The Shadow House by Anna Downes, author of The Safe Place, is a creepy, atmospheric tale with gothic undertones and some really great plot twists. This story unfolds from the perspective of two women in a six year span.
Alex, single mother of two, has left an abusive relationship and is starting over in hopes of a chance at a better life for her and her children. She arrives at Pine Ridge, a sustainable eco-village in rural Australia where life seems idyllic. Of course things are not always as they appear and soon things begin to go awry. Alex and her family are not as welcomed as they thought they would be and Ollie, her teenage son, becomes surly and uncooperative. Then really bizarre things begin to happen. According to folklore, a witch who kidnaps children resides in the woods surrounding the village and when she chooses her next victim odd objects arrive on their doorstep; first bones, next a creepy doll and then blood. Unfortunately, the newcomers become the target.
Six years previously Renee and her dysfunctional family endured eerily similar circumstances and her son Gabriel disappeared without a trace. Alex is desperate to discover what happened back then in order to protect Ollie from the same fate as Gabriel.
The author does an excellent job of intertwining the two stories as she packs a lot of “I didn’t see that coming” moments into her storyline. This haunting book would appeal to fans of Lisa Jewell and Ruth Ware.