The Shadow House

A haunting psychological suspense thriller that will keep you hooked for 2022

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Pub Date 14 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 15 Jul 2022
Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder Paperbacks

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Description

A HOUSE FULL OF DEADLY SECRETS. A MOTHER WHO'LL RISK EVERYTHING TO BRING THEM TO LIGHT.

'This tense and beautifully written thriller gripped me from the first page and didn't let go. Intriguing and eerie, climaxing in an edge-of-the-seat finale that had me furiously turning the pages. A must read!' Sarah Pearse, bestselling author of THE SANATORIUM


THE BONES COME FIRST...

When single mother Alex arrives at her new home with her two children, she can finally breathe easy. Pine Ridge, a rural community near the Australian coast, is beautiful, peaceful and most importantly, far away from the trauma she left behind.

NEXT, A DOLL...
Then unexplained boxes start arriving at the house, and Alex's teenage son begins to retreat into himself more than ever. As rumours and legends swirl through the community, Alex realises that Pine Ridge is guarding long-held secrets of its own.

AND THEN THE BLOOD.
Something is lurking in the shadows, and Alex and her family are in grave danger. She must protect her children from the darkness at all costs - before it engulfs them whole...

A tense and haunting tale of one mother's fight for her family, in a place where no one can hear you scream.

Authors love ANNA DOWNES

'It's such a rare thing - a claustrophobic, addictive thriller that lets you actually feel for all of the characters involved' Gytha Lodge, bestselling author of She Lies in Wait on The Safe Place

'A brilliantly atmospheric novel that keeps you equally gripped and unsettled from page one. Starkly original and with an alarmingly plausible premise, this is destined to be a bestseller' J.P. Pomare, bestselling author of In the Clearing on The Safe Place

'A dark and wonderful debut that lulls you in with beautiful prose and complex, believable characters, then beats you over the head with a killer plot and a thrilling climax' Christian White, author of The Nowhere Child on The Safe Place

A HOUSE FULL OF DEADLY SECRETS. A MOTHER WHO'LL RISK EVERYTHING TO BRING THEM TO LIGHT.

'This tense and beautifully written thriller gripped me from the first page and didn't let go. Intriguing and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529375121
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 19 members


Featured Reviews

#TheShadowHouse #NetGalley
Brilliant.
Alex arrives at her new home with her two children, she can finally breathe easy. Pine Ridge, a rural community near the Australian coast, is beautiful, peaceful and most importantly, far away from the trauma she left behind. Then unexplained boxes start arriving at the house, and Alex's teenage son begins to retreat into himself more than ever. As rumours and legends swirl through the community, Alex realises that Pine Ridge is guarding long-held secrets of its own. Something is lurking in the shadows, and Alex and her family are in grave danger. She must protect her children from the darkness at all costs - before it engulfs them who.?
I loved it. It was a fun read, all about family and motherhood. Highly recommend this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Hodder Straughten for giving me an advance copy.

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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in. Atmospheric, haunting and superbly plotted.

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I read the authors debut #TheSafeHouse which I enjoyed so I was more than chuffed to be offered the chance to read #TheShadowHouse through #Netgalley (ebook) and I must say I think i liked it that teeny bit more. It had all the eery vibes going on that kept me leafing through desperately needing to know just what was going down.

I don't actually use AudioBook ( I keep meaning to try it though, I definitely think I'd get more reading done that way) but I reckon with the descriptive way Downes sets the atmospheric scene here it would be a cracking way to enjoy this book so Audio readers, keep your ears out for this one!

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4.5★s
The Shadow House is the second novel by British-born Australian author, Anna Downes. Mother of two, Alex Ives is in hiding from an abusive partner. She stumbled on the Pine Ridge ecovillage some months earlier and decides its isolation provides a much-needed refuge. But her fourteen-year-old son Oliver is highly resentful of being plucked from his school and social life in the city to come to this hippy dump. Eight-month-old Kara is vocal only about her emerging teeth.

It doesn’t take her too long to realise that the attentions of Kit Vestey, the charismatic founder of the village, are not for her alone, and that most, but not all, in the village are as welcoming as he is. But more disturbing is the box she finds on her doorstep, containing a mutilated dead bird. Symbols on trees in the surrounding bushland, a note in her mailbox, and a story of a witch that took a boy from the farmhouse across the valley: surely just scary myths?

Ollie’s YouTube activity is a worry too; she’s shocked to learn he’s been on the dark web, and she can’t find a trace, in this skinny, surly teen, of the smart and funny boy he was five years earlier. Should she send him to the local school, and risk another incident like that in his last school, or try to home-school him? Between Kara’s teething and noises from the bush at night disrupting her sleep, Alex feels ragged with exhaustion.

In her twenty years on her husband’s flower farm, Renee Kellerman has weathered good times and bad: bumper harvests, the GFC and droughts; but nothing has been as challenging as the disconnect with her once-sweet sixteen-year-old son. He keeps to his room, immerses himself in technology, and is he cutting? On top of this, a box with the mutilated body of her beloved cat and vandalism of their home. Then Gabe goes missing.

Downes easily evokes era and setting in this dual time-line mystery, and gives the reader two credible and relatable protagonists living in difficult circumstances, who are faced with realistic problems which are then exacerbated by bizarre incidents. Those incidents, six years apart, seem to connect two fearful teenaged boys. Incidents in Alex’s timeline are potentially related to her ex-partner, Ollie’s online activity, or unfriendly villagers, thus keeping the reader guessing right up to the final, exciting reveal. Moody, unsettling and filled with suspense, this is a riveting thriller.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton.

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A gothic and mysterious read I was absolutely enthralled by! The writer was able to create a setting that is perfect for the story of a mother trying to save her family from the darkness lurking in their new house.

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Great read this was, thoroughly enjoyed it, loved the story itself and really loved the cover of this book, it keeps the reader guessing up to the last
page..

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Menacing Suspense…
A new home brings torment in this menacing suspense with an edge. A claustrophobic and tense tale of a mother who will do anything to protect her children. She’s already left behind trauma but the new house has come with it’s own distinct brand of terror. Character driven and with a solid narrative, this is an uneasy read.

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This book is really creepy. It spoke to the parts of horror stories that creep me out the most and so this definitely creeped me out. Really well written and atmospheric.

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4+ creepy stars

A house- a bone - a doll - blood. Intriguing! Alex Ives arrives at Pine Ridge, a sustainable self build eco-village concept and slap bang in the middle of nowhere. In tow are her teenage son Oliver who has had issues at his Sydney school and he most definitely doesn’t want to be there with his hugely palpable negativity coming in tidal waves. She also has baby Kara who is teething leading to Alex being massively sleep deprived. Alex wants a fresh start, away from her ex Stuart , father of Kara and as far away from his vile text messages as she can get.

There’s a second narrative from Renee who is married to farmer Michael. They are having serious issues with their son Gabriel who is giving cause for concern especially over his screen addiction. What connects Alex and Renee?

The novel starts slowly, it’s quite detailed but you do get a good sense of the surroundings. Don’t let that fool you, the author lulls you into a false sense of security as you pull up short with the beginning of disturbing signs in both narratives. Weird dreams, noises that send shivers down the spine, creepy shadows and oh boy, does the atmosphere ever build as it’s obvious this is not the idyllic place it seems and there are some shocker jaw droppers. There’s a really excellent goosebumpy supernatural element that is both spooky and malevolent and it escalates so that there’s a looming sense of something really bad approaching with palpable suspense and tension and in addition the sparking difficult dynamics don’t help the situation. The reveals when they come all good and they certainly surprise me.

The characterisation is very good especially of truculent teen Ollie and the struggling Gabriel, Alex is portrayed well and you ooze sympathy for the exhausted mother. Renee’s parents or something else too.

Overall this is another good novel novel from Anna Downes and I look forward to reading what she comes up with next.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Hodder and Stoughton for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this book, it was gripping, suspenseful and mysterious. Well written with an intrigyuing storyline and engaging and well developed characters. I was on the edge of my seat, it was twisty and unpredictable and I really enjoyed reading it.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Anna Downes debut novel so was looking forward to reading this new book. It concerns Alex, mother of a rebellious teenage son, Ollie, and baby daughter Kara who has run from an abusive relationship to what she hopes is a new start. She has found an eco village and it should have provided everything she needed. But almost immediately strange things happen, the children aren’t settled and she is too exhausted to cope. Plus not all of her neighbours are welcoming. At the same time there were flashbacks to Renee and her family where there are strong similarities to some of what Alex was facing. I have to admit that I had little liking or sympathy for Ollie, but did for Gabriel, Renee’s son. However my thoughts regarding Ollie changed the more I read and knew more about him.

Much of the time I can workout which way a storyline is going, I had no idea with this book. It’s not really full of twists, instead there are secrets that are gradually revealed and there was more than just Ollie who I liked and understood more as I read.

It’s original with a perfect setting that was also different to most

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‘The Shadow House’ is the latest book by Anna Downes.

When single mother Alex arrives at her new home with her two children, she can finally breathe easy. Pine Ridge, a rural community near the Australian coast, is beautiful, peaceful and most importantly, far away from the trauma she left behind. Then unexplained boxes start arriving at the house, and Alex’s teenage son begins to retreat into himself more than ever. As rumours and legends swirl through the community, Alex realises that Pine Ridge is guarding long-held secrets of its own. Something is lurking in the shadows, and Alex and her family are in grave danger. She must protect her children from the darkness at all costs – before it engulfs them whole.

If you like your stories riddled with eeriness and underlying tension, then you’re in for a treat with ‘The Shadow House’.

Set in Australia and through the perspective of newcomer to Pine Ridge, Alex with her teenage son Oliver and baby girl Kara and Renee who’s lived in the close knit rural community. Strange things are happening with unwanted boxes and threats being left at their front doors and both their teenage sons weirdly.

I really enjoyed this story and the creepy undertones of witchcraft and legends add to the suspense of tale. Pine Ridge is a tight community, who are not particularly fond of newcomers and Alex really feels this from some of the locals, whilst others react warmly to her. It’s obvious that Alex is running from something and this adds to the suspense of the book as we wonder what’s the background to her life. Whilst Renee is really worried about her son Gabe, who spends all his time in his bedroom and has become quite reclusive.

The writing in this story is gripping and atmospheric and the gradual build up of tension throughout the book really pulled in along with the cult like society. ‘The Shadow House’ is packed with mystery, intrigue and eerie moments and made for wonderfully creepy reading.

You can buy ‘The Shadow House’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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