Book Reviews

In Her Shadow – Mark Edwards

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I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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In Her Shadow is about two sisters, Jessica and Isabel. Jessica is younger: the quieter, less successful sister. She is the mother of two children, happily married and living on a quiet housing estate in Beckenham. Four years ago, Isabel – a successful sex therapist who lived with her city trader husband in a huge house – died after falling from the balcony of her home. It was ruled an accident. However, Olivia, Jessica’s four-year-old daughter – who was born after Isabel died – begins to act strangely. She talks about her dead aunt and knows things she couldn’t possibly know. She accurately predicts terrible occurrences. She says she can see Isabel and that she knows a secret…leading Jessica to believe that her sister was murdered.

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A tale with mystery and intrigue, In Her Shadow is a novel that will leave you questioning everything you are reading until the very last moment. Jessica is happy with her life, since her sister died they have all learned to move on and forge new relationships with one another and become to Isabel’s husband.

However, Jessica and Isabel’s mother has always declared it wasn’t an accident and maintained Isabel’s husband had something to do with it and when Jessica’s four-year-old daughter apparently starts to talking to Isabel, Jessica begins to question everything she knew about her sister. As Jessica picks up where the police left off she doesn’t know whether to hope Isabel is back and talking to her daughter, or that it is just the make believe of a child because one of these paths leads to murder.

Jessica is the stereotypical mum but there is very much a sense of independence within her, and as the story progresses, she becomes more vocal in her opinions which is a huge difference from the beginning of the novel. She has an ordinary family so when Olivia begins “talking” to Isabel it rocks her sense of normal and when we learn of the haunting she experienced as a child it becomes clearer why this disturbs her so much. We see her fighting herself while trying to protect her daughter from her own childhood. Yet, despite this we see glimmers of hope. You would not have hope that their sister is back. It’s just disturbing the messages she brings.

Isabel’s world as a sex therapist is more glamourous than people would think, she wants to blend sophistication with pleasure while starting her business. However, not everybody in this business is as forward thinking. In the process of promoting her new venture she comes across a photographer who is disgusting, sleazy and used to getting his own way. It is incredible how such a chance meeting would have such a profound effect on the rest of her life. By including this Edwards has given voice to those who cannot, do not, or don’t know how to use their own voice and shows how one person can make a difference. Voices are a very clear and big theme within this novel and Edward’s tone and writing bring the pages and events to life.

One of things I absolutely loved about this book was how each of the seeds of doubt was planted so subtly. Throughout something was niggling in the back of my head but I couldn’t quite place it. By showing not only Jessica’s life now and the mystery, he shows Isabel’s life leading up to her death to try and paint a clearer picture of what may have happened. Of course, while this does show us that, it also shows us the wider picture of her life and the world that she lives in.

Edwards has woven a tale that is so intricate I did believe that Isabel was back and talking to Olivia. It was only when Jessica started to broaden her horizons that I did also. Edwards has a way of writing that has the reader fixated with Jessica’s point of view which is very narrow while dangling red herrings and clues in your peripheral, yet when writing from Isabel’s perspective, we are seeing a wider expanse and must try to decipher what is important and relevant to the plot. Of course, everything from Isabel’s perspective is relevant to the plot.

His reveal was delightful. While I may have suspected the players, I had no idea what their actual play was. Edwards has a brilliant way of weaving everything together. The ending didn’t feel rushed or slow. The whole novel flowed really well and it helped to shape it into the mystery that it is.

A delicious mixture of supernatural and mystery In Her Shadow is an excellent book for anyone looking for something new to read. It not only draws you in but has you questioning everything you are reading while slowly feeding you information.

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Thank you very much for reading my review, I hope you liked it! Today is my spot on the In Her Shadow blog tour. If you would like to know what other people thought of the book you can check them out from their blogs which you can see below.

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