NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

4.0 out of 5 stars -- Well-paced psychological thriller that kept me glued to the pages!

Hannah and Will Riley vacate busy London and move to Suffolk to renovate a large old house there in preparation for a social worker's (Barbara) visit in just 2 weeks. They hope to be approved as adoptive parents since they've been unsuccessful at having their own despite years of treatment. When they arrive on the weekend, they find that Tornley Hall is in worse shape than they imagined and Hannah sets off in a frenzy of painting and decorating to get the place in shape. Will, a musician, eager to get back to work in London -- and the reader senses he's a bit resentful after all -- helps half-hardheartedly and then leaves early Monday morning while Hannah, who used to be a crusading rights advocate who jetted all over the world, is left on her own in this quiet, isolated countryside. Within hours, Tornley is blanketed in a freak snowstorm, the boiler goes out, and Hannah finds she has no internet WiFi nor can her cell phone get any bars for service. In addition, Will is stranded in London and can't get home for days. Things don't seem to be going too well in Hannah and Will's relationship.

Hannah is alone without heat, hot water and human contact. The house is creepy and the reader feels a sense of menace when household items are moved around, doors are locked, keys can't be found, and other unusual things happen. Hannah feels that someone is watching her. In an attempt to continue her frantic pace of work, she tries to engage the locals to help out at Tornley Hall and finds that they are very strange indeed. Things become more tense as the day of Barbara's visit comes near and suddenly, Hannah is fearing for her life as she tries to solve a decades old mystery and right a serious wrong.

Enjoyed this more than I thought I would! Recommended to anyone who loves stories about creepy things going on in old houses and small towns. Bet you can't wait to get to know these neighbors!

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books for the e-book ARC to review.

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