Some secrets can never be concealed . . .
Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home after Maude became involved in some troubling events. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn't long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage too has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn't quite right about this place . . .
Maude, furious about being brought here against her will and her father's attention falling so often elsewhere, soon finds herself beguiled by the house's strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object. As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy - and Maude spellbound. But these women - and the women that surround them - are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head . . .
A brilliant, unsettling and chilling novel of mothers and daughters, truth and deception and the lengths people will go to, to obtain power over their own lives, The Hiding Place is the second chilling novel from the acclaimed author of The Wayward Girls.
'Haunting and atmospheric, The Hiding Place lingers in the dark spaces of a home as Amanda Mason deftly crafts a steady, creeping tension.' A.J. Gnuse, author of Girl in the Walls
'The Hiding Place has everything; chills that build, an immersive setting and a wonderful clash between the present and the past, the living and the dead.' Jess Kidd
'Satisfyingly unsettling, this is a hugely atmospheric novel that oozes with uncanny menace.' Lucie McKnight Hardy
'The Hiding Place is the perfect modern ghost story -evocative, unsettling and genuinely spine-tingling. With vividly realised characters and a chilling mystery at its heart, I truly couldn't put it down' Katie Lowe
'Tense, atmospheric and suffused with the peculiar longing of motherhood.' Araminta Hall
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 23 members
I've just finished this chilling atmospheric read set around the old house called The Elders. Nell has returned to her home town with her other half and her step daughter for a family party. They plan to combine the party with a holiday for 12 year old Maude who has been having problems at school. They make a last minute booking at The Elders which has recently become a holiday letting. The house is at the base of a cliff face and has a dark and secretive past. As the story continues there is something that doesn't feel right about the old house. What are the noises they keep hearing, the peculiar smell in the kitchen and why do objects keep disappearing? What happened in the house years ago? This is a spooky read with strong supernatural undertones. A mysterious old shoe hidden behind a bedroom panel and old witch marks found in another meant I was definitely reading with the light on! A lot of the story is about the relationship between Nell and her step daughter as well as some old acquaintances of Nell's from the village. I loved this part of the story and really felt for Nell and Maude who were struggling so much to make their relationship work. Overall I enjoyed this slow burn read and found the last part gripped me as the tension built inside the creepy house. I would recommend this to people who enjoy slow to build creepy stories about family relationships.
Nell Galilee returns home to the small, seaside town of her childhood in the company of her husband Chris and stepdaughter Maude. This is a town that holds unsettling memories for Nell, but fortunately their stay here will be brief, as they are only here to attend a family celebration. Their home for this short holiday is a quirky holiday cottage called Elder House, in the tucked away Bishops Yard, but something about this house feels wrong to Nell as soon as she sets foot in the place. She can't quite put her finger on what it is, although she seems to be the only one of the three that finds the house unnerving. Things are tense between the three from the start. Maude is under a black cloud from recent episodes that are vaguely hinted at, but we know from the beginning that she is finding it difficult to adjust to being an older sibling now her mother and stepfather have had a new baby, and her relationship with Nell seems strained. Nell longs for the close bond they used to share, Chris seems at a loss with how to broker peace between the two females in his life, and the atmosphere between them is amplified by the weird vibes that Elder House gives off - and the odd happenings that have them jumping at shadows. When Nell makes an eerie discovery behind a hidden panel in the wall, they begin to learn something of the secrets that tell of Elder Cottage's traumatic history, and Maude becomes consumed by the magic that thrums in very fabric of the house. The residents of the past seem to have been trying to protect themselves from something dark, but what could it be? Events start to spin out of control when Chris is called away, leaving Nell and Maude alone. They are both harbouring secrets that cannot be contained, as are the women who live around them in Bishops Yard. This house demands a sacrifice, but who will pay the price? Where to start? This is so much more than your average spooky tale, and Amanda Mason does such a wonderful job of incorporating a myriad of deep themes into the telling of it, which I am going to try to hint at without giving away any spoilers about the plot, because you really need to discover its secrets for yourself. This is a novel rooted in folklore, hitting just the right spot to tickle the primitive part of your brain that feeds your darkest nightmares, but by exploring exactly how and why people use superstition to deal with their everyday fears Mason is able to interwork both historical and contemporary themes around mental health, desire, secrets, betrayal, obsession, motherhood, and rather interestingly the need to protect, which makes this a very modern ghost story. She starts with a haunted house, always a brilliant beginning, and then proceeds to let her imagination run riot with very mortal emotional threads of anxiety, the need to be loved, jealousy and aching need, that feed the supernatural elements of the tale superbly. For a claustrophobic story there are quite a few characters in these pages from in and around Bishops Yard, which I did find surprising at first, but each and every one has a part to play in how the story, and its closely guarded secrets, unfurl and they are used very effectively to layer the themes examined. It is the relationships between the different generations of women here that conjures up literary magic, almost like weaving a spell among a coven of witches, and as the story moves back and forth between them all the plot thickens like pitch - and is just as black at heart! I love the idea that the ordinary objects people use to make them feel secure, or as totems for good luck or deep yearning, become imbued with a kind of mystic power that can stand the test of time, and Mason carries this idea right through the story, contrasting how such items can become a form of protection and a source of dark magic. It's really rather clever. This is one of those creepy tales that grabs you at the first page and holds you spellbound until every little twist and turn has played out. It's a highly entertaining mix of classic horror and bang up-to-date spine-chiller that begs to be consumed in one delectable sitting, making it a perfect Halloween read - daytime reading recommended!
<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><em>Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home after Maude became involved in some troubling events. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn't long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage too has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn't quite right about this place. Maude, furious about being brought here against her will and her father's attention falling so often elsewhere, soon finds herself beguiled by the house's strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object.</em><em> As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy - and Maude spellbound. But these women - and the women that surround them - are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head.</em></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>I have literally just finished reading this book and I honestly cannot say enough good things about it. There are so many things going on so you won’t get bored but not enough things to confuse you. As the book mainly focuses on Maude and Nell it was very important for me to like them or find a way to connect to them, I liked both but I especially liked Maude and I thought she had really good character development and I found her easy to relate to.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p> I felt like it had a really good pace, I like how the suspense and mystery was built without letting the story drag. The story was so gripping, the characters are really deep and I absolutely love a good ghost story.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>If you are reading this when I have posted this then please read this book but try to read it in October as it is a ghost story so it is really fitting for Halloween. But I am sure that whenever you read it you will love it as much as I did.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Thank you to the publishers, Readers First and Net Galley for the book.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->