I’m thrilled to welcome you today to the final stop on the blog tour for dark and unsettling historical novel The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Trapeze Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful gothic thriller.
About the book:
When well-to-do Hester learns of her sister Mercy’s death at a Nottinghamshire workhouse, she travels to Southwell to find out how her sister ended up at such a place.
Haunted by her sister’s ghost, Hester sets out to uncover the truth, when the official story reported by the workhouse master proves to be untrue. Mercy was pregnant – both her and the baby are said to be dead of cholera, but the workhouse hasn’t had an outbreak for years.
Hester discovers a strange trend in the workhouse of children going missing. One woman tells her about the Pale Lady, a ghostly figure that steals babies in the night. Is this lady a myth or is something more sinister afoot at the Southwell poorhouse?
As Hester investigates, she uncovers a conspiracy, one that someone is determined to keep a secret, no matter the cost…
About the author:
Rhiannon Ward is the pseudonym for Sarah Ward, the Amazon bestselling and critically acclaimed crime author.
Sarah has a masters degree in Religious History and has long been fascinated by the long tradition of spiritualism in England. A member of the Society of Psychical Research, Sarah has also studied Conan Doyle’s passion for spiritualism. Sarah is a crime reviewer and book blogger at Crimepieces.
Follow Rhiannon on Twitter @sarahrward1
Find her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SarahWardCrime
The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward is a dark and unsettling gothic thriller with a hint of the supernatural. Perfect for this time of year it tells the chilling story of Hester Goodwin who comes from a strict Quaker family in Bristol. Ruled by a rod of iron by her father Hester leads a fairly solitary life, made even more lonely by her sister’s elopement three years previously. But then word comes that Mercy has died in Southwell Workhouse in Nottinghamshire and Hester’s world is changed forever.
As her father becomes increasingly frail, it is decided that Hester will visit Southwell to see if she can find out more about her sister’s death. Arrangements are made for her to stay with her mother’s old school friend, a fellow Quaker woman, but on arrival, after a two day journey, no one is there to meet her and she finds herself taunted by the local innkeeper.
I loved Hester. Although somewhat naive, she is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to her sister and will let nothing stand in her way. From a young age she has seen ’shadowings’, spirits of the dead who stay close to her. Angered by this, her father beat her until the shadows appeared to have gone away. But now they’re back and Hester feels the spirit of her sister next to her at all times, willing Hester to uncover the truth of what happened to her at the workhouse. And what Hester discovers there shocks her to her core, making her even more determined to put a stop to the horrors that continue to happen there…
The Shadowing is a chilling historical thriller that captured my imagination from the very first page. With twists, turns and an underlying sense of menace throughout, it is an eerie gothic thriller with an unsettling supernatural undertone that sent shivers up and down my spine. Steeped in history, this is a superbly plotted and well researched tale that is exquisitely written by Rhiannon Ward. With the tension ratcheting up to almost breaking point as the story moves towards its deeply satisfying conclusion, The Shadowing is the perfect book to curl up with this Halloween.
I loved it!
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