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We’re approaching the six weeks holiday and for those of us lucky enough to be spending those weeks at home with our families, we can kick back, wind down a bit and find a bit of time for ourselves (depending upon the age of children).  What better way to do that than to treat ourselves with a new book.  A book which carefully interweaves a few deathly facts.  Here is my latest recommendation:

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne.

 All opinions regarding this book are entirely my own. I have received the book free from the Mumsnet Book Club.

Thank you to the Mumsnet team for allowing me to read and review another one of their great choice of books. I thoroughly enjoyed the last one:-

https://resourcefulshelly.com/2016/03/04/the-forgetting-time-by-sharon-guskin-bookreviewresourcefulshelly/

And this one has proved to be just as good. I  enjoy a Psychological Thriller, something that makes you have to sit and put the pieces together, keeps you on the edge of your seat and as the cliché goes, makes you read in one sitting. This book did that.

The story follows the strong and independent Rachel. A girl from the council flats of East London.

“A girl who escaped reality by reading.”

I felt a strong connection with Rachel. Her working class roots and her ambitious temperament. Life deals cards. We hear the odd inkling in the story of a girl who is a survivor. But the book doesn’t reveal all until the very end. It shows and doesn’t tell. A successful technique to keep us reading.

Early in the novel we see the established relationship between Rachel and her new husband David Kerthern. An attractive, slightly older and wealthy man whose admiration for Rachel is evident. He can see her strength and determination. And rather than working against her he sees that her poverty-stricken background gives her an edge. She is smart. Although from different society classes he has a real appreciation. A whirlwind love affair and the result… Marriage after just three months.

I certainly questioned at the beginning. Is this too good to be true? The man of her dreams, an affectionate stepson and she’s living in and gained a beautiful property in Cornwall with mining history that is secluded.  The girl has come along way from home.  It must be too good to be true. After all David has been married before to a lady who died just two years previous. Left with a young son. I couldn’t help but think that he was after a quick replacement to take care of his son while he spent time working away.

Throughout the novel it is evident that the story is to be told through Rachel. First person narrative making us feel close to the character. However there is a rotation too. Some of the chapters are told through David but not in first person, they are told in third person narrative so that we keep our distance but gain valuable clues. Which works, as David isn’t particularly a warm character. Rachel has warmth – her story and the way she behaves is from her heart. David is a business man. A business man whom Rachel is smitten with and she’s very smitten with his son.

A son Jamie whose behaviour takes a sharp change towards Rachel. In the beginning he is affectionate but very quickly his behaviour becomes sinister. As you will read in the blurb (so I’m not giving too much away) he tells Rachel:

“You will be dead by Christmas.”

Chilling words.  But as outlined. Rachel is smart so she begins digging into the past. And that’s how the story gains a momentum. Jamie’s erratic behaviour, David proving to be defensive against help for his son, Rachel questioning why?  What is the mystery surrounding Jamie’s dead mother?

The end of each chapter reminds me of a soap opera, ending at a poignant point.  Unlike a soap opera you do not have to wait until the next day or the next week. You can rush to the next chapter.  Perfect for our long summer (Hopefully not too much rain).

I enjoyed the structure of the book. Each chapter starts with a picture from the mining industry or the desolation of areas within Cornwall, which adds to the atmosphere. We are able to envisage more clearly scenery surrounding the content of the book. The chapter headings also give the time element and countdown of:-

“You will be dead by Christmas.”

Starting with:-

178 Days before Christmas.

I felt that this gave a Diary type feel which is always easy to follow. We’re reading in one direction and that’s forward. However, the back story is shown through various techniques such as finding letters etc..

Again, with a review I’m trying very hard to not give the story away. It is worth picking up the book yourself and piecing together whether the marriage between Rachel and David is in fact a lie and a façade.  What has happened to his dead wife?  Is she in fact alive?

To conclude, it’s a hair-raising of a novel written by S.K. Tremayne and one that will certainly lead me on to buy ‘The Ice Twins’ a no.1. Bestselling novel that has been released previous. I’m looking forward to that.

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne. Published by Harper Collins and is available for £12.99.

 

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