My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 416
Publisher - Headline
Source - Waterstones
Blurb from Goodreads
A jumble of entries, written in different hands, different languages, and different times. They tell of a rumour. A shadow. A killer.
The only interest that Oxford Professor Charles Meredith has in the diaries is as a record of Hungarian folklore ... until he comes face to face with a myth.
For Hannah Wilde, the diaries are a survival guide that taught her the three rules she lives by: verify everyone, trust no one, and if in any doubt, run.
But Hannah knows that if her daughter is ever going to be safe, she will have to stop running and face the terror that has hunted her family for five generations.
And nothing in the diaries can prepare her for that.
Hannah is on the run, something is coming for her, her little girl and her badly hurt husband but what and why? The story opens with Hannah trying to escape a force we do not see but feel the threat of it almost from the first page. We flit chapter to chapter with different timelines, present day (Wales), the 1870's (Hungary) and the 1970's Oxford introducing Hannah's parents and the origins of what they are running from.
It took a wee bit for me to get into the swing of the other stories and I just wanted to get back to Hannah and find out what it is that is chasing them. Slowly, by following the others stories we are introduced to other key characters all providing a better understanding of everything that follows. You soon get caught up in the time period and characters you are reading and wishing each new chapter was back to the previous ones.
It is an interesting story, shapshifters, love, sacrifice, obsession and family are just some of the themes in this book. Many of the scenes are tense, eerie and keep you engaged to see where it is going. I have never read this author before and I will be reading him again, I bought the next book in the series as soon as I finished this one, 4/5 for me this time.