- File Size: 3700 KB
- Print Length: 356 pages
- Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 10, 2018)
- Publication Date: May 10, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074W8K55L
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Retreat Kindle Edition
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|Length: 356 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“The supernatural hauntings will leave you questioning reality. Beware, this book messes with your head.” —The Sun
“Utterly compelling. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” —C. L. Taylor, author of The Fear
“One of those books that I needed to start again the minute I finished it…Thoroughly spooky, intriguing and compelling.” —Liz Nugent, author of Lying In Wait
“Mark Edwards is a natural born storyteller with the darkest of imaginations…One of the creepiest books of the year.” —Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle
“Vintage Mark Edwards; authentically everyday people trapped in uniquely frightening events.” —Paul Finch, author of Strangers
“What a ride! Full of twists I completely failed to see coming.” —Simon Lelic, author of The House
“Edwards’s best one yet. Twisty, turny, addictive reading.” —Cass Green, author of In a Cottage In a Wood
“A deliciously creepy read that will have you hooked!” —Sibel Hodge, author of Look Behind You
“Twisting and terrifying, the kind of haunting, pacy, spine-chiller that Mark Edwards is the absolute master of.” —Chris Whitaker, author of Tall Oaks
About the Author
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people, and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.
He is the author of five #1 bestsellers: Follow You Home, The Magpies, Because She Loves Me, The Devil’s Work and The Lucky Ones, along with What You Wish For and six novels co-written with Louise Voss.
Originally from the south coast of England, Mark now lives in the West Midlands with his wife, their three children, two cats and a golden retriever.
Mark loves hearing from readers and can be contacted via his website, www.markedwardsauthor.com.
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The story is told in the first person by the main protagonist who arrives at Writers Retreat to write his novel. The retreat is located in a remote location and the mystery of drowning deaths adds to the spookiness of the place. Was the drowning an accident, a murder or are supernatural forces at play as suggested by local folk tales? And what else is going on and for how long?
I could sometimes guess what will happen in few next pages (which was actually a nice feeling) but the ending was a huge surprise and I enjoyed it very much. In my opinion this is one of the best books by Mr. M. Edwards and I highly recommend it to those looking for a light and engaging mystery.
Mark Edwards is an author that certainly appeals to lot of people. He writes psychological mysteries involving regular, normal people. For this book he combined an actual event involving children – though not the one in this book – and the known fact that there can be strange beliefs held within different communities. Beliefs that will be guarded.
The Retreat is set in Wales, which was of interest to me, and before I started I googled the place the invented town was supposed to be close to. Lovely hills and forests. Flowers too. Daffodils. Wild daffodils even appear in the book.
The text of The Retreat flows very naturally and it is easy to read. Sentences are rather more short than long. Characters can be described with two distinguishing features like for example bald head combined with bad teeth. Mark Edwards is clearly able to use varied techniques to make the reader involved. There are cliffhangers at the end of the chapters and occasionally one has to wait a chapter, as the book goes back in time. Mark Edwards, however, does not overdo this. Though going back in time and unfolding gradually from the viewpoint of the lost little girl could be experienced as a bit of a cop out. And actually, I did not take long to read the book, but this was also because I had some time to fill.
How should I rate the book? I am hovering between three and four. It is a light read and as such cannot get a five. Yet, it was entertaining and Mark Edwards worked hard to come up with a plausible scenario, even if it is a bit far fetched, and the final hit can be seen coming. I don’t consider that I have wasted my time, but after two pretty similar easy reads (The Retreat and The Chalk Man), I am now considering Margaret Attwood’s (Handmaid’s Tale) or a classic to satisfy me next.
Top international reviews
Know what a torch is, that’s just really annoying.
Some chapters were incredulous and the misleading "clues" just didn't hold water. Felt the writer was attempting to get people on board by writing about every subject to keep you engaged. Not for me - but if you like a book about a "lost" child, dead alcoholic father, "ghosts" and hints of child molestation, then this is for you.
Twists and turns.
As always, the writing style is absolutely first-class, the book is so easy to read, however I didn’t like the storyline itself. It was all a bit too unbelievable for me.
I’m a big fan of this author though and look forward to his next publication.
The book guides you down many roads with an end result which kept me on my toes. Lucas is a likeable character who can somewhat be annoying in his decisions; it had me screaming in my head "just leave!" but what sort of story would that end up being!
I'll admit it seemed a different take on Mark Edwards's usual writes, but I enjoyed it all the same. I didn't find it too far fetched and loved the fact it was set in a small village full of superstition, rather than the busy bustle of London like most UK authors.
Meet Julia, the central character in this story around whom all the other characters pivot. She is Lily’s mum and is clearly haunted by her daughter’s disappearance and her husband’s death – both events that happened on the same day. She has opened The Retreat in an attempt to move on, but it’s proving harder than she anticipated. As far as the superstitious locals are concerned, Lily was taken by The Widow, a local legend who is said to take a child every 35 years, unless one is ‘sacrificed’ to her. According to the police, Lily drowned in the same way her father did when trying to rescue her, but without a body and not one for believing in ghost stories, Julia refuses to accept either version of events. She has kept Lily’s room exactly as she left it and still charges her iPad every two weeks, in the belief that she is still out there and one day, will return.
Lucas is a one-hit-wonder horror writer who has come to stay at The Retreat in an attempt to get his new novel written. Around the same time that Lily went missing, Lucas lost his wife and he and Julia begin to bond over their grief. Before long, strange things start to happen. A new guest arrives – Ursula, who claims to be able to communicate with a Spirit Guide and promises Julia the proof she needs of Lily’s death. Things go missing. People start to die – seemingly naturally and unconnected to one another. Lucas hears child-like singing coming from one of the rooms, and then Zara, a Private Detective hired by Lucas to look in to Lily’s disappearance, goes missing.
The tension builds until an ultimately satisfying conclusion which I am not going to give away! I absolutely loved it from start to finish.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Thomas and Mercer for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The plot started off well, with a group of writers gathering at a secluded retreat run by widower, Julia. Mystery surrounds the disappearance of her young daughter Lily, who is believed to have drowned along with her husband. Lucas, one of the writers, is determined to discover what really happened to her. So far so good, but then it turned into a rather weird ghost story with local witch legends coming into play. Eerie things happen, there was some tension, but, as the story progressed, things became too far fetched and my interest tailed off.
I'd still be open to reading other work by this author as the writing was good enough to keep me reading to the conclusion. This one though, was sadly disappointing.
I really loved this read. It was well written and descriptions of people and locations were very clear. Not once did the book bore me in the slightest nor did I think 'get on with It' like I do with some books. I was kept interested all the way through. Books of this length normally take me about two weeks to read but I was so keen to know the answers I think I read the last 40% of the book over the weekend.
I'm keen to read more from the author now.
I loved every page of this and had to deliberately slow down towards the end so that I didn't spoil it by reading too quickly and not thoroughly enjoying the last few pages. I was very happy that all of the loose ends were tied and all I will say, without giving the story away, is that I'm so glad the writer didn't take the easy way out at the end. I loved that I was quite scared while reading it, like watching a scary film! and the creepy legends involved and some of the very unsettling characters as well.
Read this book, I guarantee you will enjoy it.
Brilliant characters and twists and turns made me unable to guess what happened next.
The only thing I could say tho is as 8 year olds Megan and Lily seem too mature for their age. I have an 11 year old and I'm not entirely sure he would have such grown up conversations and thoughts as these two do. It especially struck me about going on a date night...! regardless an amazing book and I'd recommend it to everyone.
Have a great day and I am looking for more of your work x