ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Last House on the Cliff by Anne Wyn Clark

The Last House on the Cliff by Anne Wyn Clark is published by Avon and available in paperback, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to the author for sending me a copy for review.

When a young widow’s little girl vanishes, could a dark family secret hold the answer?

On the death of her aunt GwynLowri returns once more to Gwyn’s home on the remote island of Anglesey, Wales, with her young daughter Ruby in tow. Lowri hadn’t seen her aunt in years, but this beautiful island offers a fresh start.

Yet right away, strange things begin to happen. Ruby insists an old woman is visiting her when no one else is watching, and a tattered old doll keeps being left for Ruby to find.

Then Ruby goes missing. Desperately seeking answers no one seems to have, Lowri looks to her dark family past for clues. But the secrets she uncovers suggest that Ruby is not the only one in danger, and time is running out – for both of them…

A terrifically dark and twisty tale that asks: can you ever really trust those closest to you? Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Cass Green and C.J. Tudor.

Lowri remembers with fondness her childhood visits to her Aunt Gwyn on Anglesey. Never phased by the fact that her aunt lived in and ran a funeral home, Lowri actually got on better with Gwyn than with her own parents. However, the visits ceased and Lowri hadn’t seen her aunt in many years. When she hears that Gwyn has died she returns to Anglesey with her young daughter, Ruby. Immediately strange things start to happen: shadowy figures in the garden, an old rag doll left around; and then Ruby goes missing.

The setting is strong in The Last House on the Cliff. The funeral home itself is a sprawling place with a whiff of musty scent and dark corners, and the island of Anglesey is quite remote and windswept, a fairly closed community. It all lends itself to a hint of the sinister and Lowri feels quite out of place.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the plot and quite a few that I didn’t see coming at all. I’m not sure I entirely bought into them all, especially towards the end, but I enjoyed being along for the ride. There are lots of family secrets and mysteries involving Lowri’s family and also the background of Gwyn’s helpers at the funeral home, Awel and Elis, who were both really intriguing characters. I found The Last House on the Cliff to be an ominous and atmospheric psychological thriller.

Anne Wyn Clark was born and raised in the Midlands, where she continues to live with her husband, a sweet-natured cat, plus a chinchilla with attitude. She has three now grown-up children and six grandchildren. Much of her formative existence was spent with her head in a book, and from an early age, she grew to relish the sheer escapism afforded by both reading and writing fiction. She has a love of antiquity and a penchant for visiting old graveyards.

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