From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Bolton's superb third thriller, the Fletchers—mother Alice, father Gareth, 10-year-old Tom, six-year-old Joe, and two-year-old Millie—receive an icy welcome on moving to isolated Heptonclough, England. When Tom swears he sees a young girl watching him from the shadows, everyone assumes it's his overactive imagination or maybe local kids playing a joke. But when one such prank puts Millie's life in danger, the Rev. Harry Laycock, a vicar who's also new to the area, suspects something more sinister might be at work. Through Dr. Evi Oliver, a psychiatrist, Harry meets a patient of Evi's, Gillian Royle, who's still distraught over the death of her young daughter in a mysterious house fire three years earlier. Harry soon discovers disturbing links between the death of Gillian's daughter and the fates of two other girls. Bolton (Awakening) expertly balances the gothic supernatural elements with a crackling psychological plot, leaving readers breathless until the last page. (June)
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Harry, the new church vicar in the small English village of Heptonclough, has plenty of experience counseling troubled parishioners. But lately he has found himself dealing with more than malaise. Three little girls have been abducted and killed, and all of their deaths are tied in some way to the church. A recent attempt has been made on the life of little Millie Fletcher, whose family moved to Heptonclough from America with dreams of peaceful days. The Fletchers’ home is very near the cemetery, and Millie’s brothers, Tom and Joe, tell tales of an eerie woman who haunts the graveyard. Is she the one responsible for the murders, or is she just trying to warn others of Heptonclough’s ills? When young Joe Fletcher disappears, Harry, a team of detectives, and a lovely psychiatrist named Evi work together to collar the culprit. Bolton’s latest modern gothic thriller (after Awakening, 2009) serves up plenty of chills and some nice romantic chemistry between Harry and Evi. But her ending is rushed and far too far-fetched, even for readers willing to suspend disbelief. --Allison Block
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