Book Review: Lost Girl by J.C. Grey

Book Review: Lost Girl by J.C. GreyLost Girl by J.C. Grey

Published by Bloomsbury on 23 Jan 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Girls & Women, Thrillers
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
three-half-stars
She’s the ‘It’ girl who had it all—so why has she run?

Emerald Reed-McAllister, a high-profile model and stylist, has always been careful to make sure no one sees the real her. Not even her husband Marc—ambitious, intelligent and adoring—knows the real Em.

So when tragedy sends a wrecking ball through her seemingly perfect world, she flees—heading far away from the life she has created for herself. After a near collision in the dark, Em, in a panic, steers off the road and discovers Lammermoor House, a crumbling old ruin that seems mysteriously welcoming—even, just perhaps, a sanctuary.

As the days pass, Em starts to believe the house is having a healing effect on her battered soul. But not everyone is happy about Em being there … A series of odd events make Em feel a little uneasy. Was the flicker of movement in a window just a bird flying by or something else? Why are some in town so insistent she leave right away? And what is behind the locked door on the first floor?

But as the house slowly begins to reveal its secrets, past and present collide with devastating impact and Em finally comes to understand what really matters. And to save what she treasures most, Em will have to face all the ghosts of the past…

An atmospheric and haunting story of mystery and romance from a modern-day Australian Daphne Du Maurier.

Emerald has it all. She’s got the gorgeous, successful husband and she graces the fashion pages as the current “it” girl. But things in her life aren’t perfect.

Running away from her problems, Em finds herself in a small town to try and find herself again. After finding a beautiful yet abandoned house in ruins, Em feels a connection with the run down manor. Still not prepared to go back to her former life, Em makes a life in the derelict house. But the house is not all it appears to be. Strange things occur and there are rumours that Lammermoor House is haunted. As Em discovers the secrets of the house, she reflects on her own past and realises she and Lammermoor House have a lot in common. They both have ghosts from their pasts they need to deal with.

Lost Girl is a book which sent tingles down my spine. On the surface it’s a mystery novel set in a dilapidated mansion which had seen much better days. But there is a lot more to the story than haunted houses and the inhabitants who used to live there. This is also a story about grief and acceptance. Em is a model who feels like her husband is too good to be true. She fears for the day when the rug gets pulled out from beneath her. So instead of waiting to be blind-sighted – she runs. Over the course of the novel we get to see flashbacks of Em’s life with Marc and just why she is so flighty.

This is a book which took a me little time to get used to the style. It’s told in first person present tense which I found awkward at first but soon came to realise it just emphasised Em’s frame of mind. She is of the moment not taking time to think about longer term consequences or her past. When we first meet her she does come across as a spoilt princess type but I think that was more a reflection of how others see her and not how she perceives herself.

Lammermoor House had a presence of its own making it feel more like a character than a setting. I loved the descriptions of the house and what it came to meant to Em as she got to know the house better. The drama of Em’s life combined with the dark secrets lurking within Lammermoor’s walls made Lost Girl a compelling read. I did want to find out not only what was going to happen next but what had happened in Em’s past to drive her away from her life.

Lost Girl is an interesting read with a great eerie atmosphere and a great addition to the Australian literature scene.

 

Many thanks to Harlequin Books Australia for the review copy. 

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