My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Publisher - Harper Collins
Pages - 400
Blurb from Goodreads
When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.
But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?
As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:
‘You will be dead by Christmas.’
We start 178 days before Christmas, Rachel is a new wife, moved to be with the man she loves and his son Jamie. Young Jamie is troubled, his mother died and as Rachel spends more time with him his behaviour becomes even more worriesome. Jamie appears to be haunted by his mother and making scary predictions that Rachel fears are coming true. The most recent "You will be dead by Christmas", Rachels husband doesn't want to know so Rachel starts to dig into Jamies claims and their past. Some things are best left alone but Rachel is scared, lonely and the more she digs the more her husband pulls away from her, is Rachel really in danger?
This is Tremaynes second book and I actually prefered this one to the first. It has the same eery spooky under currents of the Ice Twins but I felt this one draws you in from the offset. The chapters vary in length but are all relatively short which I quite like in a book. Each chapter has a photograph at the beginning of the chapter of the settings of the book which is a relatively nice touch, I have the hardback version but assume all formats will have this.
The characters are well drawn, the little boys behaviour fluctuates from affection and acceptance of Rachel to withdrawn and preocupation of her demise or his mothers ghost. Rachel is a bit unreliable as a person, she begins relatively strong but as she gets spooked her behaviour becomes somewhat questionable. The book deals with some tough issues, death, mental health, violence, loss, love, acceptance, ghosts, martial issues to name just a few. I think if you take the story as it is you will really enjoy it, creepy, dark and eery with a bit of suspension of reality required. 3/5 for me this time, I would read this authors work again, thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.