Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

Hannah and Will are moving to an old estate in Suffolk.  They want to adopt a child since they cannot have their own and Hannah wants to make new start away from the old disappointments.  Will wants to make Hannah happy, so he agrees.  He will still work in London but he'll commute.  

Atria Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published August 26th, so you can get a copy soon.

Will heads off for work and snow begins to fall.  Suddenly Hannah is stuck in this big old house alone.  She's not a fearful type but, when the boiler doesn't work and she doesn't have any electricity, it's gets awfully cold and inconvenient.  There's also the issue of all the improvements she wants to do before the visit from the lady from the adoption agency.  She had a big list and all kinds of assignments, but it's all for naught without her husband there.

She does find an apparently mentally handicapped woman that is excellent at yard work and she will work outside.  She's the daughter of the couple next door, so she's close.  And she finds a man that is helpful.  He finds someone to fix her boiler, comes over and helps move some furniture and spackles some holes and paints.  She's thankful for his help.  She has trouble trying to find a place to get WiFi to talk to her husband.  He's relieved to have some time away from the house and deadlines.  However, that leads to other problems. Will likes to have a few drinks.  He also suddenly notices how pretty another woman renting an office in the building is.  He's not a strong man, and I feared he would do something stupid.

On the other hand, Hannah is strong enough, but things are happening that she can't control.  She hears people in the house.  She and Will find things damaged but have no idea who might have done it.  When she tries to prove existence of the woman who did yard work, the couple denies having a child and claims not to know her.  The nice man who helps her tells Will he and Hannah had sex numerous times.  She's real close to losing both Will and her sanity.

This has the flavor of a gothic romance novel without the romance.  Will and Hannah are so far apart not only in person but in life that you aren't sure if they will recover or not.  Hannah's threats become life threatening.  The author has done a good job of thinking this story out and making all the pieces come together.  There's an underlying horror in these pages, and it's a good read.

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