It is with great pleasure to be part of the Blog Blitz hosted by Sarah Hardy for the newest psychological thriller Her Dark Retreat by J.A.Baker published by Bloodhound Books.
The coastguard’s residence Chamber Cottage, which sits high up on the North Yorkshire cliffs overlooking The North Sea, holds many dark secrets.
Alec and Peggy are struggling to overcome their marital problems. Both damaged by problems from their childhoods, they are trying to get on with their lives. But this is hard for them to do when they both believe they are being watched. As a result, Peggy, who has terrible scars on her face, becomes more agoraphobic.
To make matters worse, Peggy discovers her estranged mother is stalking both she and Alec, claiming she has a dark secret that is putting Peggy in danger.
What caused the scars on Peggy’s face? Is Alex really the monster Peggy’s mother believes him to be? And what secrets does Chamber Cottage hold?
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I have sat and pondered awhile, wondering what can I say, I could rabbit on about how unputdownable, stomach churning and how insatiable my appetite was to devour Her Dark Retreat, but that would be a lie, it was So So Much More.
Her Dark Retreat was like a bucket with holes, the faster you try to fill it the faster it runs out. The red herrings throughout the book remind of that bucket the quicker I filed one away another appeared, thanks for sending me on a wild goose chase, it was awesome.
I have read many opening chapters in my time, some good, some bad, but this one had me gasping for air, clawing my way through the pages, absorbing the essence of each and every character. Several of the characters are flawed with hidden pasts, unwilling to confront their demons and move on with their lives.
Peggy is alienated from her family due to her choice of husband which conspired a conflict in which her mother believed Alec is a philander and has murderous intentions. Alec is a man with a whole heap of turmoil embroiled in his personality all stemming from his childhood and abusive relationship with his father, but is it all as we are led to believe.
I absolutely loved the description of the Chamber Cottage and the surrounding area, it has the nitty-gritty feel of a creepy, dark and lonesome place over looking the unrelenting and cold North Sea. I could conjure up the mental image of the area in my mind and actually felt acutely aware of the coldness seeping into my very soul and my lifeblood flowing with shards of ice, OMG the shivers.
J.A.Baker has set aside what I would class as normal parameters in writing this plotline, nothing is straight forward or as it seems, an excellent narrative of each character in this psychological book which draws various conclusions and plenty of red herrings.
Thank you to Bloodhound Books, J.A.Baker and Sarah Hardy for the opportunity to read Her Dark Retreat in exchange for an honest review.
Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.
After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.
J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ thewriterjude/
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My website – http://www.jabakerauthor.co.uk/
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/J. A.-Baker/e/B06XSNWB4T/ref=sr_ ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1505332991& sr=8-1