My book today is a recent download from a favorite author: Never Alone, by Elizabeth Haynes, is a brilliantly suspenseful and shocking story in which nothing is at it seems, but everything is at stake.
Not for the first time, Sarah Carpenter stands at the top of the hill and thinks that this would be a good place to die. It feels like the end of the world, so high up that even the trees don’t bother to grow. It’s just tussocky windblown grass, clouds racing overhead, drops of icy rain when you’re not expecting them.
You could die here and nobody would notice. You could lie down, and nobody would ever find you. The wind would continue to blow and the sun, sometimes, would shine, and there would be rain and snow too, picking at your clothes and your flesh until there was nothing left but bones. Even in January, though, with the weather unpredictable and sometimes even dangerous, it’s not just Sarah who comes up here. There are wildlife rangers, fell-walkers. Someone would find you, eventually.
Teaser: Sarah rinses the plates, slowly, and puts each one carefully into the dishwasher, while breathing in gasping, jerking breaths and trying not to cry. If she cries, even briefly, Kitty will see and ask and she doesn’t know what she can possibly say. (53%).
Synopsis: Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.
When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant.
After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust.
But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he?
What do you think? Are you intrigued? Would you keep reading?