Rachel did not have the best start in life but managed to escape her childhood in a London council estate and get a degree in Photography. Through her photography she meets widower David Kerthen and his 8 year old son Jamie and her life changes. She marries David and goes to live at Carnhallow House, the family seat, in Cornwall.
David has to work in London so Rachel only has Jamie and David’s mother Juliet for company. It becomes apparent that Jamie is still troubled over his mother, Nina, death 18 months earlier. Jamie is convinced his mother has returned and makes the premonition that Rachel will be dead by Christmas. As Christmas approaches Rachel also begins to wonder what happened to Nina and feels her presence herself. Is Rachel loosing her mind, can she stay alive until Christmas or will Jamie’s premonition come true?
This is a great psychological thriller very much in the style of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca: the questions about the first wife and her death, the grand house and the ghosts of the past encroaching on the present. The characters all have an air of mystery about them, they are not what they seem at first. The interaction between the three main characters is certainly believable if uncomfortable in places, I really sympathised with Rachel being almost thrown in at the deep end to cope on her own with her new stepson ang the Carnhallow House whilst David works in London.
I loved the historical detail given by the author about Cornwall and its mining history. The photographs throughout helped the reader picture the landscape that plays such an important role in the narrative.
Overall, a great story with interesting characters. I look forward to reading S K Tremayne’s first book The Ice Twins.