for Jessica she mentally reprimands herself for even considering taking advantage of the troubled young man.  Gwydion begins by telling her he has a phobia, a unique but very real phobia.  But there is more troubling him than his fear of an inanimate object. 

Gwydion has been having dreams, troubling dreams and bit by bit memories of a childhood trauma are revealed.  Unable to cope with these dreams and memories Gwydion plunges into a deeper depression, causing Jessica to cross boundaries and seek him out outside of the therapeutic milieu. What she finds when she goes to his home, the secrets that begin to unravel can put both Gwydion and Jessica in grave danger.

THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF is the first book I’ve read by Charlotte Williams but I will certainly be looking for her future books.  While THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF takes place in the modern day, it is told in wonderful gothic fashion.  Ms. Williams has a marvellous voice for telling the story of a troubled woman who in part stands outside herself and at the same time feels the emotional destruction of her life and family falling apart around her.  The story has a timeless sense about it –that it could be happening in any time from the early 1900’s to today’s date.  At times I forgot it was a present day story and was lulled into a cocoon-like world of a small town, a secluded village that is frozen in time.

Ms. Williams tells the story in a Welsh/English that makes for the excellent story telling.

The mystery itself has such wonderful twists and turns.  At first you don’t see the mystery and once it began to unfold I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know who was behind the long ago crime.  Every time I’d think I figured out who did it another twist was unveiled.

There is a hint of romance, a well-crafted mystery and some breath holding suspense.  If you are looking for a different read, yet one that is also familiar with a good story you must check out THE HOUSE ON THE CLIFF by Charlotte Williams.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement this book.

No comments: