ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown @IsabelAshdown @TrapezeBooks #CompulsiveReaders #BlogTour #LakeChild

I’ve read and enjoyed some of Isabel Ashdown’s other books so jumped at the chance of reading Lake Child and reviewing it today, publication day! Congratulations, Isabel!

My thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for the place on the tour and to Trapeze Books for sending me a fabulous proof copy for review purposes.

You trust your family. They love you. Don’t they?

When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

An edge-of-your-seat, atmospheric psychological thriller for fans of Lucy Clarke and Erin Kelly.

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Lake Child brings forth the question: if you can’t trust your family who can you trust? It is such a good read, one that kept me reading to find out what really happened to 17 year old, Eva Olsen.

When the story begins, she’s recovering from a terrible car accident. She’s obviously been badly injured but she can’t remember anything. Why on earth are her parents keeping her holed up in the attic room of their house, not allowing her to see her best friends, Rosa and Lars? As the story progresses we witness Eva slowly starting to regain some memories, trying to work out what happened the day of the accident. But she also starts to wonder if she can really trust her parents at all.

The Norwegian setting is fabulous. The cover image perfectly portrays to me the remoteness and the snowy mountains that form a backdrop to Eva’s home. Her friends are her neighbours but even they are a distance away. I always enjoy remote settings in novels as they can contribute to a sense of unease, of people lurking in the shadows.

In many ways, Eva is something of an unreliable narrator. She’s only seeing things from her point of view, feeling very much like things are being hidden from her and being unable to see beyond that. I liked her as a character very much and I was hoping that she would get some kind of resolution to her difficulties.

Dotted throughout her story are transcripts of interviews between Maxine Gregory and a woman who is employed to be her ghost writer for a book about Maxine’s life. Whilst it’s not entirely clear from the outset why the interviews are there, I really liked how the two individual strands started to intertwine and although by the end I’d semi-guessed some of the outcome, I thought this was such a well-plotted book. Isabel Ashdown keeps plenty of secrets up her sleeve to reveal at the last minute.

I was so impressed by the author’s clever storytelling. Psychological thrillers can sometimes seem a little implausible and I didn’t find that with Lake Child. In fact, I found the whole thing entirely possible. What an excellent read this is. It’s suspenseful and so atmospheric, and I loved it!

Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. The opening of her debut won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, going on to be published as Glasshopper and being named as one of the best books of the year. Today, she writes full-time, walks daily, and volunteers in a local school for the charity Pets as Therapy. Isabel lives in Sussex with her carpenter husband, their two children and dogs Charlie and Leonard.

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