Book Reviews

Snowstorm: #LakeChild by Isabel Ashdown @IsabelAshdown @trapezebooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour

Happy hump day! I’m really happy to review Lake Child today before packing for Capital Crime, as this psychological thriller is a lovely companion for chilling reads lovers!

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Title: Lake Child
Author: Isabel Ashdown
Publisher: Trapeze
Date of publication: 19 September 2019
Format: uncorrected proof
Source: NetGalley

You trust your family. They love you. Don’t they?

When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

An edge-of-your-seat, atmospheric psychological thriller for fans of Lucy Clarke and Erin Kelly.


Lake Child was a cover love choice. The beautiful colours struck me and I couldn’t take the title off my mind. I knew the book would be atmospheric and complex.

How can I put words in the experience that is Lake Child? Mainly set in Norway, in the middle of nowhere, with a young Eva struggling in the aftermath of an accident and being cared of by her parents, the novel sets the tone straight away. Eva is locked in her house’s attic, scars covering her body while her mind feels like cotton candy. She has no recollection of the events that led her there. This is one of the things I am scared of. Not remembering. This scenario has been used before, but rarely had it been so powerful.

Reading Lake Child felt like standing in the middle of a forest when snow is falling. The crisp sound of the fresh white coat under my feet made me feel both safe and afraid. The sound is familiar, but it doesn’t feel right. Just like Eva and her parents. Why is she in the attic? Why won’t they tell her what happened? The short and vivid chapters accentuated the undercurrent of secrecy. Isabel Ashdown has a knack for creating a suffocating and intense atmosphere. In this forest, I was left on my own device with Eva. I lifted my face to the sky and let the snowflakes land on my skin. Some burnt, like the discoveries of lies. Others comforted me, in the shape of a mother’s love, or a father’s warm hug. A few snowflakes tickled. Where were Eva’s friends? Some snowflakes tasted bitter. Where was her memory?

The more I read, the more anxious I became. I couldn’t comprehend Eva’s parents. I couldn’t figure out what would justify locking your own daughter up in your house like a Disney princess. Eva’s friends’ silence was baffling. Nothing made sense, and yet… Yet I could feel that there was a picture underneath all that snow. A complex picture which would make sense of this accident, its consequences, and the burning secrets surrounding Eva.

Eva’s choice to go look for the hidden truth is bold, and I admired her for the length she goes to in order to shake answers from those around her. I wanted to slap everyone until they finally gave up and came clean. I would have been less patient than Eva! I would make a terrible book character!!

Halfway through Eva’s story, other characters appear out of nowhere, adding layers to what is already a heavy crust of mystery. Why? How? With no apparent connection to Eva, those chapters caught me off guard. The race began to speed up and suddenly, my wariness extended to all characters. It was about Eva and myself against the world. I really wanted her to get to the bottom of things, no matter what. I am in awe of how the author managed to give all characters multiple sides, creating rainbows of grey, black, and white.

With a spending writing bound to draw the reader in, Isabel Ashdown delivers a taut and unnerving psychological thriller. The slow pace perfectly complements the setting and allows the reader to understand the power of families…

Get your copy! Amazon

I would like to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and to the publisher for my copy of the novel.

Lake Child Blog Tour Part 1Lake Child Blog Tour Part 2

about the author.png

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Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the Sussex coast. Her writing career took off ten years ago, after she won first prize in a national novel opening competition judged by Fay Weldon, the late Sir John Mortimer and thriller writer Michael Ridpath. The novel, GLASSHOPPER, went on to be twice named as one of the best books of the year, and Isabel now writes full-time alongside her work at the University of Chichester, mentoring students as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.

For the past two years she has hosted the creative writing workshop in the Orion Incident Room of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, always a full-house event!

“Tender and subtle … Ashdown tiptoes carefully through explosive family secrets” – Observer Best Books of the Year

Isabel is represented by Kate Shaw of the Viney Shaw Literary Agency, London.



17 thoughts on “Snowstorm: #LakeChild by Isabel Ashdown @IsabelAshdown @trapezebooks @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour”

  1. What can justify locking your daughter in the attic of your home? How very strange… I’m already curious to find out what caused her amnesia (a traumatic event without a doubt but what??) and why she needs to be hidden away like that! I’ll have to read it or you’re going to have to tell me when I see you :-). Wonderful review Meggy!


  2. I’ve enjoyed previous titles by the author. This one sounds like such an entertaining read and yes, that cover is stunning. I love the color contrasts. Great review, Meggy.


  3. The cover of this is fab. I don’t think I have read a book based in Norway before, though with Scandi Noir becoming so popular it probably won’t be long until I do. You’re right the premise of this has been done before, bit it is such a spine tingling plot that it will always work.
    It sounds amazing and I can imagine the descriptive words on the area are great too.
    Amanda xx


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