The Secret by the Lake – Louise Douglas

Amy has never really belonged to a family. Even her own and despite when she has to go back and deal with a family crisis does she realise that the family she really misses, is the one she worked for, the Laurent family, Alain and Julia and their daughter Viviane.

When a tragedy within the Laurent family drives Amy back into their lives. She knows she can never leave them and must always protect them and their secrets.

The cottage where is Amy is helping Julia and Viviane is small, oppressive, dark and holding onto a very large secret.

One which is going to change everything. Julia’s dead sister, Caroline is the key to unlocking the secret. But for as long as the family are holed up in this cottage with no light coming it, the secret will eventually consume them.

Viviane seems to be in contact with Caroline, could it be that her death was exaggerated. The neighbours remain distant as if by talking to Amy they will become tainted somehow.

This is a rather dark book and has a ghostly quality to it, which I found interesting but rather depressing, mainly because of my rational mind taking over and not becoming absorbed into the story. That said, I do acknowledge that Louise Douglas has created a mysterious ghostly tale and one which I could not work out until near the very end.

The author captures the mood of the book, not just by the characters but by the scenery and landscape. The perpetual greyness, of living in this cottage near a lake, which seems forever shrouded in mist. That all escaping dampness which seems to penetrate deeply into all the characters both seen and unseen. It all adds layers to the story and which I readily appreciate, even if I was less than absorbed by the storyline.

Not my favourite Louise Douglas, but good nonetheless.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. 

The Secret by the Lake is out now.