Ooooh hello everyone! I hope you are having a nice Wednesday! Mine is full, but I am over the moon to share my review of In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards. It had been some time since a book had shook my beliefs and had such an impact on me! Without further ado, here’s the review!
Thank you to the publisher for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!
Title: In Her Shadow
Author: Mark Edwards
Date of publication: 4th October 2018
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: E-copy from NetGalley
Isabel’s life seemed perfect. Successful business, beautiful house, adoring husband. And then she was dead.
For four years Jessica has never doubted that her sister Isabel’s death was an accident. But when Jessica’s young daughter seems to know long-forgotten details about her aunt’s past, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that there’s a more sinister truth behind the tragedy.
As Jessica unearths disturbing revelations about her sister, and about the people she loved and trusted most, it becomes clear Isabel’s life was less than perfect and that Jessica’s might also be at risk.
Did someone murder Isabel? Are they now after Jessica and her family? The key seems to lie in the hands of a child. Can Isabel reveal the truth from beyond the grave, or is the answer closer to home?
In Her Shadow is a gripping tale of family secrets, lies and obsession from the two million copy bestselling author Mark Edwards.
I had never read a Mark Edwards novel. The name rang the crime bell, of course, but I was afraid the hype would kill the book. You know how seeing someone’s work praised everywhere can create such expectations that despite being good, what you read never entirely fills the shoes it was supposed to.
Still, I took a bet. I mean, look at this cover! And the title? It screams ‘Read me, I’m creepy!’
Creepy. Disturbing. Completely and utterly riveting.
I don’t think I can do In Her Shadow justice. I will try, I will blabber all emotions and thoughts I had while reading, but don’t expect me to make sense. The novel knocked me off my feet. I fell in love, high over heels. I relished the fear. I passionately turned the pages.
Jessica is a mother of two, wife, mother, and sister of deceased Isabel. Yes, this detail is important. If you have already read a few reviews from this blog, you know that I believe that once you’re gone, you’re gone. But… You know the feeling when you are watching X-Files and your brain says ‘no’ but your senses say ‘OMG could it be?’? Well, Mark Edwards reminded me of this beautiful and terrifying truth. We don’t know. I am down-to-earth, so when Jessica’s daughter started saying her dead aunt was around and talking to her, I rolled my eyes.
I only did it once.
I can’t explain how Mark Edwards managed to rewire my entire system so I could start standing on the fence and rocking back and forth between ‘no way’’ and yes way’!!! The way the author deals with this little fragile girl believing Isabel, someone she has never met, is communicating with her, is freakingly good and had me walk down a path I thought I’d never set foot on.
What if she was telling the truth?
It worked so terribly well for numerous reasons. First of all, Mark Edwards never ever overdoes it. There is just enough information, just enough doubt, like the shadow of something you catch at the corner of your eye. Chilling doesn’t describe it. I couldn’t help but ask for more. I was completely hooked. The narrative skillfully uses the – Oh I hate the word but I’ll use it anyway – ‘supernatural’ side you can meet sometimes in psychological thrillers. It took me by surprise, but I am grateful for it! My heart and mind started to fight, just like our main character, Jessica. She is the second reason why this novel and all its pieces work so well. Jessica hasn’t had the perfect childhood and remains from the past taint today’s events in such a powerful way that you can’t help but be on her side. What kind of mother wouldn’t be worried to see her daughter insisting she is seeing dead people, witness her behavior change, and … predict things that actually happen. I would have been dead cold and might have thought about running far away! But Jessica loves Olivia and believes this is only a four years old’s phase that will pass.
Until unnerving details begin to nag at Jessica and she begins to wonder if her sister’s reappearance means that her death was wrongly deemed accidental. From there, we pull threads of both women’s lives into our hands as the book intensifies and events unfolds with such force that you find yourself looking for answers, wondering, and shivering.
What I loved the most in Mark Edwards’ In Her Shadow is that he never pushes you to believe, he hints, and he stays authentic, real, and his razor-edge brilliant style enhances every feeling, every shadow, every thought so you are fully immersed and completely unable to think of anything else but the truth. Was Isabel killed? Who did it? Why? Is she back? Are Jessica and her daughter in danger? What the hell is going on?
On top of this, you discover the relationship of two sisters (makes me very happy to be an only child!), this of a family torn by lies and secrets, and what it means to be a parent. Remark from Jessica about parenting stayed with me, and her thoughts on how her life turned out and where her freedom has gone made me feel for her more than for anyone else in the book, no matter how well-crafted! Because they all are, and they all sound suspect at one point or the other! I simply loved it.
Did I say I truly enjoyed this novel? Because I did!
I’ll tell you a secret. I usually nibble at something while reading. I did not this time. In Her Shadow was so addictive and filled with secrets tasting like candy that I didn’t need real sugar. I got crime sugar. It is still running in my veins as I am writing this review.
In Her Shadow is one of the best psychological novels I have EVER read. And boy the list of psychological stuff I’ve ingested is long so it tells you something! It combines fears that we can’t control, sprinkles the best kind of chilling suspense on every page, and keeps you guessing until the very last word. I am tremendously happy I jumped into the world of Mark Edwards and I will definitely do it again!
Tomorrow is publication day! Grab a copy and prepare for the ride!