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Rayne, Sarah - 'What Lies Beneath'
Paperback: 432 pages (Aug. 2011) Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd ISBN: 1847393586

Sarah Rayne does it again, with yet another heart-stopping thriller that will have you staying up late and thinking about the plot when you are supposed to be doing other things. I love this author and she never fails to keep me riveted to her fabulous stories, as well as glued to the sofa. Rayne produces that perfect mixture of an outstanding and complex storyline, coupled with beautiful writing and excellent vocabulary. Now that I have finished her latest offering, I have an overwhelming urge to read it all over again!

WHAT LIES BENEATH is a chilling tale of childhood secrets that have the habit of burning away guiltily and then bubbling to the surface just when you think it is safe to breathe. Ella Haywood is only 10 years old when the residents of Priors Bramley are forcibly removed from their homes and the village is closed off for chemical testing. She and her two friends, Clem and Veronica, decide to take a final walk in the village on the morning that the toxic chemicals are to be dropped. They bravely approach the old, ruined church and then the derelict, but once beautiful, manor belonging to the infamous Cadence family that once lived there in luxury. Things happen that day that will change the shape of their lives forever and have dramatic consequences for all of them when the village is decontaminated some 40 years later.

Intertwined with this tale is another, even more sinister, story of the once-powerful Cadence family and the tragedy that engulfs at least three of their generations. Desperate to maintain an outward appearance of respectability, they go to tremendous lengths to keep their secret hidden. But, as we know only too well, the truth has a habit of breaking loose in the end.

One of the best things about Rayne is that her endings are always impossible to guess. Once again I thought I knew exactly what was going on, only to be proved completely wrong in the final few chapters. If you like haunting, suspense-filled, psychological thrillers then you are going to adore Sarah Rayne. Most definitely another book for my 2011 Top 5.

Extremely Highly Recommended!

Read another review of WHAT LIES BENEATH.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
October 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 2/10/2011 09:55